Your travel news for Africa! August has been an exciting month in the aviation industry in Africa! Did you hear that Uganda Airlines returned to the skies? And that SAA is launching a daily link between Ghana and the US?
Grab a coffee, take a chocolate, sit back and read the most exciting developments in the African travel industry this month from new routes to new aircraft and new visa processes.
Uganda Airlines returns to the skies
Uganda’s national carrier, Uganda Airlines, on Tuesday started its commercial flights with the first one heading to Nairobi, Kenya.
While launching the flight at Entebbe International Airport, 40km south of the capital Kampala, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, who represented President Yoweri Museveni, described the moment as joyous and historic given that the carrier had earlier collapsed in 2001.
“Each year, Ugandans were donating $450 million to other countries through foreign travel. Besides, there was a lot of inconvenience to travelling Ugandans by not having direct flights and even being charged discriminatively airfares,” Museveni said in his speech read by Rugunda.
The airline will first fly to seven destinations in the region and these include Nairobi (Kenya), Mogadishu (Somalia), Juba (South Sudan) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania); and then to Mombasa (Kenya), Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) and Bujumbura (Burundi).
Kenya Airways adds two more direct flights to Cape Town-Nairobi route
Cape Town Air Access (CTAA) – a partnership between the Western Cape Government, the City of Cape Town, Cape Town Tourism, Wesgro, South African Tourism and Airports Company South Africa, as well as private sector partners – has announced the addition of two direct flights to the weekly Cape Town-Nairobi service, operated by Kenya Airways.
The additional service will commence from 27 October 2019 on a Boeing 737-800. “We are extremely excited by this announcement which shows that the new routes the partnership is helping to secure are sustainable,” said Tim Harris, Wesgro CEO.
This expansion is in addition to flights already operating via Livingstone (four times a week), and Victoria Falls (three times a week), bringing the total to 12 weekly flights added to the Cape Town network since 2018.
The addition of two direct flights on the Nairobi route will result in five non-stop flights a week.
SAA strengthens its presence in Ghana
South African Airways is further strengthening its presence in Ghana by increasing weekly frequencies from 9 to 10 flights between Johannesburg and Accra, and by launching a daily service between Accra and Washington DC, with effect from 5th September 2019.
All services to Washington DC commence in Johannesburg with a short stopover in Accra. These two additional weekly services to Washington DC provide SAA’s most convenient schedule yet between Ghana and North America, and will also deliver seamless connections for customers from across West Africa. This includes connections to/from Abuja and Lagos in Nigeria; to/from Monrovia in Liberia; and to/from Freetown in Sierra Leone.
Ethiopian to launch flights to Beira
Ethiopian Airlines has announced that it will launch a thrice-weekly service to the city of Beira in central Mozambique via Malawi effective September 3, 2019.
Beira is the fourth largest and one of the main commercial cities in Mozambique and will serve as a gateway to most of the countries in Central Africa with potential tourist attractions.
Air Seychelles takes delivery of Africa’s first A320Neo
Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles has become the first airline in the Indian Ocean and Africa to take delivery of a new Airbus A320neo aircraft into its international fleet.
Named “Veuve” after the most critically endangered bird commonly known as the Seychelles Paradise Flycatcher, the single-aisle aircraft registered as S7-VEV comprised of 12 Business Class and 156 Economy Class seats.
The A320neo will allow Air Seychelles to increase capacity on its network, while delivering significant fuel savings and reducing the airlines’ operating costs.
Rwanda, Brazil sign air services agreement
The Government of Rwanda and the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil have signed a Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) – a move that could see Rwanda’s carrier Rwandair enter the Latin American market.
Signed between the Minister of Infrastructure, Amb. Claver Gatete and the Brazilian ambassador to Rwanda, Fernando Estellita Lins de Salvo Coimbra, the agreement comes against the backdrop of an MoU signed between both countries in December 2017 in Sri Lanka.
The deal provides for exchange for aviation expertise and conducting of training between Rwanda and Brazilian’s aviation sectors.
New visa process in Tanzania
With immediate effect, Kilimanjaro Airport has changed the process of issuing visas on arrival.
Travellers arriving in Kilimanjaro without a visa now need to complete the following process:
- Queue for a Government Control Number
- Queue to pay for this at the bank
- Queue for Immigration to check and issue the visa
According to ATTA, it is strongly recommended that those that still have time before they travel apply for their Tanzania visa online at www.immigration.go.tz. The online process asks for more information than a visa on arrival, and are issued within 2 – 3 weeks but can be less.