The travel industry in East Africa has been quite busy recently and there have been several changes and headlines all throughout May. In case you have missed out on anything, here are some of the most recent stories in the East African travel industry.
Ugandan Airline launches maiden flight to Kilimanjaro
AIR Uganda recently announced that they will be bringing back the maiden flights to Kilimanjaro International from Entebbe. This comes at the heels of the company purchasing a new Bombardier CRJ-200 jet. The company plans on putting the 50-seater plane to use with their new route. Their plans seem to be to test out the popularity of the new maiden flight because they leased the air craft for 5 years. Air Uganda hopes that the new acquisition will help their regional growth and help increase air transportation in East Africa according to Jenifer Musiime, the marketing manager for Air Uganda.
The maiden flights from Entebbe to Kilimanjaro will take place four times a week initially. If the demand for the flights increases, Air Uganda may have to rethink their plans and add additional trips. The company also has plans to add another new route in July from Entebbe to Mogadishu which will depart 3 times a week. According to Musiime, the decision to add the new route was partially fueled by the increase in the amount of Ugandan traders exporting food to Somalia through Nairobi. Musiim also stated, “We believe the airline's entry will help open up provides more opportunities especially in the tourism sector since the region is home to unique tourist attractions”
The new routes will definitely be appreciated by travelers who were disappointed when the Kilimanjaro flight was discontinued 5 years ago. KIA has been growing substantially with an average of 15% passenger growth annually.
Budget airlines look to Africa
The rapid growth of Africa’s economy has increased the travel demand of consumers throughout the continent. According to the Air Transport Association, air travel in Africa has increased 11.5% in the past two years which is creating new opportunities and some new challenges for airlines.
There is a growing market of travelers who need and want city-to-city travel and are willing to sacrifice some of the costly amenities for lower cost tickets. The challenge is in legal contracts and the general fragmented air travel market in certain regions. Government policy and protectionism have also been an issue for airlines looking to expand their routes internationally. Fastjet is one airline that has been affected by these setbacks. Presently, they fly two routes in Tanzania and have plans to add routes throughout the rest of Africa once the Tanzanian government gives its approval.
As Africa’s economy continues to grow and if more airlines can push online sales, more cost effective air travel will become available throughout the entire continent.
Kenya Airways and Kenya Tourism Board sign joint marketing initiative
Kenya Airways and the Kenya Tourism Board have their eyes set on increasing tourism in the country. Both organizations have agreed to a one year marketing agreement. Kenya Airways will supply KTB with £155,000 and in exchange, KTB will help give Kenya Airlines more visibility through their promotional avenues.
Kenya experienced a 0.3% decline in the amount of tourists that visited the country in 2012. The new partnership seeks to fix this issue. The initiative will target several African and Asian markets including:
- South Africa
The two bodies will also host festivals, road shows, and other events with some of Kenya’s largest and most popular companies to help travelers see the country as an active tourist destination. With Africa’s economic growth, this new partnership should be a great move for both companies and the country as a whole.
Codeshare between Safarilink & TFC
East African tourism aviation specialists Safarilink and Tanganyika Flying Co (TFC) have announced the launch of a codeshare agreement that will allow travel industry customers of either airline to book flights from either carrier from within one carrier's reservation system. It's the first time two local airline companies perform an online codeshare Africa. Both these airlines work with 3G Direct Pay.
Eran Feinstein is the founder of 3G Direct Pay Limited. 3G provides global e-commerce and online payments solutions for the travel and related industries He is a leading authority in the fields of e-commerce, travel and payments, having acquired extensive experience from various parts of the world.