Africa Weekly Aviation Trails: Week 20, 2024 Highlights.

In week 20, significant conferences took place: the Aviation Stakeholders Convention in Addis Ababa, the East Africa Aviation Transport Forum in Zanzibar, and the Africa CEO Forum in Kigali. Additionally, the US-Nigeria Open Skies agreement is nearing reality, and Libya’s airspace ban is close to being lifted by the EU. Explore the article below to gleen information on routes, fleets, infrastructure, and more in the African aviation scene.


The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) and Ethiopian Airlines hosted the 12th Aviation Stakeholders’ Convention at the Ethiopian Skylight Hotel from May 12-14, under the patronage of the Government of Ethiopia. Held under the theme “Beyond Connecting Africa Aviation,” the convention attracted over 500 high-profile delegates from the aviation industry across Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and North America. The goal was to drive growth opportunities and deliberate on the developments within the African aviation industry. Following this event, AFRAA launched the inaugural Africa Safety & Operations Summit on May 15, 2024, in partnership with the Flight Safety Foundation(FSF). RwandAir Ltd was unveiled as the host of the 13th Aviation Stakeholders’ Convention and the 2nd Africa Aviation Safety and Operations Summit in Kigali in 2025.

The 6th East Africa Aviation Transport Forum, organized by the East African Community Civil Aviation Safety and Security Oversight Agency (eac cassoa) in collaboration with the TANZANIA CIVIL AVIATION AUTHORITY(TCAA), took place from May 15-16. Under the theme “The Future of Air Transport: Maintaining Resilient, Sustainable, Innovative, and Safe Air Transport Systems,” the forum brought together over 200 aviation industry experts from regulatory authorities, airport operators, airlines, and other key stakeholders from 10 African countries. The forum focused on establishing joint plans for investing in aviation infrastructure and services and continued efforts to harmonize laws, regulations, and guidelines governing safety and aviation.

The Africa CEO Forum (ACF), which unites more than 2,500 business leaders and policymakers, began in Kigali on May 16 and will run until May 17. Organized by Jeune Afrique Media Group in partnership with the IFC – International Finance Corporation, part of the The World Bank Group, the forum engages leaders shaping Africa’s future from both the public and private sectors. This year, leaders discussed a crucial question: how can Africa secure its place among the leading powers of the future? Despite setbacks and slow integration, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has the potential to be a catalyst for economic and social development if it evolves beyond mere market aggregation to form a genuine pan-African alliance.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), ICAO Eastern and Southern African Regional Office, in conjunction with the SADC Aviation Safety Organisation (SASO), held a three-day workshop on Aviation System Block Upgrade (ASBU) fundamentals from May 15-17, 2024, in Mbabane, Eswatini.

African Aviation: Projections And Statistics.

OAG has highlighted the Cairo (CAI) to Jeddah (JED) route as the second busiest international route for May 2024, with a total of 461,296 seats. However, this route has experienced a significant decline, with a 14% drop in seats per day this month compared to the previous month. Despite this decrease, it remains a key corridor in international travel. Below, we present the top ten busiest

Source: OAG

In Week 19, we showcased the top ten African countries by the number of registered airlines. This week, we turn our attention to the other end of the spectrum. Below, we highlight the African countries with the fewest registered airlines.

Air Service Agreements (ASA’s) and Airline Agreements/Partnerships.

The U.S.-Nigeria Air Transport Agreement, provisionally applied since 2000, officially entered into force on May 13, 2024. This landmark bilateral agreement establishes a modern civil aviation relationship between the two nations, aligning with the U.S. Open Skies policy and commitments to high standards of aviation safety and security. Key provisions include unrestricted capacity and frequency of services, open route rights, a liberal charter regime, and extensive code-sharing opportunities.

In other news, Angola’s @National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) has partnered with SITA‘s advanced travel solutions unit to implement an Advance Passenger Information and Passenger Name Record (API/PNR) system. This system, required by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) under Annex 9 of the Chicago Convention and mandated by UN Security Council Resolution No. 2178/14, aims to enhance the facilitation and security of air transport.

The EASA – European Union Aviation Safety Agency and the Libyan Civil Aviation Authority are working towards lifting the ban on Libyan aircraft in European airspace. This development comes amid a working visit by Libyan Prime Minister Abd Alhamid Aldabaiba, signaling potential progress in Libya’s aviation sector.

Additionally, South African Airways has reestablished its codeshare agreement with GOL Linhas Aéreas after a four-year hiatus, enhancing connectivity between South Africa and Brazil. Meanwhile, Tourism Seychelles and Emirates airline have reaffirmed their commitment to boosting tourism through an MoU signed at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, promising to enhance travel flows across Emirates’ extensive network.

Routes and Airline Connectivity.

Emirates will resume flights to Nigeria on October 1st after a nearly two-year suspension that began on October 29, 2022. The hiatus was due to the Nigerian government’s failure to repatriate the airline’s blocked ticket sales revenue. Emirates will offer daily service to Lagos using a Boeing B777-300ER, and tickets are now available for booking. The airline has been in discussions with government authorities to resolve the outstanding ticket sales revenue issue.

LATAM Airlines Brazil, part of the LATAM AIRLINES GROUP S,A and one of the largest airlines in Latin America, is set to increase its service between Sao Paulo and Johannesburg. Effective October 28, 2024, the airline will add two additional weekly return flights, increasing from three to five weekly services.

Zambia’s national airline, Zambia Airways 2014 , is expanding its reach to East Africa with a new regional service connecting Lusaka to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Nairobi in Kenya. Starting June 27, 2024, the carrier will operate three weekly return flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, departing from Kenneth Kaunda International Airport in Lusaka and making stops at both Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.

EGYPTAIR is set to re-establish flight service to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, beginning July 10, 2024, after a four-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The service will operate three times a week, with a stopover in Accra, Ghana.

ECAir – Equatorial Congo Airlines has returned to the skies after seven years of inactivity. The airline received its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC) on May 15, 2024, marking its comeback. Despite losing one of its aircraft, a B757 registered HB-JJE, which had been parked and seized at Brussels Airport since 2016 and was sold for dismantling to Eco-FLY, ECAir plans to boost its fleet with three Chinese ARJ21 aircraft by the end of the year.

Airline Fleets and ACMI’s.

China Aircraft Leasing Group Holding Limited (CALC), a full value chain global aviation industry aircraft solution provider, successfully completed the delivery of the first of three Airbus Aircraft A320CEO to South African Airways (SAA). The 2016-built aircraft previously served Vietnamese airline Pacific Airlines before being swiftly redelivered to SAA.

Libya’s Berniq Airways has signed a significant purchase agreement with Airbus for six A320neo and A321neo aircraft. Founded in 2018 and headquartered in Libya’s second-largest city, Benghazi, Berniq Airways has also inked several other agreements focusing on training, maintenance, and safety enhancements.

TAAG-ANGOLA AIRLINES LIMITED has transitioned from ACMI operations with HI FLY‘s A330s for the route between Lisbon and Luanda, following the end of a long-term lease contract. This marks a strategic shift for TAAG as it adjusts its fleet operations.

Chad Royal Airways has acquired its first Embraer E140 aircraft and is poised to fill the gap left by the defunct Tchadia Airlines as it commences flight operations. This acquisition marks a significant step in restoring air connectivity within Chad.

Air Botswana is planning to purchase at least three Embraer aircraft, supported by financial assistance from the government. This move aims to bolster the airline’s fleet and enhance its service capabilities.

Aviation Infrastructure and Financing.

Ethiopia has inaugurated a new and modernized domestic terminal at Addis Ababa, effectively doubling its capacity. This state-of-the-art terminal will now serve as the main connecting hub for Ethiopian domestic operations, handling over 200 daily flights to and from 22 domestic destinations.

Morocco is gearing up to start international tenders for the construction and renovation of its airports, aiming to double current capacity in preparation for hosting the 2030 World Cup. Air traffic in 2024 is projected to increase by 40% compared to 2019, with the country’s airports expected to handle up to 80 million passengers annually within the next six years, up from the current 40 million.

The Mozambican Civil Aviation Authority has launched a draft master plan for the country’s aviation system covering the period from 2025 to 2037. This plan, funded with $380 million by The World Bank under the Southern Africa Trade and Connectivity Project, aims to capitalize on aviation opportunities within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and enhance trade.

Qatar Airways is in the final stages of an equity investment in a Southern African airline, as announced by CEO Badr Mohammed Al Meer. This move is part of the Gulf carrier’s strategy to expand its route network across the African continent, following similar equity stakes in Kigali-based RwandAir Ltd and Morocco’s flag carrier Royal Air Maroc.

Air Côte d’Ivoire, the national carrier of Côte d’Ivoire, has received a financial boost from Investec South Africa to support its development plan. This strategic partnership, in effect since 2017, involves refinancing an existing facility for one Airbus A320 and financing the acquisition of two additional Airbus A319 aircraft.


Cheikh Bamba Dieye has taken the helm of Aéroport International Blaise Diagne SA as the new CEO, replacing Abdoulaye Dieye. The company, which operates Senegal’s primary gateway, has been mandated since 2021 to develop and oversee the country’s regional airports.

Dr Diaga BASSE has been appointed as the new Director General of ANACIM | Agence Nationale de l’Aviation Civile et de la Météorologie of Senegal, replacing Gueye Sidy. Basse’s appointment comes at a critical time for ANACIM, which is focused on advancing the nation’s aviation standards and infrastructure.

In the Comoros, Abdillah ABDOU MONDOHA has succeeded Nassur Ben Ali as the Director General of the Comoros Civil Aviation Authority, following Ben Ali’s passing in late 2023. Mondoha is tasked with restoring order in the country’s aviation sector, which has been marred by several incidents and accidents recently. His leadership is expected to bring much-needed stability and improvements to Comoros aviation.

In other news:

The International Civil Aviation Organization has awarded Ghana the prestigious TRAINAIR PLUS Silver membership, recognizing the country’s exceptional contributions to aviation training within the West African subregion. This accolade highlights Ghana’s commitment to advancing aviation education and fostering regional development.

In Cape Verde, the government in Praia has extended the bid for the privatization of Cabo Verde Handling Company, the sole ground service operator in the country. This move aims to enhance efficiency and attract investment to improve airport services.

Meanwhile, Dana Air in Nigeria faces significant challenges as an unspecified number of employees are facing retrenchments following the suspension of the airline’s operating license. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) is conducting an operational audit after the airline’s sole aircraft, an MD-82 registered 5N-BKI (MSN 49482), was put out of service due to a runway excursion on April 24, 2024.

Air Peace Limited experienced a royal moment, flying the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan, along with their entourage, on one of their aircraft.

Lastly, Lome-Tokoin Airport has advanced to Level 2 in the Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) program, reflecting its ongoing efforts to reduce carbon emissions and enhance environmental sustainability. This achievement demonstrates the airport’s dedication to adopting greener practices and contributing to global environmental goals.

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