Airbus has identified unserved air routes to, from and within Africa

20th June 2024

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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On Thursday, at the AviaDev Conference in Windhoek, Namibia, Airbus released its latest report on commercial aviation in Africa. The 53-page report is titled 'Exploring the horizons: A study of unserved air routes to, from and within Africa'.

“Despite significant traffic between certain city-pairs, some identified routes still lack regularly scheduled non-stop flights,” pointed out Airbus market intelligence and consulting director Geert Lemaire. “Factors such as restrictive bilateral air service agreements, economic variables, and challenges and capacity, frequency and operating cost efficiency contribute to these routes remaining unserved.”

Perhaps surprisingly, several of the unserved routes identified by Airbus involve major cities, including Cape Town (South Africa), Dakar (Senegal), Douala (Cameroon), Lagos (Nigeria) and Nairobi (Kenya). Establishing scheduled services on the currently unserved routes across the continent would impel economic growth, increase connectivity for travellers, and deliver a significant revenue boost for African airlines.

Airbus identified 15 “Top Tier” unserved direct routes to and from, or within, Africa. Of these, 11 did once exist, and although the majority of these were terminated years ago, four were still being operated as recently as 2022. Of the total, ten were intercontinental routes, and five were international routes within Africa. The region with the greatest number of unserved routes was West Africa, with nine out of the 15.

The top five unserved intra-African air routes were Dakar-Libreville (Gabon), Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire)-Douala, Abuja (Nigeria)-Nairobi, Cape Town-Lagos, and Dakar-Douala. The top ten unserved intercontinental routes were Harare (Zimbabwe)-London (UK), Johannesburg (South Africa)-Mumbai (India), Lagos-New York (US), Lagos-Toronto (Canada), Entebbe (Uganda)-London, Lagos-Manchester (UK), Cape Town-Brussels (Belgium), Durban (South Africa)-London, Nairobi-Washington DC (US), and Lagos-Houston (US). (The city pairs were in alphabetical order, and each pair embraced flights in both directions.)

“With our capacity to make analyses about route and network development potential in-house, Airbus remains committed to partnering with airlines across Africa to identify optimised fleet solutions in line with network development requirements that further stimulate the continent’s air transport industry growth and improve connectivity for travellers,” he said.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter




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