New 2018 routes travellers can take advantage of

2018-07-23 06:30 - Gabi Zietsman
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Africa's aviation industry has been growing exponentially over the last year, as a number of airlines have either introduced new routes, restarted old ones or increased capacity to meet growing demand.

As the continent gets more connected to the rest of the world, one initiative is receiving accolades for their work in promoting air access and the growth of their city's air routes.

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Cape Town Air Access was announced as the overall winner at the Routes Africa 2018 Marketing Awards on Tuesday, 17 July, in Ghana, also raking in the award for Destination Marketing while Cape Town International Airport got the top award for airports serving between 4-20 million passengers.

The programme has helped establish 13 new routes and the expansion of 17 new routes, doubling the number of travellers coming to Cape Town.

Another African airport that won the category for 4 million or less passengers, is Abidjan International Airport in Côte d’Ivoire which saw a double-digit growth in the last year.

Cape Town Air Access will be automatically shortlisted for the World Routes Marketing Awards in Guangzhou on 17 September later this year. 

SEE: Cape Town Air Access celebrates 13 new routes since 2015

New 2018 routes to get your around the world

Some of the new routes to Cape Town this year include RwandAir's extension of its Kigali-Harare route to include Cape Town, which started flights in May with four flights a week, and the city also welcomed new flights from Paris with millennial airline Joon, as well as direct flights to Nairobi with Kenya Airlines which started earlier this year.

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Singapore Airlines started flights to Cape Town via Johannesburg on March, with a capacity for 253 passengers. Cape Town Air Access was also integral in setting up direct flights with Cathay Pacific between Cape Town and Hong Kong, which will start in November.

QUICK GUIDE: Visa-free travel to Singapore

Johannesburg in South Africa also got new weekly flights to Kinshasa, operated by Congo Airways, and a second daily service to London with Virgin Atlantic, starting in October. 

Ethiopian Airlines have also started flights between Addis Ababa and the Democratic Republic of Congo's Kisangani and Mbuji Mayi from March this year, flying every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. flydubai also started flights between Dubai and Kinshasa, with a stop in Entebbe.

Ethiopian Airlines have started flying again to Eritrea after 20 years since it stopped the route due to conflict between the two nations.

After a peace agreement was made between Ethiopia's prime minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea's president Isajas Afewerki, the airline announced it will resume its daily flights on 18 July to its capital Asmara, boosting travel between Eritrea and the rest of the world through Addis Ababa.

QUICK GUIDE: Easy eVisa travel to Ethiopia

The airline also started a route from Addis Ababa to Spain's capital Barcelona from the first day of July this year. The new flight route will be flown by the B787-800 Dreamliner, which will have a stopover in Spain's Madrid. They also have a new route to Geneva in Switzerland with a stopover in Milan, Italy.

Alitalia upped connectivity between SA and Europe, re-launching its Johannesburg to Rome route after initially cutting the long-haul service about 17 years ago. The inaugural flight, kick-started the only direct service between SA and Italy in April. 

Zambian airline, Proflight Zambiaannounced a new route linking Lusaka and Harare in Zimbabwe, which has been in effect from 9 July, and fastjet increased flights on its internal Zimbabwean route between Harare and Victoria Falls, starting in July, as well as a new route between Harare and Bulawayo that launched on 20 July. 

QUICK GUIDE: Visa-free travel to Zambia

Russia and Egypt also restored a direct flight route between Cairo and Moscow, which was initially suspended after a 2015 bombing of a Russian plane.

Turkish Airlines increased its large African network with flights to Freetown in Sierra Leone from Istanbul, via Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. This flight operates on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

QUICK GUIDE: Visa-free travel to Turkey

From April Eurowings started a route between Munich and Mauritius with an Airbus 330 long-haul jet. Eurowings also has a codeshare agreement with Lufthansa allowing their customers to easily and comfortably transfer to destinations under the parent company's network. 

Outside of Africa, Emirates launched a route from Dubai to Chile's Santiago, via Sao Paulo in Brazil, flying five times a week.

Qatar Airways started flying between Doha and London's Gatwick Airport from May, which will be increased over the summer months to 16 services per week to make up for demand.

QUICK GUIDE: Visa-free travel to Chile

You can book your flights on these new routes here.