Unlike those from the developed countries, the oldest airlines in Africa are only a few decades old. Despite this, many have grown significantly to attain recognition not only on the continent but all over the world. While international carriers still dominate the most profitable routes in Africa, local airlines have dominated the domestic market and are slowly taking up most operations connecting Africa to the rest of the world. List of the best airlines in Africa These are the most developed airlines on the continent:
1. Ethiopian Airlines Ethiopian Airlines is, without a doubt one of the richest airlines, not just in Africa but also around the world. The airline is home to more than 115 ultra-modern fleets, one of the highest numbers in Africa. These figures place it as the biggest airline in Africa. The ultra-modern fleets assist the airline in serving passengers from 120 destinations across the globe.
fleet and serving slightly over 120 destinations across the world, the airline is synonymous with comfort and space. Even though the definition of luxury is relative, the airline has in the last three years, received the highest ratings as far as comfort and space are concerned. Ethiopian Airlines is also one of the most affordable airlines in Africa. While the ticket pricing is subject to several factors, its pricing is always lower (and affordable) compared to its global competitors.
2. South African Airways South African Airways is one of the most reliable airlines in Africa. With its headquarters in Tambo International Airport, South Africa, the airline is a recipient of numerous awards. Some of these awards include Best Airline Staff, Best Business Lounge, Best airline Cabin Cleanliness, and Best Cabin Crew. Over the years, South African Airways has demonstrated its commitment to customer satisfaction. Flying with the South Africa airlines is a great opportunity to be part of unparalleled African hospitality. The airline is also known for its stand on quality services.
Compared to local and international competitors, Southern African Airways has the best deals as far as ticket prices are concerned. The prices, however, depend on several factors. In the case of missing luggage or breakdown of communication, the carrier’s customer service is fast to respond.
3. Air Mauritius Prior to 1967, Mauritius — the paradise island — was less connected through the air. Air Mauritius has connected the island to the world in the last five decades. Currently, the carrier has direct flights to 4 continents and 22 destinations. On average, the carrier has over 1.7 million passengers yearly, thanks to the airline’s 13 airliners. Image: airmauritius.com Source: UGC Although the airline transport over 40,000 tons of cargo every year, its primary revenue is from passengers – to and from Mauritius. The airline’s biggest source of income explains the reason why Air Mauritius is synonymous with unparalleled customer care and its dedication to comfort and space for passengers. Thanks to Air Mauritius’ approach to the aviation industry, the carrier has received some of the key aviation awards. According to SKYTRAX rankings, Air Mauritius is the safest airline in Africa.
4. Kenya Airways Founded in 1977, the airline is one of the most popular airlines in Africa. Over the years, Kenya Airways has gone through changeovers, especially in management and its general operations. One of these key transitions is becoming the first national carrier in Africa to go through privatization. Although there are talks on nationalizing the carrier, operating as an autonomous entity has enabled the carrier to compete with other airlines effectively. Over the years, the airline has redefined professionalism in this industry. The passengers, for example, are certain about comfort, security, and unmatched customer care. Kenyan Airways is also one of the few airlines in Africa to have flexible booking procedures. In 2019, the airline became part of the few airlines that have direct flights to the USA. According to pundits, direct flights to the USA were an important boost to the African aviation industry and more importantly, to the Kenyan carrier.
5. Royal Air Maroc Royal Air Maroc (RAM) is one of the largest airlines in North Africa. A list of the best carriers in Africa is incomplete without mentioning RAM, which is owned entirely by the government of Morocco. Founded in 1957, RAM is also one of the oldest carriers in Africa. Apart from offering some of the best deals in North Africa, RAM is synonymous with its spacious and comfortable fleet. Thanks to this trademark, Royal Air Maroc has the highest number of destinations, 98, making it in the list of the best African airlines. The Casablanca based carrier also offers some of the best deals in the African aviation industry. RAM opened new destinations with the primary purpose of expanding its market. In the next decade, the carrier hopes to launch flights to Asia, with a focus on China.
6. Fastjet Fastjet — a South African/British airline — is one of the best low-cost carries on this list. With less than a decade in operation, the carrier has redefined budget travelling in Africa. Prior to Fastjet, the budget travel options were inexistent. Fortunately, Fastjet has opened doors for other budget-friendly airlines in Africa. Fastjet is in two main countries — South Africa and Zimbabwe. The company has, in the recent past, expanded to other markets such as Tanzania, Mozambique, and Zambia. Although the aviation industry in Africa has faced many financial challenges, young airlines such as Fastjet have continued to register growth and expansion. The main reason why Fastjet is one of the best airlines in Africa is the company’s commitment to customer care. The carrier is one of the best examples of customer-centred airlines in Africa.
7. Air Seychelles The airline is the national carrier for the Republic of Seychelles. Air Seychelles, like other successful airline sin Africa has undergone through different transitions. One of these transitions is the acquisition of 40% of the airline’s ownership by Etihad Airways — another giant in the air travel. Image: airseychelles.com Source: UGC Although the airline has only six destinations, it is one of the most efficient airlines in Africa, based on different reasons. One of the key areas that makes Air Seychelles one of the best airlines in Africa is the carrier’s commitment to customer service. For example, the carrier is one of the few airlines in the world that allows passengers (in the economy class) to check in with a maximum of two suitcases (32 kilograms each). Finally, Air Seychelles is a progressive airline, thanks to its attachment to Etihad. All the policies by this carrier are well thought and futuristic.
8. Arik Air Airlines Commonly referred to as the wings of Nigeria, the carrier is the only airline from Western Africa on this list. Among all the West Africa airlines, Arik Air is the most progressive and customer-centred carrier. Founded in 2002, the airline has redefined air travel in this part of the world, especially for passengers travelling on a budget. . According to the management, treating their passengers well is one of the company’s focus in the industry. In addition, the company has one of the best loyalty programs in Africa. The main aim of the loyalty program is to reward passengers using the carrier in their 13 destinations. Even though the airline has faced some financial challenges, it has been able to readjust policies on time. In less than two decades, the airline is redefining air travel in Nigeria and the surrounding countries.
9. Mango Airlines In most cases, government-owned airlines are expensive for passengers. Mango Airlines, a state-owned, carrier is, however, one of the most affordable airlines in Africa. South African Airlines is also one of the best entities as far as adapting to technology is concerned. The ticketing process, for example, is purely an online process and therefore one of the best in Africa. In order to make the airline one of the most affordable airlines in Africa, it does not include drinks and food in the ticket prices. However, the airline has partners in the hospitality industry that give passengers these services. Outsourcing these services creates a win-win situation between the carrier and the passengers.
10. TAAG Angola Airlines TAAG is the oldest airline in Africa. Founded in late 1938, TAAG Angola Airlines has not only redefined longevity in the air travel industry but it has also opened up Angola as one of the key trading and tourism destinations in Africa. The government of Angola owns 100% of the airline’s shares and therefore making it a fully government-owned carrier. The airline has 31 destinations on four continents. The 31 destinations are all strategically located across the globe. Over the years, TAAG has been able to overcome harsh economic realities in the aviation industry by only flying in economically viable routes. TAAG is also synonymous with comfort and futuristic air travel, thanks to its all-Boeing fleet. The carrier has also registered some of the highest ratings from clients across the world. Although there are new entries in the African aviation industry – such as Air Tanzania – the above 10, companies are the best airlines in Africa. It is also interesting to note that airlines have global and African partners. Through partnerships, the carriers have been able to compete with global giants such as British Airways and Emirates Group.