The group will launch flights to five new African destinations over the next twelve months, and will increase frequencies on several existing routes.
This winter Air France will fly twice-weekly to the port city of Bata in Equitorial Guinea, using an Air France Dedicate A319 aircraft, while KLM will launch a five-times weekly service to the Rwanadan capital Kigali, via Entebbe.
In the summer of 2011 Air France plans to serve Freetown in Sierra Leone twice weekly, and the Liberian capital Monrovia three-times weekly, and both Air France and KLM will fly to Tripoli, with five-times weekly and daily services respectively.
Air France will also increase frequencies to Pointe Noire (Republic of Congo), Libreville (Gabon) and Malabo (Equitorial Guinea), while KLM will up services to Dar Es Salaam and Kilimandjaro in Tanzania, as well as a planned increase in services to Abuja and Kano in Nigeria.
Air France says that its new Premium Voyageur seating will be available on 95 per cent of African destinations plied by wide bodied aircraft this winter. The carrier was also the first airline to offer scheduled A380 services to Africa, with the introduction of the superjumbo on to flights to Johannesburg earlier this year.
Skyteam members Air France and KLM offer a total of 43 destinations in Africa. Rival Star Alliance carrier Brussels Airlines – often seen as Africa specialists due to the carrier’s extensive connections in the region built up during its previous incarnation as Belgium national airline Sabena – offers a total of 18 destinations throughout Africa.
Report by Mark Caswell