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Africa Renewal Thursday August 10, 2017
African airlines wait for open skies
Since relocating to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) two years ago, Firmin Agossou has had a variety of options when traveling home to Benin. Employed in the eastern city of Goma, he often returns to Cotonou to spend time with his family. The quickest way would be by car from Goma to Kigali and from there take a five-hour direct flight by RwandAir to Benin, Mr. Agossou told Africa Renewal. Or he could fly out of Goma to Kinshasa and then fly home aboard ASKY, a West African airline with an active hub in Lom, Togo. There is also the option of flying through Addis Ababa. But when it comes right down to it, the best choice for Mr. Agossou is to fly out of Kigali or risk getting stranded in Lom should he miss a connecting flight. "Flying out of Kigali is the most convenient option. It's simple and no hassle," he says. Thousands of air travellers like Mr. Agossou face complicated choices when flying between cities across the continent. Although transiting through Europe when flying between two African cities is for the most part no longer necessary, still, as Mr. Agossou has discovered, choices remain constrained by sub-optimal travel conditions including long layovers, relatively high fares, uncertain flight schedules and poor quality of services, underscoring the challenges facing air carriers trying to attract passengers and...Read more