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Top 10 best airlines in Africa

Skytrax has revealed the World’s Top 100 Airlines for 2021 and Ethiopian Airlines maintained its number one ranking as the best African airline in 2021. The awards were based on customer surveys collected for 23 months, from September 2019 to July 2021, and comprise a mix of more normal travel times and pandemic travel. While the pandemic caused some shifting of airline positions compared to 2019, a handful of core airlines still maintained the higher rankings.

Branded as the Passenger’s Choice Awards, over 13 million travelers worldwide nominated their favorite airline in a survey and ranked specific aspects of the customer experience on a scale of one to five, including cabin service, COVID-19 response, ground/airport services, and the onboard product. Over 350 airlines were included in the survey results.

In Africa, the top African three airlines were Ethiopian Airlines, South African Airways, and Kenya Airways. Globally, Qatar Airways took home the gold for the sixth time since 2001, followed by Singapore Airlines in second and Japan-based ANA All Nippon Airways in third. Qatar also secured five other awards, including Best Business Class , Best Business Class Seat, Best Airline in the Middle East , World’s Best Business Class Airline Lounge, and Best Business Class Onboard Catering.

Other noteworthy winners were Saudi Arabian Airlines , winning Most Improved Airline, Singapore’s subsidiary Scoot taking home Best Long Haul Low-Cost Airline, and Spain-based Vueling securing Best Low-Cost Airline in Europe.

Here’s a closer look at the top 10 African airlines for 2021.

Fastjet Plc is a British/South African-based holding company for a group of low-cost carriers that operate in Africa. The company’s stated aim is to become the continent’s first low-cost, pan-African airline, and the operation was initially created with the acquisition of Fly540, an airline operating in East Africa; flights in Fastjet’s own name commenced in November 2012 in Tanzania. Fastjet Zimbabwe commenced flights in October 2015, and Fastjet Mozambique in November 2017. Plans have also been announced for domestic operations in South Africa. As of February 2018, the airline operates four Embraer E145 aircraft across East- and southern Africa. It has carried in excess of 2.5 million passengers with an aggregate 90% on-time performance.

The national carrier of the Arab Republic of Egypt, EgyptAir is based at Cairo International Airport. The airline’s network includes extensive domestic and regional scheduled passenger and freight services within Egypt and Africa as well as international services to Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America. EgyptAir is among the largest carriers on the African continent and became a member of the Star Alliance in Jul-2008. EgyptAir Cargo is the airlines dedicated cargo division serving Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

FlySafair is a low-cost South African airline based in Johannesburg, South Africa. The airline specialises in flying domestic flights within South Africa, flying to more than five different destinations across the country.

The airline began operating in October 2014, although the company behind FlySafair has been operating for 50 years. FlySafair has its hubs based in Cape Town International Airport (CPT), OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) and King Shaka International Airport (DUR).

FlySafair flies to 7 domestic destinations within South Africa, including Cape Town, Durban, East London, George, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg. It flies to these destinations using its fleet of 16 Boeing aircraft.

RwandAir, the national carrier of Rwanda, currently flies to over 30 destinations in Western, Central, Eastern and Southern Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe. With Kigali International Airport (KGL) as its hub, the airline is one of the fastest-growing airlines and has one of the youngest, state of the art fleets in all of Africa.

The airline has a mission to provide unsurpassed, safe and reliable services in air transportation, including strategically linking Rwanda with the outside world.

Air Seychelles is the national airline of Seychelles and is headquartered on the island of Mahe. The airline flies to several destinations across multiple countries in Africa and central/eastern Asia.

Air Seychelles was established in 1978, initially flying only domestic flights, until 1983 when the airline launched its first international flights to, serving both Frankfurt and London. Over the years, the airline built and adapted its international route network out and now flies to several countries outside of Seychelles.

In 2014, Air Seychelles received a prestigious four-star rating from Skytrax, as well as accolades for the Leading Business Class and Leading Cabin Crew in the Indian Ocean from the World Travel Awards.

Air Mauritius is the national flag carrier of Mauritius, based at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, Port Louis, Mauritius. The flag carrier is the fourth largest carrier in sub-Saharan Africa and commenced operations in 1972 under the company name of Air Mauritius ltd. Passengers can fly direct to 23 destinations, and to over 100 destinations with the airline’s partners.

Royal Air Maroc, which is commonly known as ‘RAM’, is the largest airline in Morocco. The airline was founded in July 1953, as a result of a merger of Air Maroc and Air Atlas. The airline is headquartered at Casablanca-Anfa Airport, near the Moroccan city of Casablanca, but its primary hub airport is Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport.

RAM operates both medium-haul and long-haul flights and flies to over 100 destinations worldwide, including countries in Europe, Africa, the Americas and the Middle East.

Kenya Airways is one of the largest airlines in Africa, and flies all across the world to top destinations. The airline has grown tremendously since conception and continues to thrive across the African skies.

Boasting a crew of friendly and helpful staff, it’s no wonder Kenya Airways holds the 2016 and 2017 World Travel Award for Africa’s Leading Airline! Also, known as ‘Africa’s Pride’, the airline has contributed significantly to raising the standards of African aviation through their continued service excellence.

With hubs at Johannesburg and Cape Town, South African Airways (SAA) is the flag carrier of South Africa and ranks among the largest airlines on the African continent. The carrier is wholly-owned by the South African government and operates an extensive network of services throughout Africa and international services to North America, South America, Asia, Australia and Europe. SAA became a member of the Star Alliance in 2006.

Ethiopian Airlines is the national airline of Ethiopia, based in Addis Ababa. One of the leading airlines on the African continent, Ethiopian Airlines serves more than 60 international destinations across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America, as well as operating an extensive domestic and international cargo network. Ethiopian Airlines became a member of Star Alliance in Dec-2011.


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