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Pros & Cons Of A Huge Hub + Airline In Africa  
User currently offlineNseljac77 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 22 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 5 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4252 times:

What are the pros and cons of building a huge hub + airline in Africa to capture a slice of the following markets:

South America / Europe
South America / Middle East
North America / South Africa
North America / Middle East
North America / South East Asia + India

LOS, ACC, DLA, ABJ or DKR are potential sites…

nseljac

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePlaneloco From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 99 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 5 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4211 times:

For starters I believe that SAA, Continental, and Delta are already capturing the existing demand on the US - South Africa route. They have figured out that a stop in West Africa's largest city, Lagos, caters to any immigrant or diplomatic travel, plus allows for quick regional connections and potential, future alliances with any of the "reliable" airlines there.

Given the track record of West African carriers, the reality of local government and business practices (I am only familiar with Nigeria and Cote d'Ivoire), as well as the airport infrastructure, plus the cost of importing or contracting competent maintenance and service personnel - I could not envision an investor placing odds on success?

I sure hope Virgin Nigeria makes it.


User currently offlineJbmitt From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 547 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (8 years 5 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4192 times:

Where exactly is Continental flying to in Africa? They certainly aren't flying to South Africa. They could perhaps fly to destinations in North Africa and maybe as far south as Nigeria.

User currently offlineSeeTheWorld From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 1325 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (8 years 5 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4161 times:

One of the biggest problems in Africa is the strict bilaterals - their national carriers are not strong enough to compete against European and U.S. carriers. Also, politically they cannot bring themselves to allow more flights (let alone a hub by a non-national carrier) into their markets for fear of losing the national carrier.

I spent some time in Accra, Ghana working with the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) in 2000, and they wanted to create a West African hub in Accra. However, they refused to allow KLM, Sabena, British Airways, et. al. from flying more flights into ACC (even though they were requesting more rights) for fear of putting Ghana Airways out of business. It happened anyway. Several of the GCAA members were executives with Ghana Airways - go figure.

I also spent several weeks in Abidjan, Coite d'Ivoire trying to help save Air Afrique in 2001. One of the biggest problems there was that Air Afrique was operated by 11 French-speaking African nations, and guess what? Rather than operate hubs from Abidjan and Dakar, every Minister of Transport wanted nonstop flights to Paris, regardless of profitability. Plus there were 4,000 employees and they only had 10 aircraft.

SAA has been the most successful African carrier, and most of the other African countries try to limit SAA's growth because they'd rather forgo economic development in their countries with SAA service than risk putting their own struggling carriers out of business.

Throw in lack of airline management experience, corruption, poor infrastructure, etc. and the scenario is pretty gloomy.


User currently offlineNseljac77 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 22 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 5 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4115 times:

My arguments are the following:

- From Senegal to… let’s say Angola, there are more than 300 million people.
- They are well situated to compete for intercontinental routes, ideal for an efficient hub.
- With appropriate investments, they can import good people (UAE / EK is doing so)…
- The potential for bio tourism is also there…

Sure, there are a lot of cons, but some companies have been successful in that environment, KQ, ET

Isn’t there a niche for a potential fast growing market, regardless of how negative the local authorities could be?  Yeah sure

Nseljac77


User currently offlineHB-IWC From Indonesia, joined Sep 2000, 4509 posts, RR: 72
Reply 5, posted (8 years 5 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4090 times:

Quoting Nseljac77 (Thread starter):
South America / Europe
South America / Middle East
North America / South Africa
North America / Middle East
North America / South East Asia + India

Don't forget the intra-Africa traffic. Anyone who has spent some time in Africa will be able to testify how challenging intra-Africa connections can be. The non-insider would be surprised to see how many passengers are commuting within Africa via Europe, because connecting in Europe offers more reliable and more frequent traffic than trying to build a daunting itinerary through one or more African gateways.

When I was in Africa in the late 90s, connections like FIH-BRU-DKR, JNB-ZRH-BRU-CKY, OUA-CDG-LBV and so many others were a daily occurrence. Since then, the likes of SAA, KQ and ET have strengthened their African networks, but I firmly believe that there is still very much need for some kind of African hub, or even better a dual hub system with one center on the West Coast (ACC comes to mind as one of the more potential airports) and another on the East Coast (NBO, maybe).

Such a dual hub system could perfectly serve a fine maze of African destinations, providing for much needed intra African connections, including some East-West connections, which are currently hard to come by. The system could then be fed by longhaul flights from Europe, North America, the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent and even the Far East. At the same time, such a system should firmly focus on traffic to, from and within Africa, and leave the through traffic to hub systems which are geographically better placed for such a function.

The problem is of course that several, if not most, African Governments are not ready for such a revolutionary concept, because all that matters to them are the interests of the own country as well as personal interests. The Air Afrique faillure is the best example on how individual interests have brought such a project down.


User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 5 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4080 times:

Quoting Nseljac77 (Reply 4):
- From Senegal to… let’s say Angola, there are more than 300 million people.
- They are well situated to compete for intercontinental routes, ideal for an efficient hub.
- With appropriate investments, they can import good people (UAE / EK is doing so)…

300 million people who in 99% of cases, can't afford bus fare, never mind pay for expensive civil aviation infrastructure, or make use of it.

As for biotourism - ummm, tourism is going to be tricky amidst the minefields of Angola, or the limb-lopping civil strife in Sierra Leone, or the mindless tribal bloodbath that is the DRC/Burundi/Rwanda etc. Good luck with that !

The answer to your question is simple - Africa already has all the hubs it needs - Johannesburg, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Dakar, Cairo and Casablanca, with a growing hub in Port Louis, Mauritius. That's loads.


User currently offlinePlaneloco From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 99 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 5 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4062 times:

Quoting jbmitt...

-"Where exactly is Continental flying to in Africa? They certainly aren't flying to South Africa. They could perhaps fly to destinations in North Africa and maybe as far south as Nigeria."

I forgot that Continental put EWR - LOS on hold due to some sort bi-lateral issues.


User currently offlineNseljac77 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 22 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 5 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4034 times:

The idea was to turn Rwanda in a very trendy destination in a few years…  Big grin

Seriously, the Persian Gulf can be perceived as a very tricky place based on the past and even present events. In that environment, UAE / EK is succeeding by using their geographical position as an asset…  wink 

The 1% out of 300 million is because the fares are among the highest in the world. With a bit of economic of scale and cost reduction --> lower/fair fares, the 1% could go up to, let’s say… 3% (let’s go crazy!). 3% of 300 million is… 9 million... in fact I do think it can even go higher.

I agree with NBO, JNB, CAS and MRU are doing well, but the west and central part of Africa (the one I mentioned) are still underserved.

Nseljac77


User currently offlineHB-IWC From Indonesia, joined Sep 2000, 4509 posts, RR: 72
Reply 9, posted (8 years 5 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4014 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 6):
The answer to your question is simple - Africa already has all the hubs it needs - Johannesburg, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Dakar, Cairo and Casablanca, with a growing hub in Port Louis, Mauritius. That's loads.

Plenty of would-be hubs, that is, but nothing that comes close to offering a solution to the troubles faced by those weary travelers trying to get around Africa with some kind of consistency and reliability. As I explained above, a multinational approach could take care of all that, but such a project would require that national and other vested interests be set aside, and that's not about to happen for at least another couple of decades.


User currently offlineTS-IOR From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 3488 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (8 years 5 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3922 times:

Tripoli, with Afriqyah, aims to become, and it is becoming, a hub for traffic between Europe and subsaharian/west Africa. Casablanca is a second example, and Tunis is trying too, but the vocation is not yet  Wink For years, Dakar has been the gate for west Africa before giving that hub function to Lagos. Addis Abeba and Nairobi, each one, want to have suitable regional correspondances with adjacent coutries !!! I think that things are moving in North, West, East and South Africa, and unfortunately going worse in the centre and the saharian area of the continent !!!

User currently offline787KQ From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 549 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3693 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 6):
The answer to your question is simple - Africa already has all the hubs it needs - Johannesburg, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Dakar, Cairo and Casablanca, with a growing hub in Port Louis, Mauritius. That's loads.

Port Louis is not a really a connecting hub at all. None of the above is an intra-West African connecting hub. Its reasonably easy to get around all but West Africa, which is horrendous.


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