Really pragmatic times for Africa, I'm afraid is more the reality. National carriers were an expensive and largely unnecessary luxury in a continent where such a huge percentage of the population barely has enough to eat, and certainly cannot afford to fly anywhere. Having the national carrier fly to London, Paris or Rome was a matter of national pride rather than economic necessity.
I think a lot of these carriers have died off as a result of IMF/World Bank requirements related to development loans - there is often an insistence that unecessary expediture be reduced in order to qualify for the loan, and a loss-making national airline is often the most visible target for such cuts.
I suspect that the future pattern will unfold as 3 or 4 large African carriers developing 4 or 5 significant long-haul and regional hubs in Africa, possibly taking over smaller local carriers to provide regional feed and bilateral legality to the thing. Look at SA
opening hubs in DAR and LOS as well as JNB
, and ET
opening up its hub in ACC. Sensible hubs in sub-saharan Africa with good O&D as well as transfer traffic would probably be
JNB - SA - l/h to Europe/Asia/Australia/Americas
LOS - SA - l/h to Europe/Americas
DAR - SA - l/h to Europe/Asia
NBO - KQ - l/h to Europe/Asia/Australia
ABJ - KQ - l/h to Europe/Americas
ADD - ET - l/h to Europe/Asia/Americas
ACC - ET - l/h to Europe/Americas
I think ET
's route structure of reliable and reasonably frequent multi-stop service all the way across the continent should be examined by other African airlines, since this seems to be the only way of providing economically viable service to many points on the continent. If such service is provided between hubs at opposite ends of the continent, and can be timed to coincide with intercontinental arrivals and departures from those hubs, reasonable service levels could be offered.
[Edited 2004-07-28 14:13:43]
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers