Top 11 Emerging Airlines Dominating Africa’s Airspace

A number of new airlines have taken center stage as the African aviation sector has experienced substantial expansion and development in recent years.

In terms of growth, market share, and innovation, the top 11 airlines in Africa have been in charge of the continent’s airspace.

These airlines have helped the continent of Africa become more connected, prosper economically, and attract more tourists.

“Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.” ~ Eddie Rickenbacker.

Let’s investigate the specifics and success tales of these airlines.

Kenya Airways

Kenya Airways, dubbed “The Pride of Africa,” is a significant African airline with a broad network of domestic, regional, and international routes.

After East African Airways was dissolved, this airline was established in 1977, with its headquarters in Embakasi, Nairobi, and its hub at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

After being held by the Kenyan government until April 1995, the airline was successfully privatized in 1996, making it the first African flag carrier to do so. At the moment, Kenya Airways is a public-private partnership. The Government of Kenya is the company’s largest shareholder (48.9%), followed by KQ Lenders Company 2017 Ltd (which is controlled by a group of banks), which holds a stake of 38.1%, and KLM, which holds a 7.8% stake.

South African Airways

With a broad local and international flight schedule, South African Airways is a significant player in the African aviation sector. The airline has cultivated ties throughout the African continent and beyond using Johannesburg as its main hub. South African Airways still plays a significant role in African aviation despite recent financial difficulties.

The national airline of South Africa is South African Airways. The airline, which was established in 1934, has its main office in Airways Park at Johannesburg’s O. R. Tambo International Airport. It has a hub-and-spoke network and serves ten African countries.

ASKY Airline

Based in Lomé, Togo, ASKY Airline is a well-known airline in West Africa. As a consequence of a partnership between many West African countries, it was founded in 2008. The airline connects passengers to a variety of locations within the region and beyond by operating a fleet of contemporary aircraft on both domestic and international routes.

ASKY Airline takes pleasure in offering its customers a secure and relaxing journey. The airline places a high value on customer pleasure and provides a variety of services to improve the whole trip. ASKY works to make traveling easy and fun, including convenient online booking, check-in, and in-flight amenities.

ASKY Airlines is a privately owned, international passenger airline with hub operations at Gnassingbé Eyadéma International Airport and headquarters in Lomé, Togo. The airline has routinely turned a profit since 2017 and is a strategic partner of Ethiopian Airlines.


The national airline of Egypt, which began operations in July 1933, has established a reputation as a top carrier linking Africa to the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. EgyptAir runs a vast network with more than 80 destinations globally using Cairo as its core. It has been essential in fostering trade and encouraging tourism within Africa.

The national airline of Egypt is owned by the government. Cairo International Airport serves as the airline’s major hub and its base of operations. It offers scheduled passenger and freight connections to 81 locations across Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Star Alliance includes EgyptAir as a member.

Air Mauritius

The national carrier of Mauritius is Air Mauritius. The airline has its main office in Port Louis, Mauritius, and Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport serves as its hub. Following the COVID-19 epidemic, the company entered voluntary administration on April 22, 2020, and left voluntary administration in the middle of 2021.

The national airline of Mauritius, Air Mauritius, has been instrumental in bridging the Indian Ocean region with Africa, Asia, and Europe. The airline has made Mauritius a significant hub, supporting both leisure and commercial travel. Despite obstacles, Air Mauritius has been able to keep its market position and grow its network.


RwandAir is renowned for its quick expansion and dedication to providing top-notch service. The Kigali-based airline has steadily increased both its domestic and international route network. RwandAir is a major participant in the African aviation industry thanks to its successful contemporary fleet and smart alliances with other carriers.

The national airline of Rwanda, RwandAir Limited, started flying on April 27, 2003. From its primary base at Kigali International Airport, it runs internal and international services to East Africa, Central Africa, West Africa, Southern Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

Additionally, RwandAir has codeshare agreements with Proflight Zambia, South African Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, and Turkish Airlines. Both Business Class and Economy Class cabins are available on the airline’s fleet of aircraft.

Royal Air Maroc

Royal Air Maroc recently expanded significantly, securing its place as one of the top airlines in North Africa. The airline has substantial connectivity throughout Africa, Europe, the America, and the Middle East from its hub in Casablanca. Because of Morocco’s advantageous location as a hub connecting Africa and other continents, Royal Air Maroc has benefited.

RAM is the abbreviation for Royal Air Maroc, which was established on June 28, 1957, in Casablanca, Morocco. RAM is also the biggest airline in Morocco.

The Moroccan government owns all of RAM, which is headquartered on the premises of Casablanca-Anfa Airport. In 2020, it joined the Oneworld alliance.

Air Seychelles

Air Seychelles, founded in 1977, connects the Indian Ocean archipelago of Seychelles to destinations in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. It is critical to the tourism business of the Seychelles.

Air Seychelles was founded and was owned by the Seychelles government, who purchased and combined many minor aircraft operators into one airline.

Following management and economic issues, Etihad Airways purchased a 40% share in Air Seychelles in 2012 for $45 million. Etihad Airways announced on May 1, 2021, that it has sold its 40% interest to the Government of Seychelles for $1 billion.


Fastjet, a Tanzanian low-cost carrier, has been instrumental in providing affordable air travel to an increasing number of African visitors. The airline has concentrated on local and regional operations, making previously inaccessible routes available. Fastjet’s aggressive price policy has garnered a sizable client base, leading to the company’s growth and market supremacy.

To begin operations, Rubicon Diversified Investments Plc (later renamed Fastjet Plc) finalized the acquisition of Lonrho’s airline division in June 2012 for a transaction value of US$85.7 million, which was satisfied by the issuance of Rubicon ordinary shares to Lonrho. Lonrho and Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, through his easyGroup Holdings Limited (“easyGroup”), would be major shareholders in the larger business.

The airline division acquired included the African regional airline Fly 540, which operates in Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda, and would serve as the foundation for the construction of an African low-cost carrier branded ‘Fastjet’ under the conditions of the easyGroup brand licence agreement.

Air Algérie

The national airline of Algeria, Air Algérie, was established in 1947 and has played a crucial role in tying Algeria to other African nations, Europe, and the Middle East.

With its hub in Algiers and its head office in the Immeuble El-Djazair in Algiers, the airline has grown its network by catering to various markets and boosting trade and tourism.

Air Algérie offers scheduled international flights from Houari Boumedienne Airport to 39 locations in 28 nations in Europe, North America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, as well as domestic flights to 32 airports. 100% of Air Algérie was owned by the Algerian government as of December 2013.

Air Peace

As a private Nigerian airline, Air Peace Limited was established in 2013 by businessman and attorney Allen Onyema from Nigeria. The airline was established primarily to give young people in Nigeria access to economic opportunities. With Dornier 328 and Boeing 737 aircraft, the airline launched operations.

The first international flight to Accra, Ghana’s Kotoka International Airport began in 2017, and by 2018 and the airline received its first Boeing 777s in the same year, and in 2019 it started operating flights to Sharjah. In 2020, flights to Johannesburg, South Africa, commenced. Air Peace held the greatest market share in Nigeria’s domestic airline sector.

The national airline of Nigeria and the biggest airline in West Africa, has its headquarters in Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria.

The main cities of Nigeria are served by the passenger and charter airline Air Peace, which also travels to various locations in West Africa and the Middle East. In 2018, the airline also created a division called Air Peace Hopper.

The rise of these top 11 airlines has changed the aviation environment of Africa by encouraging tourism, improving connectivity, and accelerating economic development.

These airlines have dominated African airspace and bolstered the continent’s position in the global aviation market by smart expansion, cutting-edge services, and strong networks.

These airlines are set to play an increasingly greater role in determining the future of African aviation as the continent continues to experience economic expansion.

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