By John Oyuke
Missed connections, long lay-overs at airports, and unexpected hotel accommodations could be a thing of the past for air passengers travelling from or within the continent if a move by African airlines to align their schedules succeeds.
African Airlines Association (Afraa), a trade association of airlines from the African Union, has embarked on a new route network cooperation project to align frequencies, day of operation and departure time to ensure passengers enjoy a seamless travel experience.
The Nairobi-based association has teamed up with Sabre Airline Solutions, a provider of integrated solutions and services for airlines and airports to implement an African Route Network Co-operation project.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has already been signed by the two to harmonise their networks as well as develop new routes.
AFRAA Secretary General Dr Elijah Chingosho said though airlines are in competition with each other and may have reservations in working together, Afraa is aware that in adopting the plan its member airlines would all benefit.
“The industry abounds with numerous examples of airlines working together either through alliances or other forms of collaboration,” he said while opening a route network coordination meeting in Nairobi.
The first meeting of interested airlines in this project which include Kenya Airways, TAAG Angola Airlines, South African Airways, RwandAir, Air Malawi and Air Zimbabwe took place at the Afraa head office last month.
A three-man team from Sabre facilitatedoffered technical assistance throughout the meeting and will continue doing so afterwards.
Sabre has experience in implementing similar network co-operation projects for airlines in the Middle East, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
Chingosho explained that Sabre Airline Solutions will act as the independent third party consultant for the airlines, in implementation of the project, ensuring that the project is fully implemented and the benefit realized by each participating airline.
- Salva Kiir sacks top South Sudan officials
- Lawyer wants Chinedu to appear in court
- Maji marefu’s futile effort to find stolen property
- Can chickens really be cleverer than a toddler? Studies suggest animals can master numeracy and basic engineering
- Freedom of media under threat in Eastern Africa
- Rapid desertification in Kenya threatening livelihood