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African Air Travel Story

British newspaper the Independent has a pretty good story about the current state of air travel in Africa:

A man driving a souped-up golf cart
with a flight of stairs attached drove straight into the side of the
plane on which I was due to depart.  In any Western country, this mishap would have been enough to delay
the flight by hours while a replacement plane was found. In Zimbabwe, a
few men with hammers climbed on board, knocked out the visible dents,
and within two hours, we took off.

And so it is to travel in Africa, where flights between two nearby countries will often require a change of planes in London or Frankfurt.  The article notes the launch of Virgin Nigeria, which is definitely a piece of good news for the aviation community on the continent, as well as the vast improvements seen over at Ethiopian Airways.  It’ll be some time before we see any carriers on the scale of Air Asia bringing lowcost travel to the African market, but we’ve already seen strides in that direction with Kulula in South Africa.  10 years from now, growth in low cost air travel will make the continent feel much smaller.

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