Competition on the lucrative Lagos-Johannesburg route comes as Ethiopian Airlines’ strategic partner Asky is set to begin flights to South Africa from May 1, 2022. The commencement of the Lagos-Johannesburg route is curious because the carrier is not a Nigerian registered carrier, and nor is it South African. The granting of the right is curious and yet to be identified under which traffic freedom.
There are indications that the Lome-based carrier could be operating under fifth freedom traffic rights, which allows an airline to carry revenue traffic between foreign countries as a part of services connecting the airline’s own country. This right allows an airline to carry passengers from it’s home country to a second country and from that country onward to a third country.
According to the airline, Johannesburg will have a seamless connection to ASKY’s vast network covering all of West and Central Africa markets with a daily service schedule. These flights, the airline says will be operated using a Boeing 737-800, and flights are on sale. While thanking passengers for their support, the airline welcomed booking and purchase of tickets from any ASKY City/Airport Ticketing Office (CTO/ATO), online via www.flyasky.com or travel agencies.
The commencement of these flights in May brings to three the number of airlines servicing the Lagos-Johannesburg route. Dominant South African Airways with its strong connections from its Johannesburg hub, Air Peace, and now ASKY which dominance in West Africa’s sub-region could make it a force to be reckoned with. These three airlines will battle for market share on the route.
ASKY Airlines is a private multinational passenger airline serving West and Central Africa, with its head office in Lomé, Togo, and its hub at Gnassingbé Eyadéma International Airport. The airline is a strategic partner of Ethiopian Airlines and has been consistently profitable since 2017.
In September 2005, under the initiative of Gervais Koffi G. Djondo, a company for the promotion of a regional airline (SPCAR) was set up. This led to various feasibility and market studies and sought financial and strategic partners. Then ASKY Airlines was set up in November 2007 with Gervais Koffi G. Djondo as President. Eighty percent of shares were held by private investors, and 20 percent by public financial institutions whose mission is to support privately-owned development institutions. Ethiopian Airlines became the technical and strategic partner under a management contract for the first five years of operation, acquiring a 40 percent stake.
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