Africa news round-up 6/6/12


SAA scraps direct Cape Town flights

South African Airways (SAA) is to stop flying direct to Cape Town from 16 August. The airline announced it is to fly to the city via Johannesburg or Tambo International Airport using larger aircraft to boost capacity by 13%. It comes as the airline shuffles its services to better serve its growing Accra, Mumbai and Perth routes. Competition has also been tight on the route with the market between the UK and South Africa falling 24% in the last three years. It also blamed the sale of Star Alliance partner bmi, which has reduced other members’ connections from Heathrow into Europe. Click here for full story 


Kenya Airways boosts regional routes  

Kenya Airways has strengthened its regional presence with new flights to Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania and Eldoret in Kenya’s Rift Valley. From 2 July, the Nairobi-based carrier will fly to Kilimanjaro six times a week using an Embraer E170, rising to daily from October. The Eldoret service will operate twice a day from 4 July, also using an Embraer E170. Kenya Airways has also added another Embraer E190 to its fleet, leased from US-based Air Lease Corporation (ALC).


Tripoli airport reopens after invasion 

Tripoli airport reopened on Monday, a day after an armed group invaded the runway. According to the BBC, militiamen drove armoured trucks onto the runway, forcing flights to be diverted. They were believed to be demanding the release of one of their leaders. Gunfire was also reported during the government’s attempts to regain control of the airport. Several international airlines resumed flights to Tripoli earlier this year following the downfall of Muammar Gadaffi’s regime.


Kenya to build Africa’s first underwater museum  

Construction on a museum dedicated to the study of marine life and shipwrecks is set to get underway in Kenya’s Malindi Marine National Park. Expected to be open in 2014, the underwater museum will be located off the coast of Malindi, a popular tourist destination. Cesar Bita, Head of Archaeology at the National Museums of Kenya, said the government would “partner with many organisations” to boost the study of marine life.


Tanzania reassures tourists over Zanzibar  

The Tanzanian government has moved to reassure tourists following the riots that erupted in Zanzibar at the weekend. The country’s Minister for Tourism & Natural Resources, Khamis Kagasheki, said the unrest was an “isolated incident” that has been “brought under control by the government”. “There were no reports of destruction of hotels or attacks on tourists,” he added. The unrest saw a spate of church burnings on the Indian Ocean resort island.

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