A new bird takes to the skies
Robin Brown takes off with Afriqiyah Airways, a new kid on the block
SOUTH Afr i cans wanting to travel t o Europe now have a new choice in airline as Afriqiyah Airways flies out of OR Tambo on Tuesdays and Saturdays to Tripoli and returns Mondays and Fridays.
Established in April 2001, and commencing service in December the same year, it has now added Johannesburg to its schedules.
Afriqiyah Airways, the Arabic word for “African”, the fledgling airline operates between Tripoli and Benghazi, and internationally to 24 destinations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and China will be added early in 2010.
With its main base in Tripoli the government-owned airline carries the 9.9.99 logo, referring to the Sirte Declaration which marked the formation of the African Union.
The idea was for Afriqiyah to be the “Airline of Africa” with its hub in Tripoli.
It operates an all-Airbus fleet and for the Johannesburg route it has obtained the new Airbus A330-200.
The aircraft has a two class configuration – business and economy class.
Wolfgang Gehring, senior management consultant, aviation and tourism for the airline and based in Tripoli says the airline is a member of the Arab Air Carriers Organisation and the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Afriqiyah is ISO and IOSA certified. Full emphasis has been put on safety and the airline has complied with and exceeded all safety regulations, he says.
Now the airline has called in the assistance of a French consultant to oversee and train the cabin crew as the airline competes with other more established operators.
The airline carried more than 655 000 passengers last year. With the continued launching of new routes, Afriqiyah aims to carry 1 million passengers by the end of this year, Gehring says.
Afriqiyah has also announced launch fares to many destinations and it is possible to fly to London from R3 342 in economy and R17 798 in business class, and the fares includes all taxes.
Johannesburg to Tripoli in economy is from R2 826 and to Paris costs R3 185.
The airline is holding the special low rate fares until the end of January next year. For further information , email Reservations8U.JNB@aviareps.com or call Afriqiyah Airways on 011 722 0227.