10 Best Airlines to Fly to Africa (Updated 2023)

by Flora
here are the best airlines to fly to Africa
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Embarking on a journey to Africa is a dream for many, but with so many airlines vying for your attention, how do you choose the best one for your African adventure? We’ve reviewed over 150 global airports to bring you this guide to the best airlines to fly to Africa. Dive in and discover the top carriers that promise an experience that sets the tone for your entire trip!

Africa, a land of diverse landscapes, rich cultures, and unparalleled wildlife, beckons travelers from all corners of the globe. From the bustling markets of Marrakech to the serene beaches of Zanzibar, Africa offers experiences that are both enchanting and exhilarating. As the world becomes more connected, the allure of Africa grows stronger, drawing adventurers, wildlife enthusiasts, and culture seekers alike.

With several airlines connecting the world to Africa, choosing the right one can make all the difference in your travel experience. From luxurious cabins to impeccable service, and from eco-friendly initiatives to extensive route networks, the best airlines to fly to Africa also ensure that your journey is as memorable as the adventures awaiting you on the ground. Dive in as we explore the top carriers that promise an unparalleled flight to the heart of Africa, making your dream African escapade a reality.

The best airlines to fly to Africa right now
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Quick tip on how to find cheap flights to Africa

Looking for cheap flights to Africa right now? Before diving into all the airlines that fly to Africa, I first want to share a quick tip on how to save money on airfare.

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Now without further ado, here are the best Africa flights in 2023.

1. Ethiopian Airlines

Ethiopian Airlines stands out as one of the best airlines to fly into Africa, and for good reasons. With its hub located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s sprawling capital, the airline connects travelers to over 125 destinations worldwide. This makes it it one of the most extensive networks on the continent.

The airline boasts modern aircraft, ensuring passengers experience the latest in-flight amenities. From spacious seating to a diverse range of entertainment options, every moment onboard is designed for your comfort. For those looking to splurge, their Cloud Nine business class also offers lie-flat seats, gourmet meals, and priority boarding.

Ethiopian Airlines is noteworthy for its dedication to promoting African culture, a standout feature among its offerings.
Ethiopian Airlines is noteworthy for its dedication to promoting African culture, a standout feature among its offerings.

One of the standout features of Ethiopian Airlines is its commitment to showcasing African culture. The in-flight meals offer a taste of traditional Ethiopian dishes. This allows passengers to start their African journey the moment they step onboard. While Ethiopian Airlines offers a premium experience, it also has competitive pricing. Regular promotions and deals make it a top choice for those seeking value without compromising on quality.

Lastly, did you know that Ethiopian Airlines was the first African carrier to operate the Boeing 787 Dreamliner? This fact, combined with its impressive safety record and commitment to excellence, cements its position as one of the best international airlines to Africa.

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2. South African Airways

South African Airways (SAA), with its iconic tailfin showcasing the vibrant colors of the nation, is a testament to the spirit and beauty of South Africa. Based in Johannesburg, SAA’s hub at O.R. Tambo International Airport serves as a gateway to the continent, connecting passengers to over 40 destinations within Africa and beyond.

For those wondering about the best airlines to go to Africa, SAA is a name that frequently pops up. Renowned for its warm hospitality, passengers are treated to a genuine South African experience from the moment they board. The airline’s staff, trained to the highest standards, ensure that every journey is smooth and memorable.

For those seeking the best airlines for African travel, SAA is a frequently recommended choice.
For those seeking the best airlines for African travel, SAA is a frequently recommended choice.

Dive deeper into the SAA experience, and you’ll find a range of in-flight amenities tailored to meet the needs of every traveler. From the latest blockbusters to a selection of African documentaries, the entertainment system promises hours of enjoyment. And for the foodies? SAA’s menu is a delightful journey through South African cuisine, with dishes that tantalize the taste buds and offer a glimpse into the nation’s rich culinary heritage.

When it comes to the best airlines to fly to Africa, South African Airways consistently ranks high on the list. Not only does it offer competitive fares, but its frequent flyer program, Voyager, rewards loyal passengers with a range of benefits, from priority check-in to access to luxurious lounges.

3. Delta Airlines

For travelers seeking the best airlines from the US to Africa, Delta Air Lines also emerges as a top contender. With its extensive network and partnerships, Delta ensures that the journey from the US to the vibrant landscapes of Africa is seamless and comfortable.

Delta’s commitment to excellence is evident in every aspect of the flight experience. From the attentive cabin crew to the state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system, every detail is meticulously crafted to cater to passengers’ needs. For those pondering over what airlines fly to Africa from the States, Delta’s consistent high-quality service and expansive route network make it an obvious choice.

In terms of pricing, Delta provides a variety of options to accommodate different budget preferences.
In terms of pricing, Delta provides a variety of options to accommodate different budget preferences.

The airline’s premium cabins, especially the Delta One suite, offer an unparalleled level of luxury. Think lie-flat seats, TUMI amenity kits, and chef-curated meals that are a gastronomic delight. And for those long-haul flights to Africa? Delta’s noise-canceling headphones and a selection of movies and shows ensure you’re entertained throughout.

Delta’s hub in Atlanta serves as a major gateway for flights to Africa. This connects passengers to key destinations like Johannesburg, Accra, and Lagos. Moreover, their partnership with airlines like Air France and KLM means even more African cities are accessible with convenient connections. Price-wise, Delta offers a range of options to suit every budget. While it’s known for its premium services, savvy travelers can often snag great deals, especially when booking in advance or during promotional periods.

4. Emirates

When it comes to flying in style and luxury to the African continent, Emirates stands out as the gold standard, especially for those seeking the best business class to Africa. This Dubai-based airline is synonymous with opulence, ensuring that every journey is nothing short of extraordinary.

From the moment you check in, the Emirates business class experience is designed to pamper. Priority boarding, access to world-class lounges, and a generous baggage allowance are just the tip of the iceberg. Onboard, the real magic unfolds. Each business class seat transforms into a fully flat bed. This ensures you arrive at your African destination refreshed and ready for adventure. The personal mini-bar, gourmet meals, and an entertainment system boasting over 4,500 channels are just a few of the amenities that set Emirates apart.

Emirates' cabin crew, skilled in the art of hospitality, ensure that every requirement is met with care and professionalism.
Emirates’ cabin crew, skilled in the art of hospitality, ensure that every requirement is met with care and professionalism.

For those who prioritize privacy, the airline’s A380 aircraft offer business class cabins with sliding doors. This creates a personal sanctuary in the skies. And if you’re wondering about the best airlines that fly to Africa with top-tier in-flight service, Emirates cabin crew, trained in the art of hospitality. They ensure every need is catered to.

Emirates’ extensive network connects passengers to major African cities like Cape Town, Nairobi, Kenya and Cairo, Egypt via its hub in Dubai. And while the airline is often associated with luxury, they frequently offer promotional fares. All in all, Emirates makes that dream business class experience more accessible to many.

5. Qatar Airways

For globe-trotters and business travelers alike, the quest for the best airlines to fly to Africa often leads to one name: Qatar Airways. With its hub in Doha, this award-winning airline serves as a bridge between the East and the West. This makes African destinations more accessible than ever.

Qatar Airways is not just about connectivity; it’s about experiencing travel at its finest. The airline’s commitment to excellence is evident in every touchpoint, from the modern design of Hamad International Airport in Doha to the plush interiors of its aircraft. Whether you’re seated in economy or indulging in the luxury of Qsuite, the airline’s acclaimed business class, every journey promises comfort and elegance.

When considering airlines for African travel, Qatar Airways stands out with a competitive advantage.
When considering airlines for African travel, Qatar Airways stands out with a competitive advantage.

For those exploring various airlines to fly to Africa, Qatar Airways offers an edge with its young fleet, top-notch in-flight entertainment, and a culinary experience that’s a feast for the senses. The airline’s menu is curated by world-renowned chefs. It offers a blend of international and Middle Eastern flavors, ensuring every meal is a highlight.

Destinations like Johannesburg, Dar es Salaam, and Casablanca are just a few of the African gems that Qatar Airways connects to. The airline is synonymous with luxury but frequently rolls out special offers, making premium travel attainable for a broader audience.

6. Kenya Airways

Kenya Airways stands as a beacon of African aviation excellence. With its vibrant colors and the silhouette of a lion on its tailfin, it embodies the spirit of the entire continent. Navigating the vast array of airlines that fly to Africa can be daunting, yet Kenya Airways consistently emerges as a top choice for many. Its hub at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi is a bustling nexus. This connects passengers to over 50 African cities and several international destinations.

Offering arguably the best flight to Africa, Kenya Airways ensures every journey is memorable. The modern fleet is equipped with amenities that celebrate Africa’s diverse culture. Think African movies, music, and even Swahili lessons, all available at your fingertips. The airline’s commitment to passenger comfort is evident in its spacious seating, attentive cabin crew, and a menu that offers a taste of Kenyan cuisine.

Kenya Airways arguably provides the finest flights to Africa, ensuring each journey is unforgettable.
Kenya Airways arguably provides the finest flights to Africa, ensuring each journey is unforgettable.

Beyond the in-flight experience, Kenya Airways is a leader in sustainability. The “Change Brings Change” program focuses on reducing single-use plastics onboard, showcasing the airline’s dedication to environmental responsibility. Additionally, travelers will appreciate the airline’s competitive fares and the Flying Blue loyalty program. This offers a range of benefits from priority check-in to seat upgrades.

7. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Founded in 1919, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is one of the world’s oldest airlines. Its legacy of excellence continues to this day. With its iconic blue livery and commitment to top-tier service, KLM has become a favorite for many travelers worldwide.

For those exploring airlines to fly to Africa, KLM offers a compelling proposition. With its hub at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, KLM provides convenient connections to numerous African destinations. This includes Nairobi, Lagos, and Cape Town, among others. The airline’s extensive network ensures that travelers have a wide array of options when planning their African adventure.

KLM's dedication to sustainability is commendable as well.
KLM’s dedication to sustainability is commendable as well.

Onboard, passengers can expect a blend of Dutch efficiency and warmth. The in-flight entertainment system boasts a diverse range of movies, music, and documentaries, ensuring hours of enjoyment. KLM’s commitment to sustainability is also noteworthy, with various initiatives aimed at reducing carbon emissions and promoting eco-friendly practices.

Travelers considering different airlines to Africa will be drawn towards KLM’s competitive pricing, combined with its Flying Blue loyalty program, which offers both value and rewards. From earning miles to enjoying exclusive lounge access, loyal customers are treated to a range of benefits.

8. Air France

Air France’s elegance, luxury, and impeccable service make it one of the best airlines to Africa. With its origins dating back to 1933, the French flag carrier has established itself as a leading player in global aviation. This connects continents and cultures with grace.

From its hub at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, the airline offers direct flights to a plethora of African destinations, including Dakar, Abidjan, and Marrakech. The convenience of multiple daily flights ensures travelers have flexibility in planning their itineraries.

Air France's refined style, opulent amenities, and outstanding service make it a top choice for flying to Africa.
Air France’s refined style, opulent amenities, and outstanding service make it a top choice for flying to Africa.

Onboard, the French touch is evident in every detail. From gourmet meals inspired by French cuisine to an in-flight entertainment system brimming with the latest movies and music, every moment is curated for passenger delight. Air France’s first-class cabin, known as La Première, is one of the most luxurious in the industry. Passengers are treated to a private suite with a lie-flat bed, top-notch amenities, and personalized service.

Air France is renowned for its in-flight dining experience, especially in its premium cabins. The airline often collaborates with Michelin-starred chefs to curate its menus, offering passengers a taste of authentic French cuisine at 30,000 feet.

The Air France lounges, especially at Charles de Gaulle Airport, are known for their luxury. The La Première lounge, for instance, offers a fine dining experience, private suites, and even a spa.

9. Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines, the flag carrier of Turkey, has rapidly grown to become one of the world’s leading airlines. With its strategic location in Istanbul, it serves as a bridge between Europe and Asia, and its expansive network ensures that Africa is well-connected to the rest of the world.

For travelers seeking reliable and comfortable airlines to fly to Africa, Turkish Airlines emerges as a top choice. The airline flies to more countries than any other, with numerous African destinations on its roster, including cities like Lagos, Nairobi, and Cairo. This extensive reach ensures that passengers have a wealth of options when charting their African adventures.

Turkish Airlines is celebrated not only for its in-flight experience but also for its prominent Istanbul hub.
Turkish Airlines is celebrated not only for its in-flight experience but also for its prominent Istanbul hub.

Onboard, the Turkish touch is evident in every detail. The in-flight meals, inspired by Turkish and global cuisines, are a gastronomic delight. Coupled with the latest in entertainment options and the famed Turkish hospitality, every journey promises to be memorable.

Beyond the flight experience, Turkish Airlines is renowned for its Istanbul hub. The new Istanbul Airport is a marvel of modern architecture and offers a range of amenities and services for travelers. Those with longer layovers can even take advantage of the airline’s “Touristanbul” service, which offers guided tours of the city’s iconic landmarks.

10. Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways, based in Abu Dhabi, has quickly risen to prominence in the aviation world, setting new standards for luxury, comfort, and service. With its modern fleet, innovative cabin designs, and commitment to excellence, it’s no wonder many regard Etihad as the best airline to fly to Africa.

From its hub in Abu Dhabi, Etihad offers seamless connections to key African destinations like Johannesburg, Nairobi, and Cairo. The strategic location of its hub ensures that passengers from Asia, Europe, and the Americas have convenient options when traveling to the African continent.

Etihad's modern fleet, innovative cabin designs, and dedication to excellence make it a top choice for flying to Africa.
Etihad’s modern fleet, innovative cabin designs, and dedication to excellence make it a top choice for flying to Africa.

Onboard, Etihad’s commitment to redefining air travel is evident. The Residence, available on select aircraft, offers a three-room suite in the sky, complete with a living room, bedroom, and private bathroom. Even in economy, passengers are treated to spacious seats, delectable meals, and a wide range of entertainment options. Beyond the in-flight experience, Etihad is known for its exceptional ground services. The airline’s lounges, especially in Abu Dhabi, offer a sanctuary for travelers, complete with spa services, gourmet dining, and private resting areas.

Etihad Airways is generally considered a premium airline, and its fares can be on the higher side, especially when compared to budget or low-cost carriers. Members of Etihad’s loyalty program, Etihad Guest, can avail of special offers, and sometimes even upgrades, depending on their points and membership tier.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Airlines to Travel to Africa

As you plan your journey, you might have a few questions about the best airlines to fly to Africa and other related topics. In this FAQ section, we’ve addressed some of the most common queries to help you make an informed decision.

What major airlines fly to Africa?

Several major global airlines offer routes to Africa. Some of the prominent ones include Etihad Airways, Turkish Airlines, Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Qatar Airways, Kenya Airways, and Emirates. These airlines connect various African cities to destinations around the world, ensuring travelers have a wide array of options.

Can you fly directly to Africa?

Yes, you can fly directly to Africa from various cities around the world. The availability of direct flights depends on your departure city and the specific country or city in Africa you wish to visit. Here are some examples of direct flights to major African cities:

  1. From the United States:
    • New York (JFK) to Johannesburg (JNB) – South African Airways
    • Atlanta (ATL) to Johannesburg (JNB) – Delta Airlines
    • New York (JFK) to Casablanca (CMN) – Royal Air Maroc
    • Washington D.C. (IAD) to Addis Ababa (ADD) – Ethiopian Airlines
  2. From Europe:
    • London (LHR) to Nairobi (NBO) – British Airways, Kenya Airways
    • Paris (CDG) to Dakar (DSS) – Air France
    • Amsterdam (AMS) to Cape Town (CPT) – KLM
    • Frankfurt (FRA) to Lagos (LOS) – Lufthansa
  3. From Asia:
    • Dubai (DXB) to Cairo (CAI) – Emirates
    • Doha (DOH) to Dar es Salaam (DAR) – Qatar Airways
    • Istanbul (IST) to Marrakech (RAK) – Turkish Airlines
  4. From South America:
    • São Paulo (GRU) to Johannesburg (JNB) – LATAM Airlines
  5. From Australia:
    • While there are no direct flights from major Australian cities to Africa, travelers can connect via Middle Eastern or Asian hubs like Dubai or Singapore.

What is the cheapest airline in Africa?

Africa is home to several low-cost carriers (LCCs) that offer affordable air travel options. The cheapest airline can vary based on routes, promotions, and time of booking. However, some of the notable low-cost carriers in Africa include:

  1. Fastjet: Operating in several African countries, including Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, Fastjet offers budget-friendly flights across the region.
  2. FlySafair: A South African low-cost airline, FlySafair operates domestic flights to major cities within South Africa.
  3. Mango Airlines: Another South African LCC, Mango is a subsidiary of South African Airways and offers domestic flights as well as limited international routes.
  4. Jambojet: Owned by Kenya Airways, Jambojet operates domestic routes within Kenya and a few regional routes.
  5. Kulula: A South African no-frills airline, Kulula is known for its humorous branding and operates domestic flights.
  6. Air Arabia Maroc: An affiliate of Air Arabia, this airline operates out of Morocco and offers flights to several destinations in Europe and Africa.
  7. Fly540: Operating in Kenya, Tanzania, and Ghana, Fly540 offers regional flights in East and West Africa.
  8. Proflight Zambia: While not strictly a low-cost carrier, Proflight offers competitive rates for flights within Zambia and some neighboring countries.
In this extensive guide, we've examined top airlines for Africa travel, each providing distinct amenities, service, and travel quality.
In this extensive guide, we’ve examined top airlines for Africa travel, each providing distinct amenities, service, and travel quality.

Where is the best place to fly into Africa?

The best place to fly into Africa largely depends on your final destination and travel plans. However, major hub airports like Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport, Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, and Cairo International Airport are popular entry points due to their extensive connectivity and modern amenities.

Which months are cheapest to fly to Africa?

The cost of flights can vary based on the region and the specific country you’re visiting. Generally, the low tourist season, which is often during the rainy months, can offer cheaper flight options. For many parts of Africa, this is between May and October. However, it’s essential to check the specific region or country you plan to visit, as Africa’s vast size means it has varied climates and peak seasons.

What European cities are cheapest to fly to Africa?

The cost of flying from European cities to Africa can vary based on several factors. This includes the time of year, airline, route availability, and current promotions. However, some European cities are gateways to Africa due to their frequent and competitive flight options. Here are some European cities that have relatively cheaper flights to Africa:

  1. London, UK: London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports offer numerous flights to various African destinations, often at competitive prices, especially if you’re flexible with your travel dates.
  2. Paris, France: Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris has several flights to Francophone African countries and other major African cities.
  3. Madrid, Spain: Given its proximity to North Africa, Madrid often has affordable flights, especially to Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.
  4. Lisbon, Portugal: Lisbon has historically good connections with former Portuguese colonies like Angola, Mozambique, and Cape Verde, often at reasonable prices.
  5. Brussels, Belgium: Brussels Airport offers several flights to African destinations, especially to former Belgian colonies like the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  6. Frankfurt, Germany: Frankfurt Airport, a major European hub, has a variety of flights to Africa, sometimes at competitive rates.
  7. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam offers numerous connections to Africa, especially with airlines like KLM.
  8. Rome and Milan, Italy: These Italian cities often have affordable flights to North African destinations.
  9. Istanbul, Turkey: While not in the European Union, Istanbul serves as a significant hub with Turkish Airlines offering numerous routes to African cities, often at competitive rates.

What is the easiest country to visit in Africa?

The ease of visiting an African country can depend on various factors, including visa requirements, accessibility, and infrastructure. Countries like South Africa, Morocco, and Kenya are easy to visit due to their well-established tourism industries, straightforward visa processes for many nationalities, and good transportation infrastructure.

How safe is it to fly to Africa?

Flying to Africa is as safe as flying to any other part of the world. The major airlines to fly to Africa adhere to international safety standards and are regularly inspected for compliance. It’s always a good idea to check travel advisories and ensure you choose reputable airlines.

Are there direct flights from the USA to Africa?

Yes, several airlines offer direct flights from the USA to Africa. For instance, Delta Air Lines operates direct routes to places like Accra and Johannesburg. Other airlines, like South African Airways and Ethiopian Airlines, also provide non-stop services between the two continents.

How long is the average flight to Africa?

The flight duration to Africa depends on your departure city and destination. For example, a flight from New York to Johannesburg might take around 15 hours, while a flight from London to Nairobi could be about 8 hours. It’s best to check specific routes for accurate durations.

Can I find budget airlines for intra-Africa travel?

Absolutely! Several budget airlines operate within Africa, offering affordable options for travelers. Airlines like Fastjet, Mango, and Kulula provide cost-effective flights between major cities on the continent.

Africa Airlines in 2023: Recap

Africa, with its diverse landscapes, rich cultures, and unparalleled wildlife, beckons travelers from all corners of the globe. Whether you’re drawn to the majestic savannahs, bustling cities, or serene coastlines, the continent promises experiences that linger long after the journey ends. Choosing the right airlines to fly to Africa can significantly enhance this adventure, ensuring comfort, reliability, and a touch of luxury as you traverse this vast and varied land.

As we’ve explored in this guide, numerous airlines offer routes to Africa, each bringing its unique offerings to the table. From world-class in-flight amenities to extensive networks that connect you to even the most remote destinations, these airlines are dedicated to making your African voyage memorable.

In the end, the best airline for your African journey will depend on your preferences, budget, and itinerary. But with the information at hand, you’re well-equipped to make an informed choice, setting the stage for an African adventure of a lifetime.

The best airlines to fly to Africa for all types of travelers
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