Lufthansa's African Dream

 Five decades after launching its first flight to Africa,the Lufthansa group has now increased its focus on the African market with renewed vigor.As part of its strategy,the most important growth markets on the continent-South Africa,Egypt,Angola,Kenya,Nigeria,Ghana- have been integrated into the Group’s global route network and are served by frequent connections.
German Federal Minister of Transport at that time, Hans-Christoph Seebohm, a guest on Lufthansa’s inaugural flight to Lagos on March 4, 1962, is greeted by Chief Ben Oluwole.
 The high economic growth rate in Africa has translated into higher passenger numbers for the German carrier.In 2009,Lufthansa grew by 15% in Africa(40% in Nigeria alone).Lufthansa has also partnered with Ethiopian Airlines,Egypt Air and South African Airways within the Star Alliance.

Currently,Lufthansa serves 18 destinations in Africa with 115 flights per week from Frankfurt and Munich. Together with its partners SWISS, Austrian Airlines, bmi and Brussels Airlines, the Lufthansa Group serves a total of 39 destinations in Africa with 269 flights per week.In 2009 alone,Lufthansa increased its capacity to Nigeria by 40%.
A Lufthansa A380 in the air
Expansion of the route network has focused on West and Central Africa.Also, in the past few years, the logistics specialist Lufthansa Cargo has considerably expanded its activities in Africa.
"We wanted to be strong through partnerships with African airlines and we wanted to have a partner in the heart of Africa",says Antinori.

 How important is Africa to Lufthansa?According to Lufthansa's marketing and sales chief,Thierry Antinori,"Africa with 950 million people is the biggest continent after Asia Pacific.You have a lot of resources...and you have a middle class that is growing and traveling.You have a lot of investors like the Chinese and other Asians ...this means Africa is important strategically for Lufthansa as a global airline" ............To show how important Africa is to us,our first destination with the new A380 was to Johannesburg"
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