Frequent Flyers in Africa:Where to earn the points!

The World Cup is coming to South Africa and all major airlines are fully booked. Air France will be operating the A380 on the Paris (CDG)-Johannesburg (JNB) route;Emirates, the official airline of the World Cup has already expanded its services in South Africa. For travellers who will be hopping from one African City to another, there are great ways to earn miles on regional airlines during this fiesta!

If you are a frequent flyer, always remember to join airline loyalty programs! It takes a few minutes to sign up these days; just do it on the airline website and get your frequent Flyer ID.Remember to enter this number whenever you are booking a flight; you could get a fare discount or earn the all important frequent Flyer Miles or points!

While there are complaints that these programs are tailored for the rich/affluent flyers or that they turn members into mindless drones willing to fly an airline or airline alliance at any cost just to accumulate miles and become ‘Elite’ Club members (Miles Millionaires); these programs can enrich your travel experience in many big ways!

Rewards are meant to makes the airlines, hotels and car rental companies rich and keep you flying the airline but they are also made to make you feel very special when you travel. To make you” feel like a Star” as the guys at Turkish Airlines would tell you! Air travel used to be a luxury but these days it’s a matter of taking you from point A to B! A little novelty at 35,000 feet or in lounges is definitely welcome!

Being in a frequent flyer program offers you some great goodies on your flights. For one, there is the hard earned and sometimes cumbersome class upgrade! You might book a business class and ‘find yourself flying first class on some airlines!

Emirates recently relaunched frequent Flyer program ‘Skywards’ even offers you more goodies including online shopping on Emirates Store and Emirates High Street or a vacation fit for a King in one of Emirates Holidays Hotels! All paid by your miles! You can also earn Skywards Miles by buying souvenirs and stuff on the Emirates stores! South African Airways is also a partner of Emirates’ Skywards program so you can earn miles even on SAA flights!

Ethiopian Airlines too has unveiled hot new services for its Sheba Miles Frequent Flyer Program members till June this year (I am member too).You can stay at the Panorama Hotel in Addis and earn the all important miles and you can also have your Sheba Miles account credited with 5000 miles if you refer a frequent Flyer to Sheba Miles and they attain the Blue Status! Ethiopian Airlines Sheba Miles program is also integrated with Lufthansa’s Miles and More Program! You also earn Sheba Miles when you fly Togolese Start-up ASKY that was launched early this year in which ET owns a 25% share.

Kenya Airways Flying Blue program which is in conjunction with KLM/Air France allows you to accumulate miles in 45 destinations serviced by the Kenyan carrier including 38 African destinations, some solid Pan African Miles!

If you’ll be in South Africa, don’t forget to explore the magic and humour of Kulula, the airline that “does not take itself too seriously”, for inter city travel and along the way, you can sign up for the Kulula Jetsetter frequent Flyer Program!

Uganda’s carrier, Air Uganda, owned by the Aga Khan Fund for International Development offers frequent Flyer program, Celestars along with Air Mali and Air Burkina(under the Meridiana Group).Air Uganda services East African routes only but if you want an air bridge to West Africa, it’s best to fly Kenya Airways and Ethiopian Airlines and earn quality miles!

Always when not sure about an airline’s loyalty program, do a little research(or contact us) on the airline’s alliances and code share agreements  and see if the airline has a frequent flyer program or whether its program is integrated with that of a major international carrier! That way, you can ensure that you collect great miles across Africa as you enjoy the World Cup!

First Class Made in Switzerland for Africa

Good news for Business travelers from Zurich on Swiss International Airlines to Kenya,Tanzania and Cameroon!The airline will soon introduce brand new Airbus 330-300 to service the three routes!Here's an e-mail I just received from Swiss:

Dear SWISS customer,

Experience the brand new Airbus 330-300 coming soon on the ZurichCameroon / Kenya and Tanzania sector offering First Class service to all its customers. Comfort, SWISS MADE.

The new long-haul Airbus 330 - 300 sets new standards of in-flight comfort in all three cabins. In First Class experience a “suite above the clouds”, in Business Class enjoy the air-cushioned seat that can be turned into a two-meter lie-flat bed and in Economy Class relax with more legroom. These are the key features of the new cabins. 

A unique travel experience. 

With best regards,
Your SWISS team."

Happy travels on Swiss!

Kulula Airlines – the most “fun” airline brand in the world?

"Welcome to Zimbabwe'!That must be an announcement from a typical Kulula cockpit!It's Kulula all over again and this time from airline branding strategist Shashank Nigam.There is a link to some unfiltered customer reviews from Kulula clients on and as you might expect ,humour and Kulula are almost inseparable!

The highlight of any flight has to be the announcements from the crew; when landing in Port Elizabeth after a short hop from Cape Town, a booming voice came onto the PA system, saying “welcome to Zimbabwe!”, which had everyone in the cabin briefly looking a bit surprised before all bursting into laughter. Shashank Nigam, Kulula Airlines – the most “fun” airline brand in the world?, Mar 2010

Ethiopian Receives the First Q-400 Next Generation turboprop Aircraft

The Ethiopian national airline has just taken delivery of the first of several ordered Q400 aircraft, manufactured by Canadian company Bombardier. The Q400 is a fuel-efficient and relatively fast turbo-prop aircraft, well suited to fly on domestic and shorter regional routes where the traffic volume and the condition of a destination’s airfield or aerodrome may not permit the use of a small jet aircraft like the B737.

Ethiopian Airlines will take delivery of as many as 8 such new airliners in the future. The configuration of these aircraft will be an all-economy cabin with 78 seats in total. It could not be ascertained if the airline is considering adding more Bombardiers to their fleet beyond this single order

The new 78 seater aircraft will support the ever increasing tourism market of the country and domestic business travel, which is growing fast along side the economy. Besides, the aircraft will serve Ethiopian regional routes.Currently, Ethiopian provides domestic flight service with Boeing 737 and Fokker aircraft to its 17 domestic destinations.

Up in the Sky:The Not So Glam Lives of Flight Attendants

Flight Attendants are the face of an airline!If you are dreaming of becoming a Flight Attendant,you should watch this week's episode of CNN Business Traveller,Up in the Sky as Richard Quest delves into the lives of Flight Attendants and what it takes to be an FA!

The job is less glamorous nowadays but this does not prevent many an African young men and women from dreaming of one day living 35,000 feet,up in the sky,in beautiful FA uniforms and hopping from a city to another!I have many seen Kenyan girls who are willing to leave nice professional careers and join the 'glamorous' world of Flight Attendants!Enjoy Up in the Sky

Image Courtesy of CNN

Cabin Crew job still glamorous? Meridiana Fly Flight Attendant
Meridiana Fly Stewardess: Meridiana Fly flies towards Africa's best tourist hot spots including Mombasa, Zanzibar, Maldives, Seychelles with some of the most glam flight attendants

Fly540 Expansion:Kenya's Budget Carrier is Eyeing Africa

Africa's low cost carrier is going continental,a move that has long been coming.One of the companies joint CEOs,Mr Neil Steffen was recently spotted in Angola's Capital Luanda and talk is rife in Africa's aviation circles that the airline will be launching flights to Luanda!
The company is aiming at becoming the first African airline, with hubs in three quadrants in Africa.

Fly540: Image Courtesy of

A source within the Fly540 establishment has also confirmed that the airline,owned by Lonrho Africa,will soon launch an inaugural flight to the Portuguese speaking nation that recently hosted a successful African Cup of Nations and is quickly becoming an aviation hub in Southern Africa.

 Fly540 was the first airline in Eastern Africa to successfully promote the low cost, low fares concept, and is set to further widen their reach in 2010 and beyond, as they are also preparing to take off from Zimbabwe and other countries in Africa.

Meanwhile in Uganda, the airline is seeking to widen their market penetration - they presently offer two flights a day between Entebbe and Nairobi on their CRJ200 aircraft – and are said to be eyeing new destinations from Entebbe, too, a move much anticipated by the traveling public as it would undoubtedly widen choices and keep the fares down

Miles and Points:What is your Preferred Frequent Flyer Program in Africa?

OK,this all about the points and miles! Kenya Airways offers its frequent flyers points with its Flying Blue program in conjunction with KLM/AirFrance, Ethiopian Airlines offers its passengers Sheba miles and if you like spending a little more for a once in a lifetime luxury,you could find yourself on Ethiopian's Cloud Nine!
 If you are flying in Southern Africa and likes Kulula's good sense of humour,perhaps you could earn points(moolahs) with Kulula's Jetsetter Program!Or you love hopping into are out of Africa with Middle Eastern carriers maybe you have tried Emirates revamped Frequent Flyer Program Skywards!

Next week,we are writing a post about Frequent Flyer Programs in Africa covering both African and Foreign carriers and we would like to know about your Frequent Flyer experience in African  Skies!Kindly leave a comment here and tell us about your miles and points!You can also leave us comment on Twitter @FlightAfrica .Best Regards!