Africa is a big market. Physically bigger than North America, with more people than China and more potential wealth than Europe, Africa is a rising force in the world.
In fact, by 2050, almost half the world’s population will be located on the giant continent, with several mega-cities dwarfing those found in the western world.
What does this mean for Australia? A brand new and enormous market just waiting to be connected, and a continent with vast resources that the many Australian mining companies will be keen to exploit. And what better situated airport to service this new business than Perth?
Who currently flies between Perth and Africa?
Currently, only South African Airways flies between Perth and Johannesburg, South Africa.
And it isn’t cheap either, with a return flight going for around $1,100 during the off-season (winter).
Qantas has been trying to create a direct route from Perth, but the previous issue of unpaid landing fees and which terminal they would use for the service have put that plan on ice. They currently fly from Sydney instead.
“We had planned to operate a seasonal service this November to March, which would have put about 4,000 passengers a week through Perth,” Alison Webster, CEO of Qantas International, told Australian Business Traveller
There are plenty of routes from Australia to Africa via Singapore or Dubai, but many have asked why fly north and over, when you could fly straight across the sea?
What future routes are possible?
One only needs to look at a map of Africa to see what routes are possible:
The following destinations would be an easy sell for customers and could be serviced by a 787 Dreamliner or other twin-engined long-haul aircraft.
- Cape Town – With a western population, the old-colonial city of Cape Town is an easy route for any airline. Many passengers likely fly to Johannesburg first before transferring to Australia.
- Reunion Island and Mauritius Island – The French state islands (not a colony, actually part of the country of France) have plenty of holidaymakers that would love an easy way to access Australia.
- Nairobi – The capital of Kenya should not be ignored, with a rapidly growing population, access for tourism and mining, this destination could unlock middle Africa.
- Dar es Salaam – Likewise the rich port city in Tanzania should have direct routes to Australia.
- Seychelles – A popular and romantic getaway spot, tourists from Perth (plenty of which are getting tired of Asia) could be tempted to this new destination.
These, of course, are only a handful of possible destinations from Perth.
Ultimately we will have to see how Perth Airport takes advantage of these opportunities, and if they really can become the next big hub airport.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.