21 Routes And 8 Airlines: The US To Africa’s Flights Explored

Some 21 routes will operate from the US to Africa between January 3rd and March 26th, the end of the aviation winter season, including non-stop and one-stop services. As we see, Delta has more flights than any of the other seven operators.

Delta Air Lines Boeing 767-332(ER) N1604R (1)
Delta’s Africa operation revolves around the B767-300ER and A330-200, although Atlanta to Johannesburg uses the A350-900 because of the distance. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

The US to Africa the rest of this winter

Of the 21 routes, four are one-stops. Ethiopian Airlines operates between Newark and JFK and Addis Ababa via Lomé, Togo, using B787-8s. This is in contrast to the carrier’s other US network, all of which run non-stop to its Addis Ababa hub.

Air Senegal routes from Baltimore via JFK to Dakar, while Azores Airlines operates Boston via Ponta Delgada (Portugal) to Praia, Cape Verde. Although the latter is unusual, it is a direct service as it has the same flight number (S4280/S4281). As we show below, the route – an extension of its long-standing Azores service – was set up to target Boston-Cape Verde demand.

US to Africa across the rest of winter
This map shows routings based on the US to Africa. If the other way round was examined, all routes from Addis Ababa would be one-stop. Image: GCMap.

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Azores Airlines’ Praia offering

Azores Airlines’ Boston-Ponta Delgada-Praia operation runs twice-weekly and uses the A321neo. The route exists for visiting friends and relatives demand – 600,000 Cape Verdeans and descendants live in the US, especially in New England – and because Cape Verde Airlines ceased Boston-Praia and is not currently serving the US at all.

Boston to Cape Verde
Azores Airlines benefits from New England’s demand to the Azores and Cape Verde. Image: Azores Airlines’ website.

Delta is the leading operator to Africa

With about a quarter of flights, Delta has more service between the US and Africa than any other operator. Its dominance is partly from having five routes – more than the others – and a once-daily service on two of them.

Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, and Miami have one route each to Africa. In the case of Miami, it’s by Royal Air Maroc. Having launched in April 2019, it ended 11 months later due to the pandemic. While it was bookable from May 2022, it has been brought forward. It’ll now take off from February 4th.

  • Delta: Atlanta (ATL) to Lagos (LOS) and Johannesburg (JNB); JFK to Accra (ACC), Dakar (DSS), Lagos (LOS)
  • Ethiopian Airlines: Chicago (ORD) and Washington (IAD) to Addis Ababa (ADD); JFK and Newark (EWR) to Lomé (LFW) and onto ADD
  • United Airlines: EWR to Cape Town (CPT) and JNB; IAD to ACC and LOS
  • EgyptAir: JFK and IAD to Cairo (CAI)
  • Royal Air Maroc: JFK, IAD, and Miami (MIA) to Casablanca (CMN)
  • Kenya Airways: JFK to Nairobi (JNB)
  • Air Senegal: Baltimore (BWI) and JFK to DSS
  • Azores Airlines: Boston (BOS) to Ponta Delgada (PDL; Portugal) and onto Praia (RAI)
Kenya Airways Boeing 787
Kenya Airways serves JFK three-weekly using 234-seat B787-8s. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

A look at EgyptAir’s JFK service

EgyptAir operates Cairo-JFK once-daily using 346-seat B777-300ERs. According to the Department of Transportation’s T-100 data, the route had an 84.7% seat load factor in 2019, but this says nothing about financial performance.

Over 208,000 round-trip passengers were carried, booking data reveals. About 136,000 were point-to-point (those only traveling between JFK and Cairo). Approximately 25,000 transited Cairo, with Saudi Arabia, wider Egypt, and Sudan seeing the most passengers. JFK to Jeddah, Khartoum, and Medina were the three most significant origin and destinations.

Have you flown between the US and Africa? If so, share your experiences in the comments.

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