Air France in Trouble as Asky set to start Flights to Paris
The West African carrier Asky Airlines has Air France in its sights as it plans to extend its route network to Paris and Johannesburg from its home region as the airline part-owned by Ethiopian Airlines seeks to increase passenger numbers and revenue.
Asky plans to start direct flights between the French capital, home to Air France whose global hub is Charles de Gaulle airport, and its hub in Lome, the capital of Togo, this year or next, said the chief executive Henok Teferra.
A Johannesburg service could be introduced by mid-2017, while Asky is also considering a route to Beirut, Lebanon. Passengers could travel from the new cities through Lome to the airline’s 23 other destinations in west and central Africa, including Accra and Lagos.
“Paris is among our priority destinations,” Mr Teferra said. “There is significant traffic between France and francophone countries in west and central Africa.”
The new routes will help Asky grow independently of Ethiopian, which owns a 26 per cent stake in the Togolese carrier and uses Lome’s Gnassingbe Eyadema airport as a stop off for transatlantic routes to New York and Sao Paulo. Asky will become the second carrier after the French flag carrier’s parent Air France-KLM to operate a direct Lome-Paris service. The airline is also adding sub-Saharan Africa routes, to Mauritania and Cape Verde.