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7 Most Profitable African Airlines | See Africa Today

most profitable African airlines
Written by Teresa Mwangi

The Covid-19 pandemic struck the global aviation industry so hard but it did stop the most profitable African airlines from excelling.

This pandemic struck in early 2020 and crippled the entire aviation industry. Flights became a luxury for business and leisure travellers. It was one eye-opener that everything in life matters so much. Amid all this, airlines incurred heavy losses but they turned around their fortunes in 2022.

Above this success, you can feel the weight of their profits whenever you travel on these flights.

What is Africa’s Most Profitable Airlines?

Isn’t it mindboggling that there is the existence of the most profitable African airlines? Yet we have heard countless times some of these airlines begging for a bailout by respective governments. Below are some of the best-performing airlines in the continent.

1. Ethiopian Airlines

Ethiopian airline

Ethiopian airline is among the best airlines in Africa 2021. Photo/ EA

The Ethiopian carrier has a rich history of providing top-notch airline services. Thus, it is not surprising that it ranks among the most successful airline in Africa. Its sole ownership belongs to the Ethiopian government.

Additionally, this airline holds a large number of equity shares in other African carriers, one of them being Nigerian Air. Several factors fuel its success. They include the following:

A strong flight network: The Airline flies to approximately 150 cities in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and Africa. This provides a broad scope of operations and draws a bigger traveller base.

Exceptional customer service: Ethiopian Airlines is renowned for providing exceptional customer service. This includes welcoming and accommodating personnel, pristine and cosy aircraft, and a variety of amenities.

Safety:  It has a long history of adhering to the highest standards of aviation safety which enchants passengers from all walks of life.

Strategic alliances: The Ethiopian national carrier has established alliances with reputable international carriers such as Lufthansa and Air France. They enable it to serve customer better and efficiently.

2. Fastjet

Fastjet Plc is the holding company for a collection of low-cost airlines that fly in Africa, with offices in Britain and South Africa.  This British-inspired airline domiciled in South Africa lives up to its dream of becoming the continent’s first low-cost, pan-African airline. It features in Kenya and Tanzania as Fly540, Fastjet Zimbabwe and Fastjet Mozambique. This publicly listed airline has served more than three million passengers.


Fly from Heathrow to Cairo for CAF for $496 with EgyptAir

EgyptAir is offering the best rates for the months of June and July [Photo/Safareya]

Surprisingly, Egyptian national carrier EgyptAir is also among the most profitable African airlines. Founded in 1932; the Egyptians give it their all to safeguard its reputation more than 70 years later. Its broad route network connects Egypt to many international locations thereby making it a significant global transit hub.

Secondly, EgyptAir prioritises safety and has a solid track record in this area. The airline also places a high priority on providing excellent customer service while providing a relaxing travel environment with contemporary conveniences.

Lastly, it remains dedicated to innovation, investing in cutting-edge technologies and modern aircraft to ensure efficiency and dependability. These factors are the hallmark of its success.

Royal Air Maroc

Royal Air Maroc

Royal Air Maroc. Photo/PlanSpotters

Morocco is a leading African tourist destination, a feat it shares with her neighbour Egypt. Therefore; much of its national carrier, Royal Air Maroc’s success is pegged on this. Ranking among the most profitable African airlines, it boasts of a strong global linkage flying to over 90 destinations across Europe, Africa, North and South America and the Middle East.

Moreover, Royal Air Maroc has a stellar reputation for its customer service, safety and international partnerships with KLM and Air France.


RwandAir airline

RwandAir. Photo/The New Times

Beyond its crown as the safest airline in Africa, RwandAir is one of the most profitable African airlines. It flies to 26 global destinations across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. It also flies to another dozen countries in Africa.

Being one of the newest and fastest-growing airlines, it has state-of-the-art fleets with cutting-edge technology that combines safety, comfort, and customer experience.

Arik Air

Arik Air is a low-cost Nigerian airline connecting West Africa to Central Africa and it was established in 2006. Arik has a partnership with British Airways which is one of the factors placing it among the most profitable African airlines. Under this cooperation, Naija airline has access to both the frequent flyer programme and British Airways’ extensive global network.

This enables Arik Air to draw more customers thereby earning more revenue and fully capitalizing on its domestic market which is a goldmine.


FlySafair is another illustrious low-cost, domestic airline in South Africa headquartered in Johannesburg. Its scope of operations cuts across five major South African cities with three airports. They are King Shaka International Airport in Durban, OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and Cape Town International Airport in Cape Town serving as FlySafair’s operations hubs. With only a fleet of 16 Boeing aircraft, it makes tidy profits.

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About the author

Teresa Mwangi

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, loves travelling and telling stories about tour and travel in Africa by every angle.

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