As the political crisis in Niger continues to unfold, airlines are compelled to adapt and find solutions to ensure the safety and convenience of their passengers. Brussels Airlines, a subsidiary of Lufthansa, has announced the cancelation of its flights to Angola due to the ongoing closure of Niger’s airspace. The closure, a result of the political upheaval in Niger, has necessitated significant flight detours, rendering flights to Angola’s capital more costly and complex.
The closure of Niger’s airspace, ordered by the country’s military rulers, has led to a cascading effect on airlines operations. Brussels Airlines, which operates a triangular flight linking Brussels, Kinshasa (DRC), and Luanda (Angola), has been particularly affected. The airline serves Angola twice a week through this triangular route.
The closure of Niger’s airspace has resulted in major flight detours for airlines operating in the region. Brussels Airlines is not the only carrier grappling with the effects of Niger’s airspace closure. Airlines across the board have had to modify and extend flight routes to avoid Niger’s airspace.
Flights to 12 different routes have been impacted, leading to longer travel times ranging from 1 to 3.5 hours on the outward and return journeys. Additionally, the detours may necessitate stopovers for refueling, further complicating the travel experience for passengers.
The measure taken by Brussels Airlines to cancel flights to Angola will be evaluated on a weekly basis and is expected to last at least until August 26. The airline notes that only a “very small part of passengers” will be affected by the cancellation. With two weekly flights to Luanda, each carrying around 30 passengers, the immediate impact is limited. Affected passengers will be provided with alternative flight options to Luanda through Lufthansa and Frankfurt Airport. As the political crisis in Niger persists, its reverberations are being felt beyond the country’s borders.