white british airways taking off the runway

Flights to several nations in Africa just got longer as Niger’s ruling military group suddenly closed the country’s airspace until further notice, citing threats from neighbouring nations who have called for a reverse of the groups’ July 26 coup.

According to FlightRadar24, this restriction means airlines that used to fly to countries like South Africa and Ghana via Niger skies now have to go around adding hours of flight time and up to 600 or more miles to the already long journeys.

The closed airspace mostly impacts flights from Europe, with British Airways, KLM and Air France all having to adjust their flight routes to Africa to avoid the airpace. A British Airways flight from Johannesburg to London was en route when the closure went into effect, and the plane opted to turn back rather than divert.

In a statement to Bloomberg, Air France said service to Niger has been suspended until further notice, and routes to and from African nations are expected to take between 15 minutes and two hours longer. Air France flights to Mali and Burkina Faso have also been halted until August 11.

The most affected KLM routes are to Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa and to Entebbe, Uganda. Moreover, the spokesperson said flights to Accra, Ghana, and Lagos, Nigeria, will also be impacted, but “to a lesser extent.”

Airlines like Virgin Atlantic Airways, Lufthansa, and Swiss International Airlines are also avoiding Niger.

Editor Africa Beat

Africa Beat is the source of all your news and updates in the travel industry out of Africa. You will find also find reviews and features focused on Africa.

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