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Top 16 Best Airlines in Africa

Like the Oscars for the film industry, Skytrax includes global airlines in the ‘World Airline Awards’ by considering all aspects of travel, which take in 13 million surveys gathered over a year and 11 months.

Some African airlines got this merit through their quality service offers and more, ranking the best among others on the continent.  

The UK-based Skytrax World Airline Awards announced more than 350 airlines as award-winning brands worldwide, according to the client’s nomination of favorites after 23 months survey.

Three out of these higher-ranking airlines in the Skytrax are from Africa, while others are from other continents worldwide.

We will list the 16 best airlines in Africa here, including the top three, Ethiopian Airlines, South African Airways, and Kenya Airways, with the Skytrax merit and others with the World Travel Awards.

1. Ethiopian Airlines

Ethiopian Airlines, formerly known as Ethiopian Airlines, is a reliable and leading airline in Africa, based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

In the 2021 Skytrax World Airline Awards announced in July, Ethiopian Airlines ranks as the topmost airline in Africa as a global choice for passengers.

It’s a multi-award-winning airline in Africa, recording an average growth of 25% in the past seven years.

  • Qualities that make Ethiopian Airlines the best in Africa

Ethiopian Airlines is a cargo network and pan-African passenger choice, fleeting international passengers (with over 110 modern airline fleets) and cargo across five continents worldwide. 

They operate an extensive international and domestic cargo network to and fro Ethiopia airport, covering over sixty international destinations such as the Middle East, Africa, North America, Asia, and Europe.

Ethiopian Airlines’ geographic location, effective management, and pattern of commercial operation are also what make them the best.

Their ground/airport services, cabin service, onboard product, and COVID-19 response are second to none.

  • Services at the airport

As a member of Star Alliance (registered in December 2011), Ethiopian Airlines offers quality airport and onboard services.

  • Onboard services

The onboard services of the airline include:

Seat map

Cloud Nine Services

In-flight Meal 

In-flight magazine

Duty-free shopping

In-flight experience

Economy services.

  • Services at the Airport

Addis Ababa Airport services

Arrival Services at Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa Stopovers

Lounges at Addis Ababa

Minimum Connecting Time

Top routes

The top routes of Ethiopian Airlines include flights to Dubai, Newark, Abuja, Muscat, and Guangzhou.  

Top Flights

Flights to Washington

Flights to Nairobi

Flights to Asmara

Flights to Frankfurt

2. South African Airways (SAA)

South African Airways is a government-owned airline that operates a hub and bespoke network in Cape Town and Johannesburg. 

It was long ago known as the South African Air Service, wholly owned by the government of South Africa.

South African Airways is among the largest in Africa, registered with Star Alliance in 2006, and serves as the flag carrier of the South African region.

  • Why choose South African Airways among the best

South African Airways is the second-best airline in Africa after Ethiopian Airlines due to the quality of its onboard product like beverages, superb staff service, extra legroom, cleanliness, and comfortable seats.

  • In-flight Services

The airline provides in-flight digital magazines, a collection of documentaries, and also in-flight management systems.

South African Airways fly to 57 destinations, covering an extensive network, including Lilongwe, Victoria falls, London, Mauritius, Washington, etc.

It provides local flights within Africa and international flights to foreign countries like Europe, Asia, Australia, North and South America.

3. Kenyan Airways

Kenyan Airways is an African airline that flies worldwide to top destinations, as the 3rd best and one of the largest in Africa.

Reason Kenyan airways are on the list of best African airlines.

Kenyan Airways, also known as Pride of Africa, is among the best due to its friendly staff, treatment of customers in a courteous manner, and passion.

It is committed to improving aviation standards on the continent through its continual excellent services.  

Again, Kenyan Airways boast a helpful staff and friendly crew management that gained them the World Travel Awards in 2016 and 2017 consecutively for Africa’s Leading Airline.

Also known as ‘Africa’s Pride,’ the airline has contributed significantly to raising the standards of African aviation through their continued service excellence.

Brief overview

Kenyan Airways have 38 fleets, flies to 53 destinations, and offers in-flight entertainment.

It also offers in-flight dining that depends on the flight duration. Example flight with time below 1hr 30 minutes will get no meal service or welcome drink. 

At the same time, a flight with a duration above 7 hours gets a hot meal, welcome drink, snack service, and a 3rd meal. 

4. Royal Air Maroc

Royal Air Maroc, commonly referred to as RAM, is the largest airline in morocco that operates both long and medium-haul flights to local and international destinations.

  • What makes Royal Air Maroc the best

The airline has an overhead monitor that shows maps and film, packaged almonds, Rose champagne for a long-haul flight.

It’s also among the topping airlines because of their decent meal and comfortable two seats similar to US first class.

  • Airport services

The airline offers services like partners lounge, zenith lounge at the airport, and the magic universe. 

  • Onboard services

It also provides onboard dining, entertainment, luggage allowance, comfortable seats, SKYRIM, SKY SHOP, and a SKY PRESS. 


It offers a business class experience, economy class experience, sanitary measure, and ticket flexibility. 

Extra provision on demand

Additional provisions based on demand that can make your journey exciting include hotels, car renting, and airport transfer. 


EgyptAir is the flagship national carrier of the Arab Republic of Egypt, wholly owned by the state government, and operates at Cairo International Airport.

It’s among the top 5 airlines in Africa and a Star Alliance member that operates scheduled passenger and freight services to over 75 local and international destinations.

They offer flight services across Africa, alongside other continents like America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

What makes EgyptAir one of the best African Airline

EgyptAir is a 3-star certified airline in Africa because of its friendly staff, quality onboard, and airport services.

Product rating includes state-of-the-art amenities, good cabin staff and ground services, onboard meals and beverages, cleanliness, and IFE, among others. 


EgyptAir offers charter flights, group reservations, special airport services, special assistance, and accessibility.

Aside from the services listed above, they also provide;

  • Travel Documentation
  • In-flight entertainment
  • Seat Reservation
  • E-Upgrade
  • Check-in times
  • Flight Status
  • Lounges
  • Baggage
  • On Board 

6. Air Mauritius

Air Mauritius is one of Mauritius’s best African airlines and the national flag carrier, flying passengers to twenty-three [23] destinations locally and internationally.

  • Reasons Air Mauritius is among the best in Africa

The airline is among the best, and a 4- star rated airline with good quality service on both ground and air.

Another main reason why air Mauritius is the best is its sandy beach destination for the airline and the high value rendered to passengers.

Airport lounge

Air Mauritius provides a lounge at the airport, specified into; the Amedee main guard lounge, air Mauritius premium lounge, and worldwide lounge.


Air Mauritius serve their passengers with special meals, in-flight meals, and champagne services.

Travel class

The travel class of the airline is just between business and economy.


The fleet of the airline comprises Airbus A350-900, Airbus A330-900neo, A330-200, and ATR72-500. 

Special assistance

It is interesting to know that the airline offers special assistance to the following people; expectant mothers, medical cases, those traveling with infants, and those traveling with children. 

7. Air Seychelles

Air Seychelles is an airline that flies to different destinations across several countries in Africa.

  • The reasons why Air Seychelles is among the best

Air Seychelles is recommendable because of its gourmet cuisine with a selection of wine, a baggage allowance of 52kg, and free entry to the business class lounge.

It is one of the best due to its comfortable seats with ample legroom and access to any latest blockbuster using seyStream (a new entertainment system brand for in-flight entertainment viewing).

Where Air Seychelles flies

Air Seychelles airline flies in places like Johannesburg, Mahe, Mumbai, Colombo, Tel Aviv, Praslin, etc. 

Special offer

The airline’s special offer is to assist passengers with deformities, and mental disabilities convey them to their various destinations at all times. 

They also cater to unaccompanied minors between the age of 5 and 14.

Provide stretchers and oxygen for passengers on request.

Permission for pet

Pets like dogs, cats, and birds are permitted to travel in the aircraft, but the owners must display their breed, weight, and size to the cabin crew. 

8. RwandAir

RwandAir is a growing airline that flies in more than thirty [30] destinations in central, eastern, southern, and western Africa.

  • Why it’s best to use RwandAir

RwandAir comes with plenty of benefits that make one eager to board a flight again and again.

RwandAir is the best reason for adding a 23 kg baggage allowance, free miles ticket, top priority on the waitlist, free upgrade to business class, and free upgrade to the higher cabin.

Onboard services

The onboard services offered in the RwandAir airline include economy class, business class, in-flight entertainment, WiFi, and cuisine. 

Special assistance

The airline ensures to handle affected passengers during disruptions like aircraft swap, aircraft on the ground, and weather changes.

The airline also attends to customers at overnight transit. 

Analyze the whole process to customers from security to check-in, to immigration, down to duty-free, lounge, gate, boarding, and lastly, queue.


The RwandAir airline destination is in Africa, Europe, and Asia.

9. FlySafair

FlySafair, previously known as Safair Airline, is a cheaper South African airline that specifically flies within the seven domestic destinations in South Africa, including Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, etc. 

  • Why FlySafair is amongst the best in Africa. 

FlySafair is among the best airlines in Africa due to its easy check-in, clean interiors, and its staff-friendly environment. 


The destination of FlySafair rotates between Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, George, East London, Durban, and Bloemfontein. 


FlySafair airline helps to carry wheelchairs and oxygen for health-challenged passengers. 


The airline permits only service dogs to travel with the owner free of charge.

It also allows pregnant women to travel with their airline, provided the pregnancy is not above 28 weeks.  

10. Air Algeria

Air Algeria, also spelled as Air Algerie, is a national airline with a fleet size of 56 and 75 destinations.

  • Reason Air Algeria is best.

The airline’s priority in handling passengers’ luggage, a 10 kg ultra luggage allowance, and regular disposal of the cabin crew to passengers is some of the reasons why air Algeria is the best airline.

Special Offers

They provide unusual meals for passengers with dietary preferences.

Also, they offer proper attention to passengers that require assistance. 

The airline grants a tailor-made discount for passengers.

In-flight entertainment

The in-flight entertainment in air Algeria is films, program TV, and music.  


The airline’s destination is 75, with the international destination as 44 and domestic as 35. 

11. TunisAir

TunisAir is another African airline that operates scheduled international services to four [4] different countries.

The Tunisair, established in 1948, currently has 101 destinations and a fleet size of 29.

Reason to include Tunisair in the list of the best airline in Africa

Tunisair is categorized among the best airlines in Africa because it has quality services, an opportunity to earn miles is guaranteed, and a 2-star airline. 

Onboard entertainment

The only onboard entertainment the airline provides is in-flight magazines and meals.


The fleets of Tunisair include A320, A319, A330, and B737. 

Tunisair airline instruction

The passengers should be at the airport at least 3 hours before departure.

Check-in should occur 30 minutes before departure.

Only luggage with 32 kg is permitted.

Only one bag that does not exceed 115cm is allowed on board.

12. Arik air

Arik Air is a Nigerian airline that operates a network of 30 mid-haul and also has two main hubs at Murtala Mohammed international airport in Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe international airport in Abuja.

Why Arik airline is part of the best

Arik airline is one of the best in Africa because of its customer satisfaction, fast network service, cost-friendly, airline safety, and top-notch overall management.

Top destinations

Arik Air’s top destinations are Ilorin, Abuja, Yola, Ibadan, Jos, Owerri, Lagos, and Kano.  

13. Libyan Airline

Alternatively called Libyan Arab Airline, Libyan Airlines operates a cargo service within Libya and Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

Why Libyan airline is among the best

The Libyan African airline has perfect pilots, capable engineers, enduring staff, quality food, very affordable and time conscious.


The fleet of Libyan Airlines consists of Airbus and Bombardier.


The class, the airline, is dealing with is economy class and business class.


Libyan Airline allows one bag per person, and it must not exceed 18 kg weight and 55cm.  

14. Air Burkina

Air Burkina is a national airline of Burkina Faso that operates a regional service to Benin, Ghana, and Mali.

The government of Burkina Faso owns the airline, though it was one time owned by an AKFED/IPS consortium between 2001- 2017.

The reason why Air Burkina is one of the best airlines in Africa

The airline provides a 30 kg luggage allowance, good communication skills of the cabin crew, and high customer care service.


The airline’s services are heartwarming, and it includes a call center, ground service, freight service, in-flight service, and onboard duty-free.


Destinations of air Burkina are as follows; Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Benin, Burkina, and Senegal. 

15. Air Kasai

Air Kasai is a DRC Congo national airline with its main base at the N’Dolo airport and a destination within Africa.

Reason Air Kasai is among the best in Africa.

Air Kasai exhibits exemplary customer service, has several efficient workers, and has an attractive price.


The departure of air Kasai Airlines ranges from a location like Kinshasa, Tshikapa, and Kananga. 


The destination also rotates in Tshikapa, Kananga, and Kinshasa.  

16. Air Cote d’Ivoire

Air Cote d’Ivoire is the airline that succeeded the popular Air Ivoire that went bankrupt in 2011.

Reason Air Cote d’Ivoire is amongst the best.

One of the main reasons the airline is among the best is that it has competent and flexible management, provides classic entertainment, and has workable ACs.


Air Cote d’Ivoire gives premium in-flight connectivity, Ivoire fret express, Ivoire fret domestic, evasion package, business class, and class Ivory.  

World Travel Awards for Africa Airline Nominees 2021

Africa’s Prime Airline in ascending order- Economy Class 2021

South African Airways


Royal Air Maroc

Precision Air


LAM – Mozambique Airlines

Kenya Airways


Ethiopian Airlines

Africa’s Principal Airline in ascending order- Business Class 2021

South African Airways


Royal Air Maroc

Ethiopian Airlines


Kenya Airways

Leading Airline in Africa for 2021

Kenya Airways


Ethiopian Airlines

Royal Air Maroc


South African Airways


Foremost Africa’s Airline Brand in 2021 in ascending order

South African Airways


Royal Air Maroc

Kenya Airways


Ethiopian Airlines

Which is the best airline in Africa?

According to Skytrax 2021 World Airline Awards, the best airline in Africa is Ethiopian Airlines.

Which airline is the biggest in Africa?

Ethiopian Airlines ranks number one in the list of biggest airlines in Africa.

How many airlines are in Africa?

Generally, about 30 airlines in Africa provide commercial flights, with various smaller ones that offer regional flights. 

Low-cost airlines in Africa include Mango, FlySafair, kulula (South Africa), Fly540, Jambojet (Kenya).


These African airlines in our lists include the best three that have acquired the Skytrax Awards and others the ensure passenger satisfaction at all costs.

The above-listed airlines in Africa consider reward program perks, baggage policy, onboard meals, online check-in at home, and staff friendliness, among other things.

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