Air Algérie Expands Network To South Africa

air Algérie airbus jet
Credit: David Velupillai/Airbus

Air Algérie has revealed plans to launch a new nonstop service connecting Algiers to Johannesburg, South Africa, that will become the second-farthest route in the airline’s network.

The carrier will connect Algiers’ Houari Boumediene International Airport (ALG) with Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport (JNB) twice a week from Sept. 21 using Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

Flights will operate from Algeria’s capital on Sundays and Thursdays, with a return connection on Mondays and Thursdays. At 4,633 mi. (4,026 nm), the route will be Air Algérie’s longest within Africa by distance and second only to its ALG-Beijing Capital service at 5,655 mi. (4,914 nm).

Air Algérie spokesperson Amine Andaloussi says the opening of the route is in accordance with the instructions of Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune as part of an ambition to strengthen the airline’s international network and develop ALG as a hub.

At present, Air Algérie’s existing African route map is mainly concentrated in North Africa, with only a handful of flights to Sub-Saharan African destinations. The farthest south extends to Abidjan, a city on the southern Atlantic coast of Côte d'Ivoire.

Once ALG-JNB launches, it will become the sole nonstop connection between Algeria and South Africa. It is hoped the route will contribute to a rise in leisure traffic, as well as increased trade.

According to Sabre Market Intelligence data, O&D traffic between the two countries totaled just 7,679 two-way passengers in 2019, all of which was indirect. The three largest one-stop markets were all out of the African continent, with the majority of passengers traveling via Dubai International Airport, Doha International Airport or Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Air Algerie’s geographic expansions form part of its turnaround strategy. The airline currently operates eight A330s, 32 Boeing 737NGs and 14 ATR 72-500s and -600s. In September 2022, the North African carrier launched a tender for 15 narrow- and wide-bodied aircraft, which has since been translated into firm orders for two A350-1000s, five A330-900s, eight 737-9s and a memorandum of understanding for two 737-800BCFs.

Speaking to Aviation Week at the Paris Air Show in June, Air Algerie CEO Yacine Benslimane said: “We’re really looking to expand our network within Africa and beyond—this is really only the beginning. We’re launching a hub in Algiers and the focus [for the MAX jets] will be southern Africa, French-speaking countries within Africa and the whole of Europe.”

He also said the carrier was considering setting up new airlines within Algeria and in other African countries.

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.