With the introduction of the summer flights schedules, Lufthansa is commencing its first flights to Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, from 1 April 2008. Utilising the existing connection from Frankfurt to Abuja (Nigeria), the airline will stop off en-route at Malabo. Lufthansa will operate the route thrice-weekly with an Airbus A330-300.
Malabo is alongside Luanda (Angola) the second new African destination to be added to the coming Lufthansa summer timetable. As in Angola, the economy in Equaorial Guinea is largely dependent on the production and export of oil. With the newcomers in the summer timetable, Germany’s biggest airline is expanding its route network in Africa to a total of 15 destinations in twelve countries, served by 67 weekly connections. “The new destination is in fast and easy reach of Frankfurt on flights lasting a good six and a half hours. Lufthansa is the only airline to offer First-Class accommodation to Malabo, alongside Economy and Business Class,” said Dr. Karl-Rudolf Rupprecht, Head of Hub Management Frankfurt..
Equatorial Guinea consists of a portion on the African mainland and several offshore islands. The Country achieved independence in 1968 and has a population of over half a million. The official languages are Spanish and French. The capital Malabo lies on the island of Bioko in the Gulf of Guinea and is surrounded by extensive oil reserves. Blessed by a growing economy in recent years, the Country’s maintains numerous international trade relations, principally in the energy sector.
SWISS is also optimising its flight schedules to West Africa. In the summer timetable 2008, the Swiss carrier is discontinuing its services to Malabo analogous to the new Lufthansa connection and is instead adding an extra flight ex Zurich to Douala (Cameroon) as well as increasing its services to Yaoundé (Cameroon) with a further two flights to three weekly. The new flights will greatly improve services to Cameroon.