9th freedom of the air in Africa

Just a quick question: I have been learning a lot about African aviation recently and thus also about the pressing issue of a lack of liberalization of the aviation sector in many African countries. I researched and found every freedom of the air issued, which I find quite telling with regard to the liberalization of a country’s aviation sector, but I couldn’t find a single example of the 9th freedom being utilized in Africa. I really like to fly niche routes and I like flying African routes even more. Now I would love to fly a 9th freedom flight since I “tried out” every other freedom, so I’d love to hear which of those in Africa you know and which of those (if multiple) you’d recommend.

@Lotus maybe?


Ninth freedom flights, I believe, are ones that are utilised most often by private jet or charter operators. Using Malta charter private jet operator, VistaJet, for example, it’s not uncommon for them to be seen flying on routes such as Cape Town to Durban or Johannesburg with all preceding inbound flights not having been coming in from Malta.

Ninth freedom flights in general do seem to be a niche on its own and I would struggle to even think of a real world example globally, let alone one in Africa.

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From what I understand LCCs often use them. Ryanair for example flies within France, despite being from Ireland. But due to the high level of regulation and protectionism, many monopolies that result in high fares for everything from ANSPs to airports are created. That’s why LCCs can’t really exist in many parts of Africa and only some deregulated domestic markets, e.g. South Africa allows the existence of Safair and others. That’s why I struggle so much.

I also wonder whether or not private jets need the freedom to operate as they seem to operate basically anywhere without too much regulation. Article 5 of the Convention of International Civil Aviation also seems to exempt them, but I am not too sure how up-to-date that one is.

But I guess as it looks like, private jets are my best bet in this case…

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You may find this interesting, though the article is 5 years old.



The problem is, that sadly too many just willingly take the 5th/8th and don’t care about assigning a flight a new flight number. I mean I am not sure how many of the West African airlines could, in theory, designate different legs of their milkruns as single flights according to the 9th, because they received the 9th or if they only have the 5th/8th and not the 9th. But all those milkruns use one flight number which screws me over a bit as a result.

If something would have materialized in Nigeria it would have probably turned out as a 5 or 8, too xD

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I also thought about Ethiopian Mozambique, since they operated with the ET AOC, but I can’t find any FR24 data anymore because they have been bankrupt too long. And Malawian for example has its own AOC
the last thing I can think of are the wet-leased planes operating for Air Peace. But I am pretty sure that they fall under the category of Nigerian aircraft due to them operating for Air peace

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9th freedom (aka cabotage) is extremely rare outside the EU and normally requires some kind of special circumstances, like the only local airline going out of business (as happened in American Samoa a few years ago).

You’re right. I found most of the time if an airline wants to open a base in a foreign country it’ll create a subsidiary based in that country that operates separate from the main airline, e.g. Air Arabia Moroc, FlyJinnah, FlyArna, Air Asia India, Air Asia Thai, Virgin Nigeria, etc.

But thanks for that view! You definitely woke some interest regarding American Samoa

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