Road Warrior: Increased flying across Africa’s sunny skies

All-Africa passport, digital pills for passengers, falling hotel rates in Brexitland

A pan-African passport is expected to seriously boost air travel in the continent from 2018.

A pan-African passport is expected to seriously boost air travel in the continent from 2018.

 

Air travel spend in Africa is expected to rise 24 per cent from 2018 with the introduction of the pan-African passport, according to travel reservation technology provider Sabre.

The African Union has been working on an all-Africa passport for many years, and the first ones were recently issued to heads of state and senior officials at an AU meeting in Kigali, Rwanda. The 54 members of the African Union hope that visa-free travel will encourage business. Currently only 13 African states allow visa-free access.

Digital pill for the ill

In the realms of futurology, the Evening Standard reported this week that British Airways is exploring giving “digital pills” to passengers that could monitor diagnostic health information and transmit to the crew. The sensors would detect if passengers are hot, cold, tired, hungry, asleep or nervous. The ingestible sensors will work alongside data from wearable technology and smartphones.

A California company, Proteus Digital Health, already offers a kit consisting of a pill that reacts on contact with stomach acid, a wearable patch, and smartphone app for the monitoring of hypertension and diabetes.

Big profits in extras

Revenue from airline ancillary services is projected to reach $67.4 billion (€63.4 billion) worldwide by the end of 2016. If you think you have been paying more for travel, you have. The ancillary revenue generated by booking seats, checked baggage, food and drinks, priority boarding and commissions earned from selling hotels and car hire has gone up by 200 per cent in six years, from $22.6 billion in 2010.

UK hotel rates dropping

Average hotel rates in UK cities have begun to fall by up to 20 per cent in the third quarter, with Cardiff, Edinburgh, Bristol and Liverpool showing the biggest decreases. HRS’s hotel reservation service data shows London also falling 14 per cent. However, at £153 (€180), the average nightly rate is still the most expensive place to stay.

In addition: “Average room rates across Europe are holding strong,” said Andy Besent, managing director of HRS (UK and Ireland).

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