Air France is suspending for one more week, until September 24 inclusive, its services to Mali (Bamako) and Burkina Faso (Ouagadougou). Countries where the traffic rights of the national company are sometimes canceled in retaliation for the political crisis. Flights to Niger (Niamey) remain stopped indefinitely, “until further notice”. However, Niger's airspace, once closed, has been reopened but planes flying the tricolor flag are not landing there. These activity restrictions are formalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and by Europe, which has placed Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali in the red zone. Airport ground operations do not provide sufficient security for commercial passenger transport. On the other hand, no disruption in Gabon where Libreville airport is normally served by a daily newspaper (except Thursday).
Since August 7, Air France's schedule has been supplemented by a daily to Bamako, the Ouagadougou stopover on the flight to Accra five times a week and four Paris-Niamey flights per week. To the extent possible and available, Air France strives to “reprotect” its passengers on the flights of companies which have maintained their services. The tensions between demand and supply are strong with the start of the university year. Many students travel in the south-north direction at this time.
Note, however, that four times a week, Corsair, which usually operates from Orly, offers flights to Bamako (chartered this summer to HiFly). Currently departing from Roissy-CDG T3, they will return to Orly 4 in the winter program with Corsair planes and volunteer crews.
Alternatives to the services suspended by Air France are offered mainly by Royal Air Maroc via Casablanca, Ethiopian Airlines via Addis Ababa, Turkish Airlines via Istanbul and, in a few cases, Air Algérie and Tunisair.
The recent earthquake in Morocco did not damage airport facilities or telecommunications networks. Air carriers were able to operate their flights normally, particularly to Marrakech and Essaouira. However, passenger flows have evolved. Tourists asked to go home early. Moroccans abroad wanted to reunite with their affected families. In this context, regular airlines such as Air France and Royal Air Maroc have shown flexibility by not charging fees for changing departure or destination dates. Transavia has agreed to this policy, provided it does not change destination. This has not been the case for Ryanair which imposes change fees given “that flights are maintained”.