How Much Does it Cost to Fly Around the World? 3 of 7: Africa to Europe

How Much Does it Cost to Fly Around the World?

  1. North America>South America
  2. South America>Africa
  3. Africa>Europe
  4. Europe>Central Asia
  5. Central Asia>South East Asia
  6. South East Asia>North America
  7. Wrap Up

3. Africa>Europe

Given it just cost us almost $1400 to travel the 7500 km from Peru to South Africa, you might expect that flying the 9000 km from South Africa to Europe would be close to the same cost.

You'd be wrong.

Believe it or not, flying Capetown to Rome, almost twice the length of the United States, costs less than a typical NYC>LA ticket.

This is true for most of southern Africa to southern Europe and is part of the reason we chose this routing. We may adjust our specific landing in Europe later on but for now, let's assume we are going to fly into Rome.

Why are prices this low for such a long flight?

This flight is longer than our route from Cuzco to Capetown. As West Wing taught us years ago, Africa is huge.

A few things are happening here:

  1. Airline Routing Zone Maps: Because of the relative paucity of flight demand in and out of Africa (compared with nearby Middle East or Europe) the airlines classify Africa as a single zone. So despite the fact that Africa is 6000 miles from top to bottom, flights from the continent are significantly cheaper and more uniform in price than prices in much smaller zones like Europe.
  2. Relative Proximity to High Volume Airline Hubs: Europe is an extremely competitive airline market due to its high volume of travelers. This means airports that can handle a significantly higher volume of flights, making the relative cost of each one less. 
  3. State Subsidized Airlines: The Middle East is full of state subsidized airlines from Qatar, Oman, etc. These airlines offer cut-throat prices that undercut independent carriers. Note that our $336 fare from Capetown to Italy routes through the Middle East and despite 2 stops is all on Etihad. By offering lower prices, they lure flights thru the Middle East that otherwise would not be routed that way.

Of course the end result for us is that we are now on our third continent and have spent less than $2000 on flights.

  1. US>South America- $187/Person
  2. South America>Africa- $1355/Person
  3. Africa>Europe- $336/person
  4. Europe>Central Asia
  5. Central Asia>South East Asia 
  6. South East Asia>US 

Continue Reading: How Much Does It Cost to Fly Around the World? 4 of 7: Europe to Central Asi