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FLIGHTS OF FANCY WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES A PLANE MAKE?

Lauren Jarvis boards South African Airways’ inaugural Airbus A330-300 flight from London to Johannesburg to see how modern air travel is making Africa more easily accessible

For some travellers, the prospect of a long-haul flight to Africa can be discouraging. But with newer aircraft operating the routes, the experience is considerably less daunting than it used to be.

More people are flying than ever before — around eight million of us every day — with an increasing number of bigger, faster and more fuel-efficient planes plying a growing selection of worldwide routes. There are now upstairs lounges and downstairs suites; personal minibars and ‘apartments’ with showers; plush robes, fine dining and even private butlers whisking cocktails to your crystal-clad cabin (okay, that last part isn’t entirely true).

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About Travel Africa

A wildlife lover's guide to Kenya • How to plan the ideal holiday to Zimbabwe • 10 Reasons to take your kids on safari • In Mandela's footsteps • Great bush dining: how they do it • Uganda, for the love of birds • Surprising Liberia • Southern Namibia • Lake Malawi • Awesome Okavango portfolio • Ethiopia's highlights... and much more!