What’s up with Ble Goude?
I was at a get together for Ivorians in the diaspora last night to celebrate peace and reconciliation. Though still divided – no pro-Gbagbo showed up – they do know how to party. One of the topics that came up (among us men talking on the parking lot outside, escaping the good but loud music) was whether Charles Ble Goude was still alive or not.
I estimate there was about a 2:1 split for Goude being dead, with arguments put forward that he has a loud mouth and that we would have heard of him from Ghana or somewhere if he was still alive, and that it was weird that Patrick Achi announced Goude was arrested just to retract it later.
Fancy a stop-over chez Gaddafi?
Another topic that came up is how to get to Abidjan and I thought I do a check-up on that. Here’s how’s it’s looking today for departure around the 18th May and return around 19th June:
With Royal Air Maroc and stopping in Casablanca: 660€
With Air Afriqiyah through their Tripoli hub: Ahh, maybe not
With SN Brussels and stopping in Brussels: 740€
With Emirates stopping in Dubai and Accra: 950€ (not quite the shortest route)
Direct flight with Air France: 1,100€
With Royal Air Maroc stopping in Casablanca: 720€
With Ethiopian Airlines stopping in Paris and Addis Abeba: 800€
Semi-Direct with SN Brussels: 940€ (“technical stop” in Accra on the return leg)
With SN Brussels and stopping in Brussels and Accra: 780€
With Royal Air Maroc and stopping in Casablanca: 800€
With Emirates stopping in Dubai and Accra: 830€
With KLM to Accra stopping in Amsterdam: 510€ (and then a bus ride to Abidjan for those that are not in a hurry, or a couple hundred euros more for a separate Accra – Abidjan flight)
With Ethiopian Airlines stopping in Addis Abeba and Ouagadougou: 630€
With Royal Air Maroc stopping in Casablanca: 800€
Direct fight to Accra: 900€
And then we have secondary West European hubs where things get more tricky/expensive.
From Stockholm for example for the 18/19 May to 18/19 June period I see:
With Ethiopian Airlines stopping in Addis Abeba and Ouagadougou: 1,050€
With SN Brussels and stopping in Brussels and Accra (return only): 1,100€
From secondary hubs it might be worth it to take a low-cost to a main hub, but that’s risky if there are delays so your main flight is missed, and low-costs don’t allow much luggage.
Another option is to fly to Accra in Ghana where I have seen very good prices with KLM, Lufthansa or SN Brussels, and then take a long bus-trip or short flight to Abidjan. Prices are, however, not very good with KLM directly from Amsterdam, or Lufthansa directly from Frankfurt. There is a premium for the convenience of a direct flight.
What’s striking in the prices above is the absence of reasonable prices from Air France. The thing is, for a while they were practically the only ones flying and consequently could increase rates. The 18/19 May is just after other carriers (eg SN Brussels, Emirates) start flying to Abidjan, and Air France seems to still keep higher rates for these dates, but a couple of weeks later Air France’s rates are more competitive.
With the crisis ending and the economy picking up, more carriers should start flying to Abidjan and flight prices should go down. Hopefully it will soon cost as much to fly to Abidjan as to Accra.