ASKY? You might be ASKing me...
Honestly, it was a twist of fate I ended up with ASKY - the Pan African airline. Long story short, a thou-shall-be-unnamed airline I originally booked with cancelled my flight, leaving me stranded in West Africa unless I proactively perform some self-rescuing.
Given my stingy travel budget, this left me pretty much with two options:
1. fly Ethiopian Airlines east, to East Africa
2. fly ASKY Airlines south, to well, South Africa
Option 1 did offer me the option of flying with Ethiopian's state-of-the-art A350 aircraft but given my extensive exploits previously with Ethiopian (which you may view here), I decided to take my chances with a relatively unheard-of airline, ASKY.
And I haven't answered you. Who exactly is ASKY?
ASKY Airlines - the Pan African airline is established, after the bankruptcy of Air Afrique, on the initiative of West African governments, to provide reliable air links intra-Africa (particularly within West Africa and Central Africa and between them) at reasonable prices. Its hub is in Lomé, Togo, which is centrally located between East and West Africa. Given its small fleet, ASKY operates multi-stop flights with 5th freedom rights throughout its network. My journey to Johannesburg is one of them, a recently introduced KP60, routed Lomé-Lagos-Libreville-Jo'burg.
Operator: ASKY Airlines
Route: Lagos to Libreville
Operating aircraft: B737-790
Departure from Lagos: 4.45pm / 4.48pm*
Arrival in Libreville: 6.30pm / 6.22pm*
Flight time: 1h45 / 1h24*
(*denotes actual timings)
I actually boarded from Lomé so this was my second sector. Passengers in transit from Lome were requested to stay onboard. New passengers quickly arrived, and guess what? It was going to be a free-for-all free-seating flight! Repeatedly, announcements were made to inform passengers of this unique sitting system.
Whenever I fly, regardless of airline, I notice a line of very eager fellow passengers who start queuing long before the call for boarding, I guess they may have been mistaken that they were flying ASKY.
It was quite amusing, actually, as passengers stream down the aisle, looking for their choice seat. Seated quite near the front, I noticed most of the passengers moved towards the rear, in hope of a "better" seat, rather than plonking their butts on the nearest seat to the door. #humanpsychology
Seat pocket contents
Once everyone settled into their choice seats (or lack of), it was safety demonstration (in French and English) before the take-off, with a bird's eye view of the sprawling metropolis of Lagos.
Once the seatbelt sign was turned off, the cabin crew were quick to start the inflight service on this short flight sector. The purser went down the aisle to offer every passenger... ….a few squirts of hand sanitizer gel. I have to be brutally honest: I have not seen this ingenious idea onboard any other airline I have flown with! But I do appreciate ASKY's health concerns about the passengers' well-being onboard. The gel felt and smelt very harsh - which I inferred was potent in killing any bacteria the passengers had come into contact with thus far.
This hand sanitizer service was quickly followed by the dispense of guess what? HOT MEALS! Even though it was just a single choice of chicken in tomato relish with rice, the fact that ASKY serves a 3-course hot meal on a tray on a flight less than 1.5 hours in actual flight time is much appreciated (even more so than the hand sanitizer).
There was a bread and cut fresh fruits (watermelon and pineapple) to go with the meal.
This was followed by the drinks cart, which offered a wide range of drinks from juices to wines and beer. I had a bottle of wine to go with my drink, which was Barton & Guestier Cuvée Speciale Red Wine (French). It was not the best tasting but again, the gesture is as much appreciated as the hand sanitizer.
Hot tea was served after all the meals were dished out.
This was followed by hot coffee.
Once the meal service was complete, the cabin crew quickly cleared the meal trays. Even though the meal service was short and hectic, I appreciate the professionalism of the cabin crew in keeping everyone's enjoyment of the flight and comfort in mind.
It was then a descend into the sunset, landing in Libreville as night falls.
Again, passengers bound for Johannesburg was requested to remain onboard and identify their belongings.
It was a short but memorable flight with ASKY Airlines.
Thank you for reading this flight review on FlightTravels!
For the full KP60 flight video, please watch below: