General AviationAfrica air passenger traffic reached 42% by July - AFRAA 

Africa air passenger traffic reached 42% by July – AFRAA 

Air passenger traffic has reached 42.9% in July,2021 compared to same month in 2019, African Airlines Associations has found.

According to AFRAA, passenger traffic volumes remain low in Africa due to the inconsistencies in the messaging regarding border closures, health protocols and continued surge in Covid-19 infections in some countries.AFRAA said the result is significant low in airlines revenues.

In the first six months of this year, AFRAA estimated cumulative revenue losses of US$5.0b by African airlines.

Full year revenue loss for African airlines for 2021 is forecast at US$8.4b.

In a statement released on Monday, AFRAA said similarly, capacity reached 53.7% as of July 2021.

“Some countries have been easing travel restrictions to facilitate the movement of people and tourists across borders,” it said.

“There is however concern that this positive trend may be reversed in subsequent months if the rate of Covid-19 infections continues to soar.”

AFRAA noted that African airlines restart of operations on international routes continued the positive trend observed in the last three months.

May 2021 saw a resumption of 62.5% of international routes compared to the pre-Covid period, recovery further improved to 72.7% in June 2021 and 74.7% in the month under review.

The Association said domestic markets across Africa continue to post better performance with demand for passenger travel outperforming intra-Africa and intercontinental at 64% compared to 22.9% for intra-Africa and 13.1% for intercontinental in May.

As regards passenger seats offered, domestic, intra-Africa and intercontinental account for 50.2%, 27.3% and 22.5% respectively.

As regards intra – African connectivity, Mauritius remained the most impacted air travel destination.

This was after it went through a reduction of 98% of possible connections to and from African airports compared to February 2020.

Connectivity however improved for the North and West African airports.

The Association said African airlines made a cumulatively revenue loss of $10.21b in 2020 due to the pandemic.

“This poor performance is a direct threat to the survival of the African aviation industry if the trend continues’ to the end of the year,” they said.

“There is a need for governments to heed the call by the African Union, AFCAC, AFRAA and other organisations to provide financial reliefs and support to airlines to avoid their collapse.”

The African continent continues to witness a significant increase in number of Covid-19 cases as it races to curb the spread.

According to the International Air Transport Association, 2020 was the worst year ever in the airline industry across the world.

This was because the passenger revenues fell by 69 percent to $189 billion.

The association said the 2020 performance on global air transport was due to the devastating effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

Teresa Awuor
Teresa is a vibrant ready to go journalist with a bias in human interest stories.

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