/ 2020 news

  L  Covid-19 and the future of African airlines: Kenya Airways and Airlink CEOs share their views 
April 27, 2020. Jaco Maritz for How We Made it in Africa news.

The Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent travel restrictions have brought much of the global airline industry to a standstill. To find out how the pandemic is currently impacting African airlines and what the industry could look like after the crisis, London-based corporate network Invest Africa recently hosted a webinar that brought together several airline CEOs. Here is what we learnt from the discussion.

Many airlines are facing a cash crunch 
The precarious financial circumstances in which some African airlines find themselves was aptly highlighted when Kenya Airways CEO Allan Kilavuka apologised for joining the webinar late because he was locked in a call with the airline’s bankers. “The challenge that we are facing is…how do we conserve cash in the short run, and then how do we remain sustainable in the long run,” he said...Read the original article...

  L  AU study: COVID-19 could cost Africa $500bn, damage tourism, aviation sectors 
April 20, 2020. Kingsley Ighobor for Vanguard.

Up to 20 million jobs in the formal and informal sectors in Africa could be lost because of COVID-19, according to a new study by the African Union. 
    Released in early April, the study found that foreign direct investment (FDI), tourism receipts and remittance flows will also suffer significant declines as the continent tackles the pandemic. Titled The Impact of Coronavirus on the African Economy, the study modelled two scenarios, each with equal chance of being realized. Under scenario one (realistic), the pandemic will be contained within five months, inflicting minimal damage; under scenario two, the pandemic will last for eight months and countries will be severely affected...Read the original article...

2020 news

  L  IATA estimates passenger revenue to drop by $314 bn in 2020 
April 15, 2020. Logistics Update Africa.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released updated analysis showing that the Covid-19 crisis will see airline passenger revenues drop by $314 billion in 2020, a 55% decline compared to 2019. On March 24, IATA estimated $252 billion in lost revenues (-44% vs. 2019) in a scenario with severe travel restrictions lasting three months...Read the original article...

  L  African carriers record 6.2 per cent freight spike amid global slump 
April 14, 2020. Wole Oyebade for the Guardian (Nigeria).

IATA insists on free movement of life-saving cargoes
Amid the global disruption in air movement, African airlines have sustained a positive air cargo volume and an increase in demand ahead of other regions. 
    The estimate for the month of February – the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in African countries – showed that African carriers posted the fastest growth of any region for the 12th consecutive month, with an increase in demand of 6.2% compared to the same period a year earlier. 
    Meanwhile, airline operators have urged governments to sustain a free movement network of cargoes across the global, given that medical supplies and other consumables are critical to survival and recovery... Read the original article...

  L  Africa COVID-19 Round Up
March 30, 2020. Aviation & Allied Business Publication.

IATA: Industry Losses
Due to the COVID-19, the IATA says international bookings in Africa are down roughly 20% in March and April; domestic bookings have fallen by about 15% in March and 25% in April, according to the latest data. African airlines had lost US$4.4 billion in revenue as at 11 March 2020. Ticket refunds have increased by 75% in 2020 compared to the same period in 2019 (1 February – 11 March). IATA wants governments to support airlines to recover. 

African Airlines Association (AFRAA): Calls for Government support to African Airlines  
AFRAA urges African governments to consider the compensation of inevitable losses, the alleviation of exogenous operating costs, and the subsidization of the African airlines in a bid to assure the industry’s viability. AFRAA strongly recommends that African airlines engage their stakeholders to develop an all-inclusive proactive response strategy that addresses the adverse impact of the COVID-19 on their business to ensure airlines recover effectively to support key economic sectors.

Global Alliances: Oneworld, SkyTeam, Star Alliance call for extraordinary government support 
On behalf of their member airlines, the three global airline alliances oneworld®, SkyTeam and Star Alliance are jointly calling on governments and stakeholders to take action to alleviate the unprecedented challenges faced by the global airline industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the original article...

  L  Hot hubs for African expansion 
March, 4 2020. African Aerospace Online.

With new airports and terminal expansion projects on the rise across Africa, Chloe Wilson reports on how the competition is heating up in the race to become the continent’s primary aviation gateway.
    It’s no secret that Africa’s aviation market is one with huge potential. The forecasts for the sector continue to be positive with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) projecting that Africa will be the fastest growing region to 2036 – 5.9% per annum – for a total market of 400 million passengers annually. 
    Challenges still abound but the forecast growth in passenger traffic is impressive. So, too, are the opportunities it brings for the continent’s airport infrastructure and, particularly, for those destinations looking to align themselves as Africa’s primary aviation hubs. Read the original article...

  L  Advocating for African airlines to become key economic drivers 
February 6, 2020. Bizcommunity.com.

The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) has advocated for sustainable, interconnected and affordable air transport in Africa where African airlines become key players and drivers to African economic development.
    According to 2019 AFRAA Annual report, air transport in Africa currently supports 6.2 million jobs and $55.8bn of GDP and is expected to grow at a rate of 4.6% annually for the next 20 years. This growth in traffic is increasingly being matched by route expansion by African airlines. Read the original article...

  L  Africa and the world are seeing a decline in tourists - should we be worried? 
January 28, 2020. Gabi Zietsman, Traveller24.

In 2018 tourism was booming in Africa - a 9% increase from the previous year. But in 2019, that growth had dropped to 4%, according to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) - despite limited data available for the continent. While North Africa did exceptionally well, including Egypt's economic stabilisation, Sub-Saharan Africa only had a 1.5% growth. 
    Should we be worried? Read the original article...

  L  Ethiopian Airlines to start building new airport this year 
January 15, 2020. African Aerospace Online.

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde Gebremariam has announced it will start constructing a new $5 billion airport later this year. 
    The airport will be built in Bishoftu, a town 39 km south east of Addis Ababa, and it will have the capacity to handle 100 million passengers a year. Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa has a passenger capacity of about 19 million passengers annually. Read the original article...

  L  African Aviation: Building Fleets and Improving Safety
January 12, 2020. Africa.com.

African aviation is expected to be one of the fastest growing sectors in terms of air traffic in the world, second only to China.
    The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says international passenger growth of 7.7 percent is expected over the next few years.
    The founder of the African Business Travel Association (ABTA), Monique Swart, says she’s seen first-hand the rapid rise in business travel across the continent, as companies expand their African aviation networks: “Many global corporations who first opened their doors in South Africa in the early to mid-90s are now starting to branch out into other fast-developing countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Angola, and Kenya.” Read the original article...

  L  African airports can leapfrog to satisfy tech savvy passenger demands - expert 
January 9, 2020. Carin Smith, Fin24.

Airport and airline IT executives believe that the growing number of tech-savvy travellers will have the biggest impact on their digital plans over the next six years to 2025, according to a recent report by SITA (Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques), an IT provider to the air transport industry, entitled 2025 and the digital age of travel.  
    The report shows that by 2025, 68% of all passengers will be digital travellers and will expect to manage their travel in much the same way they do every other aspect of their daily lives – using their mobile phones. Read the original article...


/ 2019 news

  L  African airlines set to make almost R3bn loss in 2020 
December 12, 2019. Carin Smith, Fin24. 

African airlines continue to suffer due to high costs and are projected to show a loss of $200m (about R2.9bn) next year, similar to the loss expected for 2019, according to the International Air Transport Association. 
    According to Chris Zweigenthal, CEO of AASA, South Africa's domestic air transport market is one of the most robustly competitive in Africa, with local carriers engaged in fierce competition. 
    Against the backdrop of South African Airways recently having been placed in business rescue, Zweigenthal said AASA would like the business rescue scenario to give the aviation and related industries a chance to adjust and adapt - ensuring those they serve are provided with sustainable, competitive, capable, reliable and safe services. Read the original article...

  L  The African aviation industry is still growing
March 4, 2019. James Geldenhuys, BizComm. Source: www.bizcommunity.com. 

Africa comprises 2.2% of the global market in terms of Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPK), which measures actual passenger traffic. This might be a small number on a global scale but is certainly substantial on its own.
    According to Boeing's recent Market Outlook, 1190 new aircraft with an expected value of $170bn will be needed over the next 20 years. This bodes well for the continent in spite of the challenges facing Africa's aviation industry.
    The overall state of air travel and aircraft finance on the continent remain positive, with many carriers weathering the political and economic storms of the past few years very well. Read the original article here...

  L  Africa on the cusp of an aviation boom?
February 20, 2019. Pratap John, Gulf Times. 

Continent Africa comprises some 54 countries. Africans total more than 12% of the global population, but surprisingly they make up only 3% of the world’s air travellers.
    Africa has 731 airports and 419 airlines with an aviation industry that supports around 6.9mn jobs and $80bn in economic activity, data show. And according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Africa is set to become one of the fastest growing aviation regions in the next 20 years with an annual expansion of nearly 5%. Read the original article here...

  L  Single air transport market essential for African air cargo sector
February 20, 2019. Rebecca Campbell, Engineering News.

The Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) initiative, which has so far been signed by 28 countries, is of great significance for the continent's air transport sector.So affirmed participants in a panel discussion at the Air Cargo Africa 2019 conference and exhibition.
    "SAATM is a very important initiative," stated Kenyan airfreight airline Astral Aviation founder and CEO Sanjeev Gadhia. "It is the initiative that is going to save the air transport industry in Africa." He pointed out that the continent was divided by what he called "walls in the sky", with many African countries shutting out carriers from other African countries. "This is a continent that is disconnected." Read the original article here...

  L  Africa: Underdogs Threaten Africa's Darling Airlines
January 17, 2019. Njenga Hakeenah, The Exchange (Dar es Salaam), AllAfrica news. 
A battle for African skies is brewing as competition becomes tougher for darling and established airlines.  
    Many African countries remain inaccessible to the majority of Africans due to the expensive air travel occasioned by few airlines. To address this challenge, many budget airlines are coming up to fill the gap that premier airlines have not been able to fill. 
    The latest entrant is the start-up Green Africa Airways which has signed the largest yet aircraft agreement from Africa with American airplane manufacturer Boeing. Read the original article here...

  L  Here’s how to make Africa’s aviation industry soar
January 9, 2019. Hassan El-Houry, World Economic Forum news.

Africans make up 12% of the world’s population but only 2.5% of the world’s passengers. So why is there such a gap? Africa has 731 airports and 419 airlines with an aviation industry that supports around 6.9 million jobs and $80 billion in economic activity. 
    According to IATA, Africa is set to become one of the fastest growing aviation regions in the next 20 years with an annual expansion of nearly 5%. While it is evident that aviation in Africa has the potential to fuel economic growth, several barriers exist. Weak infrastructure, high ticket prices, poor connectivity and lack of liberalization are some of the many challenges. Read the original article here...