[Image File/IATA]
AfricaNews

African Governments Urged to Harness Aviation for Economic Growth

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on Africa’s governments to take advantage of a strengthening aviation sector to maximize its benefits for economic and social development across the African Continent.

Recently IATA announced that Africa’s airlines are expected to earn a collective net profit in 2024 for the second year in a row. That, according to IATA, is a welcome and hard-won result reflecting the sector’s resilience in its post-COVID recovery.

The expected $100 million profit, however, translates into just 90 cents per passenger—well below the global average of $6.14.

“Africa’s airlines are making a collective profit. That is good news. But it is razor-thin and well below the global benchmark. And there are wide variations across the continent where many individual airlines still struggle with losses.

Kamil Alawadhi, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, said, while the projected total profit is “good news, “it is razor-thin… and there are wide variations across the continent where many individual airlines still struggle with losses.”

IATA’s forecast put the Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPK) growth at 8.5%, indicating continued strong passenger demand across the region. This does, however, lag behind the expected growth in capacity of 9.1%.

“The demand to travel is there. To meet it, the African airline sector needs to overcome many challenges, not least of which are infrastructure deficiencies, high costs, onerous taxation, and the failure to broadly implement a continent-wide multilateral traffic rights regime,”Alawadhi said.