African airlines will record loss of $8bn

 The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) has forecast an $8.2 billion revenue loss for carriers on the continent in the year.

The loss, according to the continental body, is 47.2 per cent of the full year revenue for carriers in 2019.

The report came just as AFRAA released updates for the eighth month of the year, indicating that air passenger traffic reached 46.8 per cent compared to the same month in 2019 while capacity pegged at 54.6 per cent. Last year, African airlines made a cumulative loss of $10.21billion, that is, 58.8 per cent of 2019 revenue.

The poor revenue performance, the body said is predicated on the slow response to calls for support to African aviation and tourism sectors by governments and development financial institutions identified by experts as a major threat to the survival of the African aviation industry.

To reverse this trend, experts have called on governments on the continent to heed the calls by the African Union (AU), African Civil Aviation Commission and other organisations to provide financial relief and support to the industry players most impacted by COVID-19 to avoid the collapse of the  industry.

According to the continental body, domestic markets across Africa recorded a slight reduction in passenger demand, although still outperforming intra-Africa and intercontinental traffic.

Domestic traffic for the month under review was 58.9 per cent compared to 22.7 percent for intra-Africa and 18.4 percent for intercontinental.

On passenger capacity according to seats offered, domestic, intra-Africa and intercontinental accounted for 46.5 per cent, 26.8 percent  and 26.7 percent.

Investigations reveal that globally the COVID-19 cases continue to rise despite the fact that 24.6 per cent of the world’s population has been vaccinated.

In Africa, just about 1.85 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated according to data available on the Africa CDC website.

In Africa, the number of deaths continues to rise while vaccination is progressing at a snail pace, thus causing concerns among the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors on recovery. Worldwide, the numbers of infected cases reached 200 million of which seven million are in Africa.

The global recovery rate stands at 97.7 per cent compared to 97.3 per cent  in Africa.

Re-start of operations on intercontinental routes by African airlines reached 77.8 per cent  last month, though frequency and capacity remained constrained.