INSIGHT

Intra-African Passenger Traffic Recovery is Estimated at 74% in May

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2022 has been a year of recovery for the air transport sector. Despite the positive outlook, average jet fuel price continues to rise globally, impacting on airlines operating costs. From the mid-May average price of 146.5/bbl, Platts estimates the impact on airlines 2022 fuel bill is $121.1 billion.

In the month of May 2022, AFRAA estimates that African airlines’ capacity deployed reached 76.6% of 2019 capacity. Traffic recovery is now at 66.3% of 2019 pre-Covid level.

Domestic markets remain dominant in both capacity and actual passenger carried. Domestic demand at 42.1% outperformed intra-Africa and intercontinental which remained subdued at 30.2% and 27.7% for intra-Africa and intercontinental respectively. The percentage of international routes operated by African airlines is estimated to reach an impressive 92.2% in May 2022 compared to Feb 2020.

The Intra-African passenger traffic recovery is estimated at 74% in May due to the easing of anti-covid19 restrictions in several African countries.

Generally across Africa, passenger traffic volumes remain low because of the high ticket cost and travel apathy. It is hoped that with the continued relaxation of lockdown and Covid-19 restrictions in many countries, traffic will increase as we approach the summer holiday peak season.

Airline revenues remained low with many operators battling with cash-flow issues. Full year revenue loss for African airlines for 2022 is estimated at US$4.1b, equivalent to 23.4% of the 2019 revenues. In 2021, African airlines cumulatively lost $8.6b in revenues due to the impact of the pandemic, representing 49.8% of 2019 revenues

Other government regulatory Developments:

  • A total of 27 States in AFI have eased travel restrictions by removing the requirement for testing on fully vaccinated passengers. The list of the Countries include: South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Mauritius, Senegal, Seychelles, Togo, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sao Tome & Principe, DRC, Congo Republic,  Zambia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Niger, Somalia, Mauritania, Eswatini and Ghana
  • Since 18th May, travelers (excluding children below age 12) to Morocco are required to present a vaccination certificate or a PCR test result of not exceeding 72 hours.

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