Traffic Carried by African Airlines reaches 98.4% of 2019 Levels – AFRAA

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In August 2023, traffic carried by African airlines reached 98.4% of the 2019 level. Domestic market share was estimated at 34%, intra-Africa at 29%, and intercontinental at 37%.

The total number of intercontinental routes operated by African airlines exceeded pre-COVID levels since October 2022. In some major airports (Johannesburg, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Lusaka, Cairo, Casablanca, Abidjan, and Lomé) intra-Africa connectivity has reached or exceeded pre-Covid level since December 2022.

2023 is witnessing a narrowing of the airline revenue gap attributed to Covid-19 compared to 2022. In the first 3 months of the year, African airlines missed the levels attained in a similar period in 2019 by US$0.3 billion. This is expected to further narrow in the second quarter to US$0.2 billion, according to AFRAA data. Though full-year estimated revenue gap is yet to be computed, it appears 2023 would be a better year compared to the prior year. The 2022 full-year cumulative airlines revenue gap was US$3.5 billion for all African airlines compared to 2019.

The Jet A1 price continues the upward trend, going up by over $22 in one month. The global weekly average jet fuel price during the week ending 25 August 2023 was up 2.9% at $126.37/bbl. In July, the average weekly price was $103.64/bbl.

Blocked Funds
Total blocked funds reported by six (6) airlines in Fifteen (15) countries (13 in Africa and 2 outside Africa) is approximately US$339.1 million at the end of March 2023. AFRAA has requested meetings with some central bank Governors and will soon meet them to agree on a solution to this recurrent problem as part of engagements to have the funds released.

Regulatory/Industry Affairs
Canada’s Air Passenger Protection Regulations Update: Canada passed amendments to strengthen Air Passenger Protection Regulations, with the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) proposing changes for more stringent passenger compensation and complaints resolution processes. AFRAA urges airlines operating in Canada to familiarize themselves with the details of the passenger protection regulations to avoid failing victims.

Amendment 29 to ICAO Annex 9on travel facilitation: The amendments to ICAO Annex 9 became necessary following the disruption to the aviation business during the Covid period. To avoid a repeat of the facilitation lapses that occurred at the time, Amendment 29 sought to introduce new guidelines on passenger name record (PNR) handling and health protocols while reinforcing the requirements for handling passengers, especially those with reduced mobility, hearing and visual disabilities.

The new public health standards updated requirements relating to aircraft and facility disinfection. Details are available here: WHO disinfection Procedures.
On facilitation, the New Standards for transport of persons with disabilities outlines special assistance to persons with reduced mobility, hearing- and vision-impairment to enable them obtain flight service-related information in accessible formats. The amendment also required that designated pick-up, drop-off points for PWDs and access routes be clear with no obstacles and adequate provision of parking facilities for PWD closer to the terminal building.

Other amendments include:

  • Advance notice of assistance required for persons with reduced mobility.
  • Ensure that airport facilities and services are adapted to the needs of PWDs.

Establish measures to ensure that procedures are in place to combat trafficking in persons

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