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Nigerian, African carriers contribute only 1.9% to global passenger traffic –IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has highlighted the low contribution of African airlines to global aviation traffic as the clearing house for global carriers said the continent currently represents 1.9 per cent of all global passenger traffic, including freight. IATA made the disclosure as it announced passenger data for June 2022, showing that the recovery in air travel remains strong. In June, African airlines experienced a 103.6 per cent rise in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs) versus June 2021 RPKs is the standard measure of demand for air travel, with a 61.9% increase in capacity.

The continent airlines’ load factor climbed 15.2 percentage points to 74.2 per cent, the lowest among regions. Interclearly national traffic between Africa and neighbouring regions is close to prepandemic levels. Low passenger numbers could hint towards a challenging environment for the industry on the continent. However, over the last years, which were some of the most productive ones in the history of aviation, African airlines did not profit. In fact, they lost money. On average, an African carrier loses $1.09 per passenger.

The situation is only worse in Latin America, where the airlines lose $1.65 on average. In spite of a population of over one billion, the continent contributes less than two per cent of the world’s aviation market. It has the highest air crashes in the world and foreign carriers from other continents generate $10 billion from the region, while its own airlines have a market share of only 20 per cent from the continent. A top official of one of the prominent African airlines, who spoke to New Telegraph under a condition of anonymity, decried the lack of cooperation among governments of African countries noting that the trend had created a loophole for foreign carriers to continuously exploit the continent’s aviation sector to the detriment of local airlines.

He lamented that despite the agreement between the continent’s governments on open sky policy with other foreign countries; its implementation had been skewed in favour of foreign carriers. A former Assistant Secretary of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Mohammed Tukur lamented that when it comes to generating revenue in Africa’s airspace, global carriers are the biggest winners with only two African carriers in the top 10 most lucrative air routes in Africa. Amid stiff competition, European airlines are outdoing each other and deploying numerous strategies to gain dominance in Nigeria’s juicy air travel market. Currently, over 26 foreign airlines operate in Nigeria’s travel market, which for a long time, has been dominated by European carriers, especially the early comers into the country. In the last five years, however, there has been a paradigm shift in the market with the coming of Middle East and American carriers into the Nigerian market.

 

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