The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) has disclosed that airlines in Africa will incur a loss estimated at nearly $5 billion in 2022.
According to the association, this is due to cash-flow issues facing airline operators.
This was made known by AFRAA in its February 2022 update on ‘African airlines’ performance,’ published on its website on Tuesday.
“Airline revenues remained low with many operators battling with cash-flow issues. Full year revenue loss for 2022 is estimated at $4.9 billion, equivalent to 28.2 percent of the 2019 revenues. In 2021, African airlines cumulatively lost $8.6 billion in revenues due to the impact of the pandemic, representing 49.8 percent of 2019 revenues,” AFRAA said.
AFRAA is a trade association of airlines from the member states of the African Union (AU).
Since it was established in Accra, Ghana, in April 1968, with a mission is to promote, serve African airlines, and champion Africa’s aviation industry, its membership has grown to 44 airlines across the entire continent and includes all the major intercontinental African operators.
Across Africa, the association said passenger traffic volumes remained depressed in February due to the unilateral and uncoordinated travel health restrictions imposed by some governments following the outbreak of the Omicron variant of COV-2.
The African aviation body said the air travel industry continues to experience strict travel advisories, insistence on full vaccination before travel, forceful vaccination at ports of arrival, repatriation of passengers not meeting entry travel requirements, and quarantine of passengers at own cost, including some other unusual measures being enforced by some governments.
The intra-African connectivity reached 76 percent of the pre-Covid level in January 2022 and is forecast to fall to 72 percent in February because of the closure of some routes, it added.
It said connectivity decreased in West African airports like Félix-Houphouët-Boigny International Airport, Abidjan, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport, Dakar and Lomé–Tokoin Airport, due to the political situation in Mali that was banned by ECOWAS.
Meanwhile, AFRAA estimated that African airlines’ capacity reached 64 percent in February 2022, compared to the same month in 2019.
“Domestic market maintained the biggest share for capacity deployed, though traffic share saw a small dip. Domestic demand however at 45.3 percent outperformed intra-Africa and intercontinental which remained subdued at 31.2 percent for intra-Africa and 23.5 percent for intercontinental,” it added.
“On the actual number of passenger seats offered, domestic, intra-Africa and intercontinental accounted for 49.4 percent, 24.7 percent, and 26 percent respectively.”