Emmanuel Abara Benson
According to an updated report by the African Airlines Association (Afraa), the COVID-19 pandemic continued to hammer Africa’s aviation industry in 2021, resulting in an estimated US$8.6 billion revenue loss.
While the figure is less than the US$10.21 billion revenue loss recorded by the sector in 2020, it did mark a 49.8 percent decline when compared to the revenue recorded by the sector prior to the pandemic in 2019.
The report blamed the revenue loss on the stringent travel restrictions placed by governments, in a bid to contain the Coronavirus. While the restrictions were well-intentioned, they also inevitably made it impossible for African airlines to operate optimally.
As a matter of fact, the traffic volume from January through to December was 42.3 percent less than what was recorded in 2019.
“Across Africa in general, passenger traffic volumes remain depressed due to the unilateral and uncoordinated travel health restrictions imposed by some governments following the outbreak of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
“Airline revenues have remained low with many operators battling with cash-flow issues. Full-year revenue loss for 2021 is estimated at US$8.6 billion, equivalent to 49.8 per cent of the 2019 revenues,” said a part of the report.
The Afraa report further noted that the ongoing political upheaval in Ethiopia also contributed to the loss because traffic volumes into the Horn of Africa country contracted, particularly between November and December last year.
Do note that during the year under review, only three African airlines were able to continue with their international routes expansion, the report said. – Business Insider Africa