Low vaccination rates take toll on African airlines

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Africa accounts for 1.9% of the total global passenger air travel market. (iStock)
Africa accounts for 1.9% of the total global passenger air travel market. (iStock)

Demand for air travel to, from and within Africa is being challenged by low vaccination rates across the continent as well as impacts from rising inflation, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said.

Africa accounts for 1.9% of the total global passenger air travel market.

The global aviation body's latest data shows that the passenger load factor for African airlines on international flights increased by 14.1 percentage points to 64.5% in March 2022 compared to March 2021. Available seat capacity on international flights was up 49.9% in March 2022 compared to March 2021. 

The combined domestic and international passenger load factor rose 11 percentage points to 65.7% in March 2022 compared to March 2021.

During March 2022, African airlines saw cargo volumes increase by 3.1% in March 2022 compared to March 2021. Their cargo carrying capacity was 8.7% above March 2021 levels.

"Air cargo markets mirror global economic developments. In March, the trading environment took a turn for the worse. The combination of war in Ukraine and the spread of the Omicron variant in Asia have led to rising energy costs, exacerbated supply chain disruptions, and fed inflationary pressure. As a result, compared to a year ago, there are fewer goods being shipped—including by air," explained IATA Director General Willie Walsh in a statement.


 
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