Africa flight passengers to double: IATA

The African aviation market is set to increase by 200 million passengers to over 356 million in the next two decades, according to the International Air Transport Association’s latest forecast.

The African market will be among the fastest growing of all the regions globally at 4.6 per cent, after Asia Pacific which is projected to grow by 5.2 per cent with 2,810 million passengers by 2038. Middle East aviation market is ranked third on growth with 4.4 per cent, while Latin America, North America and Europe will grow by 4.1, 2.5 and 2.1 per cent respectively over the same period.

IATA predicts that over the next two decades, the Kenyan market could double in size, with an additional 11.3 million passenger journeys with over 449,000 more jobs created adding $11.3 billion to the GDP by 2038.

The Tanzanian market is expected to grow from four million passengers currently to 13 million while South Sudan will expand its market from four million to seven million in the next two decades.

Air transport currently supports 6.2 million jobs and $55.8 billion in Africa which translates to 1.8 per cent of all employment and 2.6 per cent of all GDP in African countries.

Speaking at the Routes Africa 2019 forum in Mombasa, IATA vice president for Africa, Raphael Kuuchi, said the African market is unexploited and there is a need for more incentives to attract more airlines and create more routes.

"Only Ethiopia and Kenya have direct connections to more than half the countries in Africa; there is a need to tap into that potential to boost trade. It is expensive and time wasting for a passenger in Africa to travel out of the continent and connect back in order to visit another African country," he said.

Source: The East African