African airlines lose about US$5 billion in revenue in first half of the year 2021

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In June, African airlines’ traffic decreasing by 59% compared to same month in 2019.

In the first quarter of 2021, African airlines’ estimated losses in revenues were about US$2.6 billion, and US$2.4 billion in the second quarter, according to the African Airlines Association (AFRAA).

AFRAA member airlines are from the member states of the African Union (AU). Almost 50 airlines from across the continent are members of AFRAA. The association’s members represent over 85% of total international traffic carried by African airlines.

In 2020, African airlines cumulatively lost $10.21 billion in revenues due to the impacts of the pandemic. This poor performance is a direct threat to the survival of the African aviation industry if the trend continues, warns AFRAA.

In June, African airlines’ traffic decreasing by 59% compared to same month in 2019, according to AFRAA. Capacity declined by 49.6% as of June 2021.

“Domestic markets continue to record better performance with demand for passenger travel outperforming intra-Africa and intercontinental at 63.2% as opposed to 22.2% for intra-Africa and 13.9% for intercontinental,” AFRAA said in a statement.

According to AFRAA, African airlines’ passenger traffic volumes remain low due to the inconsistencies in the messaging regarding border closures, health protocols and continued upsurge in Covid-19 infections in some countries. The result is significant losses incurred by airlines.

Regarding intra-African connectivity, Mauritius continues to be the most impacted hub, with a reduction of 98% of possible connections to or from African airports compared to February 2020.

“With the alarming spread of the Delta variant, the havoc caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly on the aviation industry globally, is far from over,” commented AFRAA.

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