African airlines recovery continues into November 23

In Summary

African airlines continued to see mixed fortunes in November 2023, registering solid growth in both the […]

African airlines continued to see mixed fortunes in November 2023, registering solid growth in both the passenger and cargo markets year but winding up with a diluted passenger load factor. This came against a backdrop of a positive trend that took global demand for air travel to 99pc of pre-pandemic 2019.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) data for November 2023, African airlines posted a 22.1pc rise in revenue passenger kilometres -RPKs relative to November 2022. Capacity rose 29.6pc during the reference period but the increase diluted the average passenger load factor by 4.3pc to 69.7pc. The Africa region’s passenger load factor was the lowest globally. African air cargo volumes rebounded by 3.9pc yoy against a 14pc increase in capacity.

Globally, November 2023 RPKs were 29.7pc above November 2022, while traffic reachedt 99.1pc of November 2019 levels. International traffic rose 26.4pc versus November 2022 while domestic was up 34.8pc over the same period.

“We are moving ever closer to surpassing the 2019 peak year for air travel. Economic headwinds are not deterring people from taking to the skies. International travel remains 5.5pc below pre-pandemic levels but that gap is rapidly closing. And domestic markets have been above their pre-pandemic levels continuously since April,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

Although African traffic expanded faster than the Middle East, her share of global traffic stagnated at 2.1 pc while the Middle East accounted for 9.8pc of global traffic.

According to Willie Walsh, aviation’s “rapid recovery from COVID demonstrates just how important flying is to people and to businesses.”

Equally urgent for the industry however, is the transition from fossil fuels to sustainable aviation fuel- SAF.

“In parallel to aviation’s recovery, governments recognized the urgency of transitioning from jet fuel to Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for aviation’s decarbonization. The Third Conference on Aviation Alternative Fuels (CAAF/3) in November saw governments agree that we should see 5pc carbon savings by 2030 from SAF. This was followed up at COP28 in December where governments agreed that we need a broad transition from fossil fuels to avoid the worst effects of climate change.  Airlines don’t need convincing. They agreed to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and every drop of SAF ever made in that effort has been bought and used. There simply is not enough SAF being produced. So we look to 2024 to be the year when governments follow-up on their own declarations and finally deliver comprehensive policy measures to incentivize the rapid scaling-up of SAF production,” said Walsh.

Related Posts