Demand for air travel rises by 22% – IATA

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye
Water cannons welcome a Lufthansa Airbus A380 airplane after its arrival in Frankfurt, Germany, on Wednesday, May 19, 2010. Deutsche Lufthansa AG said the extra seats on the Airbus SAS A380 superjumbo aircraft that join its fleet from today have been sold for coming months, boosting profitability on high-density routes to Japan and China. Photographer: Wolfgang von Brauchitch/Bloomberg

The African aviation sector had a 22.1% rise in Revenue Passenger kilometres for November 2023 compared to the same time the previous year, data from the International Air Transport Association stated.

“During the month under review, African airlines had a 22.1 per cent rise in demand; however, capacity increased by 29.6 per cent causing a 4.3 percentage point drop in the average passenger load factor to 69.7 per cent, the lowest among regions.” the research said.

Experts stated that despite the difficulties the aviation industry faces, the industry’s ability to grow its capacity and draw in more passengers demonstrated a strong performance.

Due to a lack of dollars, the Central Bank of Nigeria was obliged to devalue the Nigerian currency in June. Additionally, the aviation industry was negatively hit by a huge increase in fuel prices, which caused airlines to boost ticket rates.

Nigerian travelers have been facing expensive airfares as a result of these circumstances, and this scenario is anticipated to persist as long as the currency rate and gasoline costs remain unstable.

Susan Akporiaye, the president of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies, told The PUNCH that although the business was negatively impacted by the high exchange rate, which caused airfares to climb by more than 200 percent, traffic in Nigeria remained robust.

“The business for the airlines is still good because they have not stopped travelling. Nigerians are travellers; we are over 200 million. So, the travel requests are still very high. That’s why people do not believe that we are a poor nation,” Akporiaye noted.

The COVID-19 pandemic cost the aviation sector over N21 billion each month, according to the Ministry of Aviation.

According to IATA’s assessment, the swift recovery of aviation following COVID-19 underscores the significance of aviation for individuals and enterprises.

“We are moving ever closer to surpassing the 2019 peak year for air travel. stated Willie Walsh, Director General of IATA. The state of the economy isn’t stopping people from flying. Although foreign travel is still 5.5% less than it was before the outbreak, the difference is narrowing quickly. Additionally, since April, domestic markets have consistently risen beyond their pre-pandemic levels.

Analysts predicted that improvements in the aviation sector would not occur until 2024.

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