The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) estimates a revenue loss of USD 8.103 billion for African carriers for the year 2020, a direct impact of Covid-19.
The analysis according to AFRAA is the first in a series of studies to be published by the Nairobi based association examining the toll of the pandemic on Africa’s air transport sector.
AFRAA Secretary-General, Mr Abdérahmane Berthé says assessment further shows a 90.3 per cent year on year passenger traffic reduction for the month of May. He states that recovery is expected to start from the third quarter of 2020 with domestic operations, followed by regional and intercontinental flights.
He singles out the availability of liquidity as fundamental for airlines to survive and restart their operations. Mr Berthé urges African governments to consider bailout and stimulus packages that compensate for the significant losses. “Without it, airlines can simply not survive this pandemic long enough to restart operations,” he cautions.
“We call upon international financial institutions and development partners to support African airlines with facilities that can help ensure the availability of much-needed credit and liquidity,” Mr Berthé pleads.
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He emphasizes the need to ensure passenger confidence to resume air travel with health and safety measures in place to reassure them of a safe and sterile travel experience with appropriate measures in place,”
Commenting on cargo operations, Mr Berthé says there is currently a shortage of capacity in Africa due to increasing needs for the carriage of medical equipment and essential goods. He says. AFRAA is assisting its members to adapt in a bid to keep supply chains operational.
He says AFRAA’s initiatives to ensure the sector’s resilience to the pandemic and for post-recovery efforts. Include a framework of intervention measures to be taken as part of urgent, immediate, and consistent actions for the survival and rebound of the industry
“AFRAA is working closely with leading aviation industry organizations under the framework of the High-Level Task Force that is undertaking various actions to ensure that the African civil aviation industry is well positioned on a strong trajectory for recovery during and post Covid-19.,” says Mr Berthé.