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Aviation sector to grow marginally in near future - IATA

BUSINESS
By Moses Omusolo | July 25th 2021

Kenya Airways planes at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport (JKIA), Nairobi.[Boniface Okendo,Standard]

Africa is among the regions that are projected to dominate the global air transport market by 2039, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said.

This is notwithstanding the lingering effects of Covid-19, which the agency noted has had a “profound” negative impact on the industry.

“There remains considerable uncertainty surrounding the near-term impact of the pandemic on air travel demand,” said IATA in its latest forecast.

Nevertheless IATA finds that things are set to look up in the near future.

“Our scenario analysis indicates that global air passenger growth could plausibly be in the range of 1.5 per cent and 3.6 per cent over the next 20 years,” said the report.

The association also predicted that domestic and short-haul markets will recover faster, with long-haul travel being the last to return to 2019 levels of demand.

Centre of gravity

“The industry’s centre of gravity will continue its shift towards Asia as emerging markets in the region are expected to see fast-paced growth in the coming decades,” the report said.

Consequently, Asia Pacific is set to enjoy a 4.5 per cent growth in market annually by 2039 even as recovery to 2019 levels is set as early as 2023.

Africa and the Middle East, on the other hand, are set to witness a 3.6 per cent growth annually within the same period, with their recovery to 2019 levels expected one year ahead of Asia Pacific to 2024.

This will be close to the world market share, which is expected to grow at 3.2 per cent year-on-year, with recovery to 2019 levels set the same as Africa and the Middle East for 2023.

Latin America and Europe markets, however, are expected to grow slower at 2.9 and two per cent respectively.

At the same time, the Latin America market is set to reach 2019 recovery levels in 2023 as Europe is expected to hit a rebound to 2019 levels in 2024.

IATA projected that North America will witness marginal growth at 1.7 per cent year-on-year, with rebound to 2019 levels expected early in 2023.

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