Airlines near pre-Covid level - association

Kenya Airways plane at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Africa airlines' traffic in the month of August 2023 reached 98.4 per cent of the 2019 level, a report by the Africa Airlines Association (Afraa) has indicated.

The report further stated that domestic market share was estimated at 34 per cent, intra-Africa at 29 per cent, and intercontinental at 37 per cent.

The total number of intercontinental routes operated by African airlines exceeded pre-Covid levels since October 2022.

In some major airports such as Johannesburg, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Lusaka, Cairo, Casablanca, Abidjan and Lomé, intra-Africa connectivity has reached or exceeded pre-Covid level since December 2022. 

Afraa adds that 2023 has witnessed a narrowing of the airline revenue gap attributed to Covid-19 compared to 2022.

The report stated that in the first three months of the year, African airlines missed the levels attained in a similar period in 2019 by $0.3 billion (Sh43.8 billion).

"This is expected to further narrow in the second quarter to $0.2 billion", according to Afraa data.

Though the full-year estimated revenue gap is yet to be computed, it appears 2023 would be a better year compared to the prior year.

The 2022 full-year cumulative airline revenue gap was $3.5 billion (Sh511 billion) for all African airlines compared to 2019.

Total blocked funds reported by six airlines in 15 countries (13 in Africa and two outside Africa) is approximately $339.1 million (about Sh49.5 billion) at the end of March 2023. 

Afraa said it had requested meetings with some central bank governors as part of engagements to have the funds released.

Afraa further reported that Canada passed amendments to strengthen air passenger protection regulations, with the Canadian Transportation Agency proposing changes for more stringent passenger compensation and complaints resolution processes. 

It urged airlines operating in Canada to familiarise themselves with the regulations to avoid contravention.

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