African airlines operating below capacity

African airlines are still operating below 40 percent of their routine capacity in spite of easier restrictions on movements following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The local airlines only served 39.5 percent capacity of the domestic market, carrying about a third of the expected passenger numbers.

About 30 percent of all passengers carried were travelling from one African country to another.

The data from the African Airlines Association (AFRAA)’s September update shows that African airlines had resumed traffic on 99.2 percent of routes they operated in before the pandemic.

The review shows eight African airlines have exceeded the number of international routes they operated before Covid-19 outbreak. These include Ethiopian Airlines, Egyptair, Nouvelair, Air Cairo, Air Arabia Maroc, Asky Airlines, Air Arabia Egypt and Nile Air.

Some improvements

“There are improvements in airline capacity in the month of September in sub-Saharan Africa as the region is reopening and easing movement restrictions linked to the Covid-19,” reads part of the report.

“In Europe, there are renewed fears of the occurrence of an 8th wave of Covid-19 infections, especially in the UK where a rise in the number of new cases is growing but reduced number of cases in Africa have helped in increasing number of airlines operations,” it says.

In Africa, AFRAA estimates $3.5 billion revenue loss for 2022, equivalent to 20 percent of 2019 full year revenues.

The projected revenue loss due to Covid-19 for the third quarter of 2022 is approximately $800 million.

Meanwhile jet fuel price continues an upward trend. Year to date, global average price per barrel is $142. The impact on global airlines fuel bill is estimated at $131.6 billion for the full year.


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