According to the Association of African Airlines (AFRAA), African airlines are expected to lose US$8.56 billion in revenue in 2020 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, airlines have been forced to keep planes on the ground for more than 3 months.
AFRAA is thus adjusting its revenue loss projections for the continent’s carriers to 8.56 billion dollars, compared to the 8.103 billion dollars forecast in the first study published on 2 June. In that study, AFRAA had already pointed out the risks of bankruptcies faced by some companies.
According to the same study, the passenger revenues of African carriers have fallen by 17.3 percent (0.506 billion dollars) in the first quarter of 2020, that is to say 17.3 percent less year on year. The revenue decline was greater in the 2nd quarter with losses of $2.740 billion, or 90.2% less than in 2019.
In June alone, the capacity offered by African airlines, expressed in available seat kilometers (ASK), fell drastically by 76.24% year-on-year, the Association notes.
“The recovery is expected to start from the middle of the third quarter,” says AFRAA, which is working on a recovery of 30% of air traffic by the end of this period, and 65% by the end of the last three months of the year.
For an optimal recovery, AFRAA, which brings together 45 airlines, recommends the implementation of guidelines issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). These guidelines include, among others, the wearing of masks, social distancing, routine disinfection, screening tests, sensitization as well as the follow-up of contacts to effectively isolate any traveller who could become symptomatic and infectious after arrival.
The organization also urges African governments to consider rescue packages that compensate for significant losses, reduce the burden of ongoing operating costs and provide financial support for the survival and recovery of the industry. It should be noted that the African airline industry supports 6.2 million jobs and contributes 2.6% to the continent’s GDP.
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