Africa’s aviation industry has somewhat improved in terms of profitability but is still making a net after tax loss of $100 million.
This is according to a report that was released by the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) – a trade association of airlines which hail from nations of the African Union (AU) – in partnership with Royal Air Maroc. Royal Air Maroc commonly known as RAM, is the Moroccan national carrier as well as the country’s largest airline.
The report was released as the two bodies concluded the 50th Annual General Assembly (AGA) in Rabat, Morocco this month.
At the event, AFRAA’s Secretary General presented an analysis known as the AFRAA 2017 state of the industry report which provided an overview of the environment the African aviation industry is operating in with a detailed view of the performance of African Airlines, key challenges, and growth prospects for the sector.
The AFRAA 2017 state of the industry report found that during the year, Africa’s air traffic share was 2.2% of the global market. This figure indicated that there is much room for growth. However, some positive figures have emerged with data showing that in 2017, four countries exceeded 10 million passengers. They include South Africa, Egypt, Morocco and Algeria.
In 2017, Airlines globally posted $38 billion after-tax profit, representing $9.27 average profit per passenger.
For AFRAA member airlines, the intercontinental passenger market segment remains the biggest with 49.5% of all passengers. The domestic market segment represented 23.4% while the intra-Africa market represented 27%.
The report however noted that, notwithstanding the challenges faced by African airlines, including the high cost of operations in Africa and market restrictions in a number of countries, the industry has much to look forward to.
It has since emerged that the growth rates of African population and African economies are drivers of a huge traffic growth. The African population will rise to 2.5 billion which equals to 26.6% of world population in 2050.
Aviation industry players are hopeful that these numbers will help drive the sector’s growth in the coming years.