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African airlines traffic records 2.5% profits, but business conditions remain challenging: IATA

Almot Maqolo

HARARE – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said
African airline’s traffic rose 2.5% in February 2019, compared to the
same period last year, but business conditions remained challenging for
many airlines in the region, slowing down the growth trajectory.

However, it represents a decline from the solid 5.1% year on year pace in
IATA represents some 290 airlines accounting for 82% of global air traffic. The industry already supports 6.8 million jobs and generates $72.5 billion of economic activity on the continent.
In July 2016, IATA and the African Union Commission (AUC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to expand strategic cooperation to foster economic and social development on the continent with the benefits of safe, efficient and sustainable air transport.

The global passenger traffic results that IATA released today shows that capacity for African airlines increased by 0.3% while load factor went up 1.5 percentage points to 69.7%.
“Over recent months, the upward trend in SA passenger traffic has generally softened with growing concerns around the economic outlook in key countries in the region,” IATA stated, adding that concerns over conditions in the largest economies are contributing to the “slowdown”.

Meanwhile, the association said airlines in all regions except for the Middle East reported traffic growth prior to the year-ago period.
During the period under review, global international passenger demand was up 4.6% compared to February 2018, which was a slowdown from 5.9% growth in January. Capacity surged by 5.1% and load factor dropped 0.4 percentage point to 79.5%.
IATA noted that while overall economic confidence appears to be softening, aviation continues to deliver solid results, helping to sustain global commerce and the movement of people.

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