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African airlines continue to pile up losses – Bloomberg

Numbers show the industry’s slump on the continent has lasted more than a decade

Airlines in Africa have not made any money for more than a decade, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

The civil aviation industry on the continent last made profits in 2010, the outlet said, citing data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and its own calculations.

The report follows the statistics released by the IATA last week, which suggested that African carriers suffered cumulative losses of $3.5 billion in 2020-2022, the era of the COVID-19 pandemic and global travel restrictions. Further losses of $213 million in the current year have also been predicted.

High operating costs, including aviation fuel and energy, regulatory barriers, slow adoption of global standards and a shortage of skilled staff have been named as the main factors affecting the African airlines’ performance.

The numbers were released concurrently with the IATA launching a “Focus Africa” initiative to support the aviation sector on the continent.

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According to independent aviation news website simpleflying.com, jet fuel is 12% more expensive in Africa than in other regions, as only very small amounts are refined on the continent, and transportation costs are high. Jet fuel accounts for more than 30% of African carriers’ expenses, the outlet says.

The IATA said last week it expected air travel in Africa to make a full recovery from the pandemic in 2024, as passenger travel already stands at 93% of 2019 levels.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

April 12, 2023 at 07:30PM

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