African air traffic outperforms EU, America; grows 38.7% in 2023


African air carriers’ traffic are said to have grown by 38.7 percent in 2023, compared with the year before, ahead of Latin and North American and European airlines.

This is according to the latest article published by The East African monitored by Zambia Monitor.

International Air Transport Association (Iata) data indicated that the year was marked by a strong industry-wide recovery, with a rebound of domestic and international travel.

“The full year 2023 capacity was up 38.3 percent and load factor climbed 0.2 percentage points to 71.9 per cent, the lowest among regions,”Iata indicated.

Read more: zambias-aviation-industry-reportedly-hit-historic-peak-of-above-2-million-passengers-in-2023

Traffic from Asia-Pacific airlines maintained the strongest year-over-year rate among the regions.

“Despite political and economic challenges, 2023 saw air cargo markets regain ground lost in 2022 after the extraordinary Covid-19 peak in 2021,” it observed while adding that although full-year demand was shy of pre-Covid-19 levels by 3.6 percent, the significant strengthening in the past quarter was a sign that markets are stabilising.

Willie Walsh, the Iata Director-General added that the development put the industry on a very solid ground for success in 2024.

But, Walsh said with continued instability in geopolitics and economic forces, little should be taken for granted in the months ahead.

The traffic posted by African airlines rose 9.5 percent in December 2023, compared with the same month in 2022.

The poor quality of road networks and lack of railways in many African countries often make air transport the practical choice for cargo, too.

Air travel was one of the most widely used, versatile and advantageous modes of transport compared with other options like road, water and railway.

Within the logistics sector, air transport has been gaining ground and becoming one of the most demanded and used transport options.

European airlines’ full-year traffic climbed 22 percent with a capacity to increase 17.5 percent, while Middle Eastern airlines’ passenger traffic grew by 33.3 per cent during the period under review.

Asia-Pacific airlines posted the strongest growth year-on-year at 126.1 per cent as capacity rose 101.8 per cent and the load factor climbed 9 percent to 83.1 per cent.

North American carriers reported a 28.3 percent annual traffic rise last year with a capacity increase of 22.4 percent while airlines operating in the Latin American market posted a 28.6 percent traffic rise and an annual capacity growth of 25.4 percent.

Africa contributed only 2.1 percent of total passenger traffic market shares by region behind Asia-Pacific at 22.1 percent, Europe (30.8 percent), North America (28.8 percent), Middle East (9.8 percent) and Latin America (6.4 percent).

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