Africa’s aviation industry has a problem, but this could be the future


South Africa’s Sasol cuts production, sales target due to COVID-19 lockdown

South African petrochemicals giant Sasol Ltd on Wednesday cut its guidance for synthetic fuel production and liquid fuel sales for this financial year due to a three-week nationwide lockdown linked to coronavirus.

How COVID-19 cooked the golden goose – The SA chef who went from golden days to zero.

“The smaller jobs would cover your costs and a big corporate gala dinner, with 200 people, would be the cherry on top,”

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey pledges $1 billion of Square stake for COVID-19 relief efforts

Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey on Tuesday pledged $1 billion of his stake in Square Inc (SQ.N), the payments processor that he co-founded and heads, to help fund relief efforts related to the coronavirus pandemic.

By Hassan El-Houry, Group CEO, NAS

Africa is a single continent, comprising of 54 separate countries. Trade with the rest of the world can often be difficult and complex. Thirteen of the countries are landlocked, making air travel the best mode of transportation – especially considering the poor land infrastructure and terrain.

High population with low international movement

Africa is going through an economic boom and tourism in Africa grew by nine percent in 2017, the highest increase of any region. However it is interesting to note that even though Africans total 12 percent of the world population, they make up only three percent of the world’s travellers.

There are many factors influencing this gap. The lack of domestic flights causes significant issues, with stopovers causing double or triple the journey times on many routes. For example, when traveling from Abidjan to Kampala, both notable economic powerhouses, you have to fly via Istanbul and reconnect because there are no direct flights.

High-ticket prices also cause complications for Africa’s aviation industry. It’s expensive traveling to and from Africa, but it’s also expensive to travel within Africa, a factor driven by lesser competition and local airlines.

Non-African carriers currently cover eighty percent of the African market. While there is a steady increase in the number of African carriers like Ethiopian Airlines, South African, Kenyan Airways, Air Cote d’Ivoire, Royal Air Marco and Egypt Air, they still cannot fully compete with the likes of European or Middle Eastern carriers.

Disparity in quality

Intra-region visa restrictions are another major impediment to travel and economic prosperity in Africa. According to the Africa Visa Openness Index, on an average, Africans need visas to enter 55 per cent of states within the continent.

The African Union (AU) has attempted to address this issue of free movement within the region for the last 30 years by introducing a common African passport in 2016, with a goal to distribute them to all citizens by 2020.

While the number of countries becoming more liberal has increased, a visa-free Africa still seems like a dream for the continent’s entrepreneurs, doctors, aid workers, college professors and reuniting families.

Nonetheless, figures show that aviation in Africa has evolved significantly. Thirty or forty years ago, most of the traffic from the continent to other areas of the planet was to Europe or the United States. Now, there’s a lot of traffic between Africa, the Middle East and Asia, as well as between Africa and the rest of the world. For airports in Africa, this has meant that hubs serving all these destinations have grown and improved considerably due to increases in footfall and therefore income.

The future of Africa’s aviation industry

Relationships between African cities and countries, and their Asian and Middle Eastern counterparts have strengthened and deepened. As intra-African trade has increased and visa restrictions have decreased, travel within the continent will also continue to grow significantly.

Aviation impacts all our lives, on both a macro and micro level. A lot of products that are integral parts of our lives come to us through air travel, including food, electronics and medicines.

The ability to travel freely has dramatically changed our understanding of life as it enables a high level of mobility. By making air travel easier and accessible, we are encouraging more and more people to travel and increase interpersonal interactions across multiple borders.

By bridging geographic gaps, removing complexity and bringing people closer, aviation will boost the creation of shared value in our fractured world.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -


Rand hits record low, goes over 19 to dollar as Fitch downgrades SA further into junk status

Last Friday Moody’s, the last rating agency to rate South Africa investment grade, cut South Africa’s sovereign credit rating to junk in line with economists’ forecast. Today Fitch further downgraded the country sending the rand plunging over 19 rand to the dollar. Below it gives its reasons...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC AFRICA delivered to your inbox

Nigerian markets await DMO April bond auction

Traders say Nigeria’s April bond auction may not hold on the back of Nigeria's 14-day lockdown but adds that the Debt Management Office would keep paying this month’s coupons. Bankole Odusanya, Head of Fixed Income trading at UBA joins CNBC Africa for this discussion.

UBS Wealth on investment opportunities amid COVID-19 crisis

Analysts at UBS Global Wealth Management say the near term disruption in the financial markets as a result of the coronavirus pandemic presents potentially attractive entry points to the related longer-term themes.

COVID-19 business survival – Billionaires run off their feet in the dash for cash.

The applicants reflect a cross section of South African small business: a wine bottling company with three employees and facing closure; a private school; a travel agent; a beauty parlour; a company supplying solar power for households wanting to go off the grid along with scores of shops and restaurants.

Global leaders issue G20 call to action to co-ordinate world response to COVID-19

A group of 165 past and present global leaders have come together to demand the creation of a G20 executive task force and an immediate global pledging conference to approve and co-ordinate a multi-billion dollar fund to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Advertisement -

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -