Tight laws blamed for limitingair service agreements in Africa

AVIDEV … Joep Ellers the Airbus marketing director in Africa during the Aviation Development conference in Windhoek last week.

Bilateral restrictive air service agreements are hindering the establishment of new air routes in Africa.

During the Aviation Development conference in Windhoek last week, Airbus said the establishment of new routes in Africa could boost economic growth, however, there are limiting factors.

“Factors such as restrictive bilateral air service agreements, economic variables and challenges with capacity, frequency and operating cost efficiency contribute to these routes remaining unserved,” said Airbus market intelligence and consulting director Geert Lemaire.

He added that new routes would provide greater connectivity for travellers.

Several of the top unserved routes identified in the analysis are concentrated in cities such as Lagos, Cape Town, Nairobi, Dakar and Douala.

“Despite significant traffic between certain city-pairs, some identified routes still lack regularly scheduled non-stop flights,” said Lemaire.

According to Lemaire, the proposed routes could drive economic growth in local economies and provide a significant boost in revenue for airlines.

The forecast predicts a 4,1% growth overall in air traffic over the next 20 years, resulting in an anticipated need for 1 180 new aircraft by 2043.

Meanwhile, the continued growth of the aviation sector in Africa is expected to result in 3,3% real gross domestic product growth on the continent, well above the 2,6% global average.

Additionally, it is expected that Africa will need to introduce 15 000 more pilots, 20 000 technicians and 24 000 cabin crew to meet the surge in air travel demand.

Speaking during the conference, Airbus marketing director in Africa Joep Ellers said the company aims to be the first major manufacturer to offer a hydrogen-powered aircraft by 2035.

The company also highlighted data on Africa from its latest Global Market Forecast.

Airbus also touched on strategic recommendations to capitalise on the opportunities of a more connected continent, as well as Airbus’ capabilities to help realise this potential.

“With our capacity to make analyses about route and network development potential in-house, Airbus remains committed to partnering with airlines across Africa to identify optimised fleet solutions inline with network development requirements that further stimulate the continent’s air transport industry growth and improve connectivity for travellers.”

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