Nigerian carriers face slow recovery from a $1.9 billion loss in 2021 to a $1.5 billion loss in 2022, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) at the ongoing 77th Annual General Meeting World Air Transport Summit (WATS) in Boston, Massachusetts, United States.
Other African carriers are also affected. The Director-General of IATA, Willie Walsh, lamented the effects of COVID-19 on the aviation sector.
He said: “We are also seeing improvements in finances. We expect 2021 losses to be nearly $52 billion—cut dramatically from the $138 billion lost in 2020. Losses will further reduce in 2022—to about $12 billion. In total, the COVID- 19 crisis will cost aviation $201 billion in losses before we return to profitability in 2023.
We are past the deepest point of the crisis. While serious issues remain, the path to recovery is coming into view. “And we must walk that path with our partners across the value chain and with governments. Some 4% of global GDP, 88 million jobs, and the freedom of billions of people to fly rests on the efforts of many partners.
“Our resilience will be tested as we work together to keep aviation safe and secure, to manage the risks of COVID-19, and to make aviation sustainable.” The group also stated that low vaccination rates across Africa were expected to severely dampen demand throughout 2022, stressing that the slight improvement is built on the expectation of some recovery in intra-Africa travel and travel to some tourist destinations with relatively higher vaccination rates. Extremely slow vaccination rates are hindering Africa’s recovery from COVID-19, the continent’s main airline representative body said.
The umbrella body for the continent’s airlines, the African Airlines Association (AFRAA), had disclosed that surging infection rates were cutting into the ability of airlines to increase passenger numbers and reinstate routes. In Africa, just 1.85 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, compared to around 24.6 percent globally.
The number of deaths continues to rise, while vaccination is progressing at a snail’s pace, thus causing concerns among the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors on recovery. AFRAA reported that August air passenger traffic in Africa was at 46.8 percent of August 2019 levels, while capacity was at 54.6 percent of pre-pandemic levels.
Collective domestic air traffic in Africa in August was 58.9 percent of August 2019 levels compared to 22.7 percent for intra-Africa flying and 18.4 percent for intercontinental flights.
Almost 78 percent of August 2019’s intercontinental […]