AFRAA Secretary General remarks at the Aviation Africa Conference in Kigali, Rwanda


African Airlines passenger traffic dropped 60.2% in 2020 due to the Covid19. By 2021 the activity is recovering. In August 2022, the traffic reached 77.2% of the 2019 level. However, we are not yet at the levels of 2019.

The Passenger Revenue Losses for 2021 were USD 8.6 billion, representing 49.8% of 2019 revenues. We estimate the same at USD 3.5 billion for 2022.

The average loss per passenger carried in 2022 is estimated at 7.9 USD by IATA.

The percentage of international routes operated by African airlines compared to Feb 2020 reached 98.7% in August 2022.

However, connectivity is still low in Africa. Currently, up to 22% of Africans traveling between two African cities are forced to travel through non-Africa HUBs either in Europe or the Middle East. This situation can be reversed only through Networks and Schedules Coordination at African hubs.

Connectivity is intricately aligned to trade, business development, and tourism. Currently, the Intra-Africa trade is modest at 18%, which is very low compared to Europe (64%) or Asia, which is above 50%.

Indeed, there are no significant Intra-Africa tourism flows.

If there is no Intra-African trade, business, and tourism development, any traffic growth will strengthen the existing routes and will not serve the intra-Africa connectivity.

At AFRAA, our vision is “a sustainable, interconnected and affordable Air Transport industry in Africa where African Airlines become key players and drivers to African economic development.”

We believe stakeholders’ engagement and commitment are vital drivers to transform the industry.

The first Laboratory on Air Transport Sustainability in Africa was held from 27 June to 01 July 2022 at the AFRAA headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. The LAB was necessitated by the urgent need to stop the marginalization of African airlines, restore industry competitiveness, re-gain and retain Intra-Africa traffic and grow Africa’s global market share

The one-week event brought together air transport, trade, and tourism stakeholders from across Africa to develop a roadmap for the sustainability of the African air transport industry.

At the end of 5 days of stocktaking, critical analysis, prognosis, and consensus building, the LAB developed a roadmap with specific actions assigned to stakeholder organizations, with defined timelines for execution. The roadmaps also contained implementation monitoring mechanisms and expected benefits upon complete execution.

A Steering Committee co-chaired by AFRAA and AFCAC, made up of all relevant stakeholder organizations in aviation, trade, tourism, and DFIs will oversee the implementation of the roadmap. AFRAA remains dedicated to steer the actualization of the roadmap which will change the narrative of African aviation.