African airlines’ performance updates by AFRAA – May 2022


Release date: 10 June 2022

Chinese authorities have set out plans to ease Covid-19 restrictions in stages for a return to more normal life from 01 June 2022. Eastern Asia and America are facing rising number of cases of COVID-19. Europe is envisaging a new wave of contamination due to two Omicron sub-variants and has initiated measures for closer surveillance. Worldwide, the cumulative number of Covid-19 cases has reached 523 million of which 12 million are in Africa. The global recovery rate is 98.8% compared to 97.9% in Africa.

In other developments, average jet fuel price continues to rise globally, impacting on airlines operating costs. From the mid-May average price of 146.5/bbl, Platts estimates the impact on airlines 2022 fuel bill is $121.1 billion.

In the month of May 2022, AFRAA estimates that African airlines’ capacity deployed reached 76.6% of 2019 capacity. Traffic recovery is now at 66.3% of 2019 pre-Covid level.

Domestic markets remain dominant in both capacity and actual passenger carried. Domestic demand at 42.1% outperformed intra-Africa and intercontinental which remained subdued at 30.2% and 27.7% for intra-Africa and intercontinental respectively. The percentage of international routes operated by African airlines is estimated to reach an impressive 92.2% in May 2022 compared to Feb 2020.

The Intra-African passenger traffic recovery is estimated at 74% in May due to the easing of anti-covid19 restrictions in several African countries.

Generally across Africa, passenger traffic volumes remain low because of the high ticket cost and travel apathy. It is hoped that with the continued relaxation of lockdown and Covid-19 restrictions in many countries, traffic will increase as we approach the summer holiday peak season.

Airline revenues remained low with many operators battling with cash-flow issues. Full year revenue loss for African airlines for 2022 is estimated at US$4.1b, equivalent to 23.4% of the 2019 revenues. In 2021, African airlines cumulatively lost $8.6b in revenues due to the impact of the pandemic, representing 49.8% of 2019 revenues

Other government regulatory Developments:

  • A total of 27 States in AFI have eased travel restrictions by removing the requirement for testing on fully vaccinated passengers. The list of the Countries include: South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Mauritius, Senegal, Seychelles, Togo, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sao Tome & Principe, DRC, Congo Republic,  Zambia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Niger, Somalia, Mauritania, Eswatini and Ghana
  • Since 18th May, travelers (excluding children below age 12) to Morocco are required to present a vaccination certificate or a PCR test result of not exceeding 72 hours.

About    AFRAA

The African Airlines Association, also known by its acronym AFRAA, is a trade association of airlines from the member states of the African Union (AU). Founded in Accra, Ghana, in April 1968, and headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, AFRAA’s mission is to promote, serve African Airlines and champion Africa’s aviation industry. The Association envisions a sustainable, interconnected and affordable Air Transport industry in Africa where African Airlines become key players and drivers to African economic development.

AFRAA membership of 44 airlines cuts across the entire continent and includes all the major intercontinental African operators. The Association members represent over 85% of total international traffic carried by African airlines. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.