Earlier this week the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) released assessment data revealing the impact of COVID-19 on the African aviation market. The data from the press release reveals that the industry will record an estimated $8.103 billion revenue loss for African airlines for the year 2020. This analysis comes as the first in a series of studies examining the toll of the pandemic on the sector lead by the Association.

Although the analysis shows a 90.3% year-on-year passenger traffic reduction for the month of May, positive signs of recovery in the sector are expected to emerge in Q3 2020 with domestic operations leading first, followed by regional and intercontinental flights.

The data further revealed a shortage in cargo capacity in the sector due to the rise in demand of carriage services for medical equipment and essential goods as well as the decrease in belly cargo capacity from grounded passenger aircraft. In order to stay resilient in combating the effects of this shortage in capacity and inflating prices, AFRAA has been assisting its members with measures to adapt to the climate as an effort to keep supply chains operational.

As part of a statement addressing the survival and recovery of the African market and reestablishing passenger confidence through the implementation of health and safety measures on flights, Mr Abdérahmane Berthé the AFRAA Secretary General stated: “The availability of liquidity is the main issue to be addressed for airlines to survive and restart their operations. Without it, airlines can simply not survive this pandemic long enough to restart their operations. AFRAA urges African governments to consider a bailout and stimulus package that compensates for the significant losses, reduces the burden of ongoing operating costs, and subsidizes the industry’s survival and recovery.”

“We also call upon international financial institutions and development partners to support Airlines with facilities that can help ensure the availability of much-needed credit and liquidity,” Mr Berthe added.