African Air travel has made a robust recovery, nearly reaching pre-pandemic levels, an association of African carriers has said in a new report.
The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) said traffic in March reached 94.8 per cent of 2019 levels as more international routes and tourism reopened.
It noted that domestic flights accounted for 37 per cent of the March traffic, with intra-Africa flights at 31 per cent and intercontinental travel at 32 per cent.
Data also shows that the total number of intercontinental routes operated by African airlines have exceeded pre-Covid levels since October 2022.
The association said that African airlines are on course to narrow their revenue gap in 2023.
African airlines lost $3.5 billion in revenue in 2022 and $8.6 billion in 2021.
The Covid-19 pandemic hit African hard as travel restrictions led to the grounding of aircraft. Some airlines, such as Air Namibia and Air Mauritius completely folded while others such as South African Airways and Kenya’s flag carrier, KQ needed big bailout funding from the state to keep flying.
Others, like Ethiopian airlines converted their passenger jets into freighters to compensate for reduced passenger traffic.