COVID-19 decimates Africa’s aviation industry, billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs lost even as some airlines go off skies

1,034FollowersFollow

COVID-19, the highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has battered Africa’s aviation industry, with billions of dollars already lost, millions of workers rendered jobless and several airlines on the brink of collapse.

With borders closed, planes grounded, airports shut and embassies under lock and key, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is predicting a catastrophic hit for the airline industry around the world and in Africa. At least 8.6 million people depend on aviation for their livelihoods in Africa and the Middle East.

South African Airways
South African Airways

In a statement on June 9, 2020, IATA said African airlines are expected to lose at least $2 billion in 2020, but the losses already recorded are many times more than the forecast. The losses would be huge if there is a second wave of the deadly virus, IATA added. Globally, airlines would lose a minimum of $84.3 billion in 2020 for a net profit margin of -20.1%.

Revenues will fall 50% to $419 billion from $838 billion in 2019. In 2021, losses are expected to be cut to $15.8 billion as revenues rise to $598 billion, IATA said in its gloomy aviation outlook for this year.

When the skies reopen, several airlines may have already gone under. IATA estimates that South Africa lost about $3.2 billion in revenues between April and June with about 269,000 jobs at risk as of June.

Nigeria lost about $1.1 billion in revenues between April and June with 139,500 jobs at risk as of June. The story is not different for Ethiopia where half a billion dollars in revenues were lost between April and June with 530,000 jobs at risk as of June. Egypt has lost about $2.3 billion between April and June with about 297,200 jobs at risk as of June.

The latest assessment from IATA Economics shows that the outlook at national level has worsened for major aviation markets in the region since April.

For example, the passenger numbers, airline revenue and jobs at risk impacts for the four biggest AME markets have declined across every metric:

COUNTRYAPRIL -PAX DEMANDJUNE – PAX DEMANDAPRIL – ARL REVENUEJUNE – ARL REVENUEAPRIL – JOBS AT RISKJUNE – JOBS AT RISK
South Africa-14.5 million-15.61 million-3.02 billion-3.2 billion– 251,100-269,900
Nigeria-4.7 million-5.32 million-0.99 billion-1.1 billion– 125,400-139,500
Kenya-3.5 million-3.75 million-0.73 billion-0.8 billion– 193,300– 207,800
Ethiopia-2.5 million-2.62 million-0.43 billion-0.5 billion-500,500– 530,400
Saudi Arabia-35 million-36.41 million-7.2 billion-7.4 billion-287,500– 299,200
UAE-31 million-32.33 million-6.8 billion-7.1 billion– 378,700– 392,900
Egypt-13 million-13.79 million-1.66 billion-2.3 billion– 205,560– 297,200
Qatar -3.6 million-1.32 million-1.7 billion-1.7 billion– 53,640– 72,700
Jordan-3.5 million-3.78 million-0.7 billion-0.7 billion– 34,000– 36,660
EI-EWH LMML 30-04-2019 Arik Air Airbus A330-223 CN 891
EI-EWH LMML 30-04-2019 Arik Air Airbus A330-223 CN 891

“Financially, 2020 will go down as the worst year in the history of aviation. On average, every day of this year will add $230 million to industry losses. In total that’s a loss of $84.3 billion. It means that—based on an estimate of 2.2 billion passengers this year—airlines will lose $37.54 per passenger. That’s why government financial relief was and remains crucial as airlines burn through cash,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

“Provided there is not a second and more damaging wave of COVID-19, the worst of the collapse in traffic is likely behind us. A key to the recovery is universal implementation of the re-start measures agreed through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to keep passengers and crew safe. And, with the help of effective contact tracing, these measures should give governments the confidence to open borders without quarantine measures. That’s an important part of the economic recovery because about 10% of the world’s GDP is from tourism and much of that depends on air travel. Getting people safely flying again will be a powerful economic boost,” said de Juniac.

Early this month, IATA urged governments in Africa to implement alternatives to quarantine on arrival that would allow economies to re-start while avoiding the importation of COVID-19 cases.

Egypt Air Cargo
Egypt Air Cargo

Government-imposed quarantine measures in 36 countries across Africa and the Middle East (AME) account for 40% of all quarantine measures globally. With over 80% of travelers unwilling to travel when quarantine is required, the impact of these measures is that countries remain in lockdown even if their borders are open, IATA said.

According to IATA, economies across AME have been devastated by COVID-19, and the aviation industry has been especially hard-hit. Across the region, more than 8.6 million jobs in the airline industry and those businesses supported by aviation are at risk. Thousands of jobs have already been lost due to the shutdown of air traffic.

“It is critical that AME governments implement alternatives to quarantine measures. AME has the highest number of countries in the world with government-imposed quarantine measures on arriving passengers. The region is effectively in complete lockdown with the travel and tourism sector shuttered. This is detrimental in a region where 8.6 million people depend on aviation for their livelihoods,” said Muhammad Albakri, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East.

Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Based in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, Simon leads a brilliant team of reporters, freelance journalists, analysts, researchers and contributors from around the world to run TODAY NEWS AFRICA as editor-in-chief. Simon Ateba's journalistic experience spans over 10 years and covers many beats, including business and investment, information technology, politics, diplomacy, human rights, science reporting and much more. Write him: simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com
0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Trending Now

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden says he’s concerned about escalating violence in Ethiopia and worries about civilians

U.S. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Monday said he was concerned about the escalating violence in Ethiopia. In a call with the United Nations...

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden speaks with Presidents of Kenya, Argentina and Costa Rica, and UN chief

U.S. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Monday spoke with world leaders, including President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, the second African leader after his...

Biden to use walking boot for several weeks after sustaining fractures while playing with dog, doctor says

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden sustained a sprain of his right foot while playing with his dog, Major, his doctor said on Sunday. "Initial X-rays are...

Ethiopian forces set to take Tigrayan capital, as many fear mass civilian deaths

The Ethiopian military said late on Friday that government forces were set to take control of Mekelle, the regional capital of Tigray, even as...

Nigerian-American Adewale Adeyemo makes history as President-elect Biden announces members of his economic team

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Monday announced key members of his economic team, including Janet Yellen as Secretary of the Treasury; Neera Tanden as...

President-elect Joe Biden slips while playing with dog, twists ankle

U.S. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. slipped while playing with his dog, Major, and twisted his ankle. The President-elect is being examined at Delaware Orthopaedic...

U.S. House members ask Trump admin to put on hold deportation of asylum-seekers from Cameroon and other African countries

United States House of Representatives members on Tuesday called on the Trump administration to put on hold the deportation, slated for Wednesday, of asylum-seekers...

U.S. ‘appalled by persecution of pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong’

The United States government said on Thursday it was "appalled by the Hong Kong government’s political persecution of Hong Kong’s courageous pro-democracy advocates." "The...

In first sit down interview since defeating President Trump, President-elect Biden identifies the four crises he’ll face

U.S. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Thursday identified the four crises his incoming administration will face when he and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris...

U.S. must stop vilifying immigrants, says Biden homeland security nominee Alejandro N. Mayorkas

The United States "must stop vilifying" immigrants, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of Department of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said on Thursday,...

Biden: We can and must do more for people with disabilities – statement

Statement by President-elect Joe Biden on United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities Today, Jill and I join with communities, advocates, and activists around...

Democrats and Republicans finally get serious about COVID-19 relief deal before Christmas

The Democrats and the Republicans are finally serious about reaching a COVID-19 deal before Christmas, as new cases increase and hospitalizations and deaths expand...

52,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Africa from 2.1 million infections, the lowest death toll in the world

More 52,500 people have died from COVID-19 in Africa from over 2.1 million infections, according to the latest data released by the Africa CDC. The...

President-elect Biden appoints Brian Deese as Director of the National Economic Council

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden announced on Thursday that veteran economic and climate expert Brian Deese will be appointed to serve as Director of the...

U.S. ‘appalled by persecution of pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong’

The United States government said on Thursday it was "appalled by the Hong Kong government’s political persecution of Hong Kong’s courageous pro-democracy advocates." "The use of courts to silence peaceful dissent is a hallmark of authoritarian regimes and underscores once again that the Chinese Communist Party’s greatest fear is the free speech and free thinking of its own people," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo...
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x
error: Alert: Content is protected !!
Share
Tweet
WhatsApp
Pin
Share