A lobby of African airlines is proposing an urgent wider rollout of hop-and-pick services, seeing it as a solution for struggling airlines and a way to ease restrictive air travel across the continent.
This , and expanded route sharing were among the proposals for African Union member states to implement and save operators from loss.
The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) voted at the end of the African Aviation Laboratory this week in Nairobi to . The lobby wants Africa-based airlines to fly more freely without having to return to their hubs first. For example, they would like an airline, say in Nairobi, to offer a general route to South Africa, picking up passengers at the main airports and dropping off others without having to return to Nairobi for a connection.
Airlines can also fly to smaller cities in other countries without having to land in the capital cities first. The lobby is calling this “freedom flights.” This, they argue, will allow for convenience, reduce operating costs and eventually open up more skies to more people.
“We’ve received a number of requests from African and European countries Airlines fly direct to Mombasa and Nairobi,” Kenya Transport Cabinet Minister James Macharia said in Mombasa this week while inspecting government projects.
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“We will review them and issue permits to boost tourism, but while we do so we are also urging Kenya Airways is granted the same to different countries.”
This proposal is part of the six strategies they propose in their statement, which mainly focus on sharing key facilities to make K east, attract traffic in a new market, improve aircraft utilization and provide efficient services.
AFRAA, in cooperation with the African Aviation Group, said AFRAA Secretary General, Abdérahmane Berthé, will advocate for commit to the adoption of the roadmap at the next AU meeting to ensure the sustainability of Africa’s aviation sector.
“The lab provides a constructive opportunity to exchange views and develop transformative solutions needed to to address the sustainability and competitiveness of African aviation. “AFRAA will continue to spearhead the findings of the lab to ensure Africa is survivable in the short term and sustainable in the long term,” Mr Berthé said.
Implementation will take time as the process must first be adopted by the AU and then ratified by individual members. Aviation in Africa has suffered from high airline ticket costs and long layovers at airports, making it cumbersome to connect cities in parts of the continent. Some people often fly to another continent before returning to Africa as the connection may be faster.
The Lobby is also calling for localized code sharing so airlines can pass each other’s passenger journeys on the same ticket . This is already happening with some airlines outside of Africa.
The conference also agreed to develop guidelines and an economic regulatory framework for the harmonization of taxes, duties and charges. And to achieve sustainability, fuel taxes must be reduced and tariffs on spare parts and aircraft eliminated, in line with the relevant provisions of the ICAO Convention.
The Laboratory, a hybrid event with 150 participants from AFRAA, African airlines, airport authorities, ACI Africa, civil aviation authorities, air navigation service providers and independent industry experts who, among others, called on states, development partners, financial institutions and other stakeholders to support the implementation of the roadmap.
The association also pointed to the need to streamline and automate the process of obtaining permits to fly at civil aviation authorities in order to achieve competitive and affordable air travel and boost trade and tourism in Africa.
< p>In the roadmap published at the Acceptance by the political organs of the AU, it is recommended that the Eff Increasing the iciency of flight operations in African airspace to deliver productivity gains for airlines and air carriers Vibration service providers.
African airline revenues are expected to fall by more than half as more countries adopt the Easing travel restrictions by lifting the requirement to test fully vaccinated passengers.
According to the latest IATA forecast, full-year revenue loss for African airlines is estimated at US$4.1 billion for 2022, which is March 23 .4 percent of 2019 revenue.
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In 2021, African airlines lost a total of $8.6 billion in revenue due to the impact of the pandemic, down 49.8 percent from 2019.
In Following IATA, many states in Africa had eased travel restrictions by the end of June by lifting the requirement to test fully vaccinated passengers.
“With various countries including Chinese making the move plans to gradually ease Covid-19 restrictions to return to more normal life, the aviation sector is forecast to fully recover in 2024,” reads part of the association’s latest report.
According to IATA, lies the global recovery rate at 98.8% compared to 97.9% in Africa.
In May 2022, African airlines’ deployed capacity reached 76.6 percent of 2019 capacity. The traffic recovery is now at 66, 3% of pre-Covid 2019 levels.
Domestic markets continue to dominate both capacity and actual passengers carried. Domestic demand outpaced 42.1 percent for intra-Africa and intercontinental, which remained subdued at 30.2 percent, and 27.7 percent for intra-African and intercontinental flights.
The percentage of international routes operated by African airlines is estimated at an impressive 92.2 percent in May 2022 compared to February 2020.
Intra-African passenger traffic recovery is set to pick up in May due to the easing of anti-Covid-19 restrictions in several African countries 74 percent estimated.
In general, passenger volumes remain low across Africa due to high ticket costs and travel apathy.
It is hoped that with the continued easing of lockdown and the Covid -19-Restrictions in many countries traffic will increase as we approach the peak season for summer holidays.
The aviation sector is also hitting in various sectors where the average global jet fuel price continues to rise, impacting airlines’ operating costs.
Airline revenues remained low as many operators struggled with liquidity problems.