AFRAA calls for support measures for African airlines

The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) is urging African governments to consider compensation of inevitable losses, alleviating operating costs, and subsidisation of the African airlines in a bid to assure the industry’s viability.

A statement by the association said, “The coronavirus (Covid-19) is taking a toll on the aviation industry and global economy at large. The pandemic has restricted national and international supply chains. Economic activity in various regions has been disrupted by quarantine measures and reduced domestic demand for goods and services.”

The passenger business of the global air transport industry is estimated by IATA to make revenue losses between Ksh6.3 trillion and Ksh11.3 trillion in 2020 while no estimates are currently available for the impact on airline cargo operations. The forecast for global real GDP growth could dip below 2.5 percent this year, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. In the likelihood that the virus remains uncontained, the economic impact will be much deeper and more persistent.

AFRAA secretary general Abderahmane Berthé, stated “Demand for air travel has been negatively affected by the Covid-19 outbreak, which has resulted in airlines making losses due to substantial schedule changes, travel restrictions, and cancellations. AFRAA strongly recommends that African airlines engage their stakeholders to develop an all-inclusive proactive response strategy that addresses the adverse impact of the COVID-19 on their business to ensure airlines recover effectively to support key economic sectors.”

He added that AFRAA remains at the forefront with its members and the airline industry at large, in collaborative efforts to deal with and contain the pandemic calling upon all stakeholders to take the necessary measures and precautions to keep safe.

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