Key facts about the market
Africa is a diverse continent - with 54 countries and over 1,500 languages, it cannot be treated as a homogeneous group. Characterized by vast distances and with the absence of efficient road or rail systems, air transportation is a strong option for freight, business, leisure and tourist travel. Moreover, the growing affluence across the continent has led to greater demand for air travel.
Exciting times await African aviation:
- IATA has forecast 5 percent annual growth over the next 20 years. By 2034, Africa will boast of eight out of the 10 fastest growing aviation markets in the world
- While 2014 saw more than 50 million tourists travelling to Africa, making it one of the world’s most popular regions, the number is expected to increase further in 2017
- Africa has been experiencing a high population growth since the second half of the 20thcentury, and if current demographic trends continue, the population will hit 1.9 billion by 2050
- Passenger traffic is set to rocket with nearly 300 million passengers estimated to travel to and from African destinations.
The aviation industry has a dynamic role to play in accomplishing sustainable development in Africa and helping Africa “rise”. The challenge is two-fold:
First, many airports on the continent are 40-50 years old with ageing infrastructure. Thus, they are prone to safety lapses, environmental pollution and flight disruptions.
Second, governments across the continent realize airport hubs are windows to the continent and steps must be taken to eliminate bottle necks and fuel growth in the airport sector. Preparing for the boom, they are investing in airport development projects. As of last year, there were at least 40 new airports projects across Africa.