African Airlines record increased demand despite challenges

Africa airlines witnessed a six percent increase in available seats, rising from 15.1 million in May 2023 to 15.9 million in May 2024, attributed to the introduction of new routes and increased flight frequencies.

This coming at a time that the aviation industry experienced a dynamic start to 2024, grappling with a multitude of challenges and opportunities.

African Airlines Association’s (AFRAA)’s latest data shows high demand Available Seat Kilometers (ASK) across all regional flights.

“Despite ongoing post-pandemic hurdles, the airline sector sustained its recovery momentum this year, witnessing a resurgence in passenger demand,” says the latest update from the African Airlines Association (AFRAA).

Available Seat Kilometers (ASK) is a measure of the number of seats available for sale multiplied by the distance flown by an airline.

Essentially, ASK combines the capacity of an airline’s fleet with the distance those planes fly, providing a comprehensive measure of available passenger capacity over a given period.

For example, if an airline has 150 seats on a plane and flies a 1,000-kilometer route, the ASK for that flight would be 150,000 (150 seats x 1,000 kilometers).

This metric helps airlines and analysts assess the capacity offered by an airline and compare it with other airlines or against the airline’s own performance over different periods.

“During the same period, available seat kilometres (ASKs) surpassed May 2023 levels by 12 percent.”

In the same period African carriers accounted for 48.7 percent of international capacity and 35.4 percent of intercontinental capacity, the update added.

Regarding capacity allocation between African and non-African operators on international routes (regional and intercontinental), AFRAA estimates a split of 51.3 percent and 48.7 percent, respectively.

“In regards to intercontinental routes, Africa accounts for only 35.4 percent of capacity. In this season, intra-Africa connectivity surged across regions with major hubs such as Addis Ababa, Nairobi, Abidjan and Lome witnessing a notable uptick in connectivity,” AFRAA noted.

African carriers accounted for 48.7 per cent of the international capacity and 35.4 per cent of the intercontinental capacity.

AFRAA projects a 15 per cent rise in passenger traffic for African carriers in 2024 compared to 2023.

African airlines are experiencing enhanced revenue performance, following the growth in traffic.

Global price of Jet A1 continues to fluctuate from week to week. The global average jet A1 price ended the week of 24th May 2024 down 0.7 per cent at $99.85/bbl.

African Airlines have reported a 26 percent rise in operating revenues to $1.74 billion (Sh228billion) in the month of March 2024 boosted by the rebound in global travel.

African Airlines Association’s (AFRAA)’s latest data also shows a significant increase from $1.39 billion (Sh180 billion) in March 2023.

Operating revenues refer to the income generated from the primary activities of a business or organization.

For example, in the context of an airline, operating revenues would include income from ticket sales, baggage fees, and other related services.

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