Published on : Friday, December 15, 2017
The International Air Transport Association IATA, Vice President for Africa, Raphael Kuuchi pointed out that there the several factors that cause African airlines to operate at a loss while their counterparts across the world make money.
Due to the imposition of high tax rate on the aviation fuel by most African countries mans that the transport operating costs of African airlines are among the highest in the world.
Many governments impose high tax on the aviation fuel in order to subsidise other fuels or even supplement budgetary incomes at the expense of efficient aviation.
Raphael Kuuchi also pointed the fact that airlines on the continent are served by costly monopolies at the different airports including catering services, logistics management companies and fuelling service providers among others.
This coupled with the limitation of airports with many countries having one operational international airport means that airlines don’t usually have the luxury of operating away from an airport served by an expensive service provider.
With reports indicating that African airlines fly with 30% empty seats on average against the world average of 20% means that the airlines are getting less returns on investment as compared to airlines elsewhere. The low passenger numbers are blamed on the high ticket prices which are in turn blamed on high tax regimes and restrictive government policies on aviation.
Raphael Kuuchi is hopeful that the African Union commitment to open up the African skies and aviation markets will advance the industry and airlines’ fortunes, which has a direct relation with the business tourism. This will also help in understanding the growth of leisure and wildlife tourism.
In the month of January 2018, there are 22 African countries will open up their skies unconditionally to airlines operating in Africa, having signed a declaration championed by the African Union.
Meanwhile, the Ethiopian Airlines has announced its first all-female crew flight to Nigeria, where women would be expected to fill every role on the flight, from the pilots and cabin crew to in flight ramp operations as well as flight dispatchers on the ground, which sounds the hopeful in the African aviation world.
The flight scheduled for December 16, from Addis Ababa to Lagos, will be the first time it will be operating an all-women flight in Africa.