African economic and air traffic growth surpasses global average

African airlines will require 1 100 new passenger and freight aircraft deliveries by 2040, according to the latest 2021 Airbus Global Market Forecast (GMF).

This will take the total fleet to 1 440 from a 2019 fleet baseline of 680 aircraft.

“During this period, the fleet in the region will transition to new-generation types such as the A220, A320neo family, A330neo and A350, bringing significant efficiency improvement and a corresponding reduction in carbon emissions per passenger,” Airbus said in an official statement.

“Tourism and intraregional trade will continue to be key growth sectors for Africa and drive GDP growth,” the manufacturer said.

Airbus forecasts that the projected growth in the continent’s economy will push up air traffic to achieve a full recovery to 2019 levels between late 2023 and early 2025.

Air cargo is currently already operating at 9% above pre-crisis levels globally, and 23% above this level in Africa.

“Cargo traffic to and from Africa will increase by a factor of 2.5,” Airbus said.

The firm strong recovery is attributed to “the fundamental drivers of traffic demand remaining unchanged: economic growth faster than the world average, young and growing population, urbanisation, and middle class development.”

Across Africa, the industry directly supports 6.2 million jobs and contributes $56 billion to the continent’s regional GDP.

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