Flight Capacity in 2024: Resurgence of the African Airlines

  • Flight Capacity in 2024 increased by 6 per cent increase in available seats, rising from 15.1 million in May 2023
  • In Kenya, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) is leading efforts to validate draft aviation regulations aimed at enhancing safety and efficiency
  • 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.

African Airlines witnessed a 6 per cent increase in available seats, rising from 15.1 million in May 2023 to 15.9 million in May 2024, attributed to introducing new routes and increased flight frequencies.

This comes at a time when 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 for 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.

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 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 per cent of international capacity and 35.4 per cent 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 per cent and 48.7 per cent, respectively.

Flight Capacity in 2024

Flight capacity in Africa 2024
African airlines are experiencing enhanced revenue performance, following the growth in traffic.[Photo/Getty images]

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 per cent rise in operating revenues to $1.74 billion (Sh228billion) in the month of March 2024 boosted by the rebound in global travel.

Additionally, African Airlines Association’s (AFRAA)’s latest data 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.

 

“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 Rome witnessing a notable uptick in connectivity,” AFRAA noted.

Read Also: Ethiopian Airlines and Boeing sign landmark aircraft parts deal

Regulatory/Industry Affairs

Flight capacity in 2024
Egypt is making strides towards sustainable aviation.[Photo/samchui.com]

In Kenya, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) is leading efforts to validate draft aviation regulations aimed at enhancing safety and efficiency, with active stakeholder consultation.

However, the Kenyan government’s proposed Finance Bill 2024, which includes VAT on aviation equipment and supplies, is causing concern as it deviates from global best practices where aviation is typically VAT-exempt.

In Nigeria, the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) has raised concerns over the detrimental impact of excessive airline taxes, which have made Nigerian airports some of the most expensive globally for foreign airlines to operate.

Egypt is making strides towards sustainable aviation with the Egyptian Petrochemicals Holding planning to launch the country’s first sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) production facility by 2025.

SkAI and Zurich University have launched a free-to-use website to detect real-time spoofing based on ADS-B data from the OpenSky Network.

In South Africa, the clarification received on the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Act is that the Act is targeted at enhancing and encouraging procurement of goods and services from B-BBEE compliant companies and the requirement to have foreign operators to be B-BBEE certified is impractical.

Foreign operators in South Africa are encouraged to seek further clarification with the BEE Chambers on applicability to their respective airline.

Additionally, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment is reviewing aviation meteorological service tariffs for the next three years, with new rates effective from April 2024 to March 2027.

In the United States, major airlines are challenging a new regulation by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) that mandates upfront disclosure of ancillary airline fees. This rule aims to enhance transparency for consumers regarding additional travel charges.

Singapore Airlines has revised its seatbelt and meal service policies following fatal turbulence. Hot meal service will now be suspended when the seatbelt sign is on, and cabin crew will ensure all items and equipment are secured during poor weather conditions.

The latest report on Blocked Funds is that Nigeria has settled and released all funds that had been blocked in Nigeria to the airline operators.

Read Also: African airlines’ revenues and seat numbers hit new highs in 2024

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  • Flight Capacity in 2024 increased by 6 per cent increase in available seats, rising from 15.1 million in May 2023
  • In Kenya, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) is leading efforts to validate draft aviation regulations aimed at enhancing safety and efficiency
  • 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.

African Airlines witnessed a 6 per cent increase in available seats, rising from 15.1 million in May 2023 to 15.9 million in May 2024, attributed to introducing new routes and increased flight frequencies.

This comes at a time when 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 for 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.

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 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 per cent of international capacity and 35.4 per cent 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 per cent and 48.7 per cent, respectively.

Flight Capacity in 2024

Flight capacity in Africa 2024
African airlines are experiencing enhanced revenue performance, following the growth in traffic.[Photo/Getty images]

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 per cent rise in operating revenues to $1.74 billion (Sh228billion) in the month of March 2024 boosted by the rebound in global travel.

Additionally, African Airlines Association’s (AFRAA)’s latest data 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.

 

“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 Rome witnessing a notable uptick in connectivity,” AFRAA noted.

Read Also: Ethiopian Airlines and Boeing sign landmark aircraft parts deal

Regulatory/Industry Affairs

Flight capacity in 2024
Egypt is making strides towards sustainable aviation.[Photo/samchui.com]

In Kenya, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) is leading efforts to validate draft aviation regulations aimed at enhancing safety and efficiency, with active stakeholder consultation.

However, the Kenyan government’s proposed Finance Bill 2024, which includes VAT on aviation equipment and supplies, is causing concern as it deviates from global best practices where aviation is typically VAT-exempt.

In Nigeria, the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) has raised concerns over the detrimental impact of excessive airline taxes, which have made Nigerian airports some of the most expensive globally for foreign airlines to operate.

Egypt is making strides towards sustainable aviation with the Egyptian Petrochemicals Holding planning to launch the country’s first sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) production facility by 2025.

SkAI and Zurich University have launched a free-to-use website to detect real-time spoofing based on ADS-B data from the OpenSky Network.

In South Africa, the clarification received on the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Act is that the Act is targeted at enhancing and encouraging procurement of goods and services from B-BBEE compliant companies and the requirement to have foreign operators to be B-BBEE certified is impractical.

Foreign operators in South Africa are encouraged to seek further clarification with the BEE Chambers on applicability to their respective airline.

Additionally, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and the Environment is reviewing aviation meteorological service tariffs for the next three years, with new rates effective from April 2024 to March 2027.

In the United States, major airlines are challenging a new regulation by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) that mandates upfront disclosure of ancillary airline fees. This rule aims to enhance transparency for consumers regarding additional travel charges.

Singapore Airlines has revised its seatbelt and meal service policies following fatal turbulence. Hot meal service will now be suspended when the seatbelt sign is on, and cabin crew will ensure all items and equipment are secured during poor weather conditions.

The latest report on Blocked Funds is that Nigeria has settled and released all funds that had been blocked in Nigeria to the airline operators.

Read Also: African airlines’ revenues and seat numbers hit new highs in 2024

Stay ahead of the game with our weekly African business Newsletter
Recieve Expert analysis, commentary and Insights into the enviroment which can help you make informed decisions.

Check your inbox or spam folder to confirm your subscription.

STAY INFORMED

Unlock Business Wisdom – Join The Exchange Africa’s Newsletter for Expert African Business Insights!

Check your inbox or spam folder to confirm your subscription.

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