The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) has reported that African based airlines have cumulatively lost upwards of 10.21bn in Q1 of 2020.
Traffic recovery for Jan-May was 37% of 2019 level.
In May alone, traffic declined by 62.2% compared to same month in 2019.
Similarly, capacity declined 53.1% compared to May 2021.
Mauritius remains the most impacted hub, with a reduction of 98% of possible connections to/from African airports compared to March 2020.
Connectivity at Nairobi JKIA reduced mainly due to schedule adjustments and frequency reduction of national carrier, KQ.
Demand for domestic passenger travel continues to out-perform intra-Africa and intercontinental at 61.5% compared to 23.1% for intra-Africa and 15.1% for intercontinental.
In terms of capacity seats offered, domestic, intra-Africa and intercontinental account for 47.7%, 27.2% and 25.1% respectively.
After 3 consecutive months of increase in the number of international routes operated by African airlines (February-April), May saw a dip following border closure announcements by the governments of Algeria and Morocco resulting in airlines in the 2 countries suspending some routes.
Ethiopian, RwandAir and SA Airlink however re-opened more routes in May.
But the general constrained passenger demand is due to continued increase in Covid-19 cases globally, constantly evolving travel health advisories as well as restrictive access to many tourist sites around the world.
With the low volume of traffic, airlines continue to suffer major losses month after month.
In the first quarter of 2021 alone, airlines loss $2.6b and the estimate for Q2 is $2.5b. In 2020, African airlines cumulatively loss $10.21b.