Air passenger traffic in Africa for the month of July 2021 is estimated to have reached 42.9% compared to the same month in 2019, while capacity reached 53.7% as of July.
Domestic markets across Africa continue to post better performance with demand for passenger travel in this market outperforming intra-Africa and intercontinental at 64% compared to 22.9% for intra-Africa and 13.1% for intercontinental traffic in May. Meanwhile, domestic, intra-Africa and intercontinental seats accounted for 50.2%, 27.3% and 22.5% respectively.
In another positive sign of African aviation’s recovery, the restart of African airlines operations on international routes continued the positive trend observed in the last three months. May 2021 saw a resumption of 62.5% of international routes, compared to the pre-COVID period. Recovery further improved to 72.7% in June 2021 and 74.7% in July. Some countries have been easing travel restrictions to facilitate the movement of people and tourists across borders. There is however concern that this positive trend might be reversed in subsequent months if the rate of COVID-19 infections continues to far.
In terms of intra-African connectivity, Mauritius remains the most impacted air travel destination, with a reduction of 98% of possible connections to/ from African airports compared to February 2020. Connectivity however improved from the North and West African airports.