African air traffic takes off in first quarter
3 May 2012
Business Day - 2 May 2012
AFRICAN airlines recorded a 14,3% overall increase in air traffic, both consumer and freight, in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period in 2011, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) said on Wednesday.
The industry also saw a 7,6% month-on-month increase in passenger demand in March and a rise in freight demand of 0,3% compared with March 2011.
Although Africa’s capacity for air traffic rose by 10,7% in the quarter, it is still the lowest in the world.
Also in March, overall passenger capacity was 4,4% higher, compared with a year before, while freight capacity climbed 1,7%, surpassing the rate of demand.
According to Iata, air traffic in March 2011 had been held back by the Japanese tsunami and earthquake as well as the violent events of the Arab Spring, which took hold in North Africa in February of that year.
The Chinese calendar also had an effect, weakening cargo demand compared with March 2011.
Month on month, air cargo demand in March was up 2,2% compared with February.
Tony Tyler, director-general and CEO of Iata, said the state of Europe’s economy had dampened passenger demand.