The International Air Transport Association (IATA), projects that African airlines international passenger traffic may remain low in the near term.
This was compounded by the slow progress in vaccination against Covid-19 and the overall impact of the crisis on developing countries.
In 2021, the industry performed at just 47% of 2019 levels. The numbers are expected to improve to 83% this year, to reach 94% next year and hitting 111 percent in 2025, the International Air Transport Association said.
It is expected to recover over a shallower gradient, achieving 76% of 2019 levels this year, 85% next year and 93% in 2024, before surging to 101% in 2025, a year later than the global industry average.
IATA is now asking governments to lift all barriers to travel.
“The biggest and most immediate drivers of passenger numbers are the restrictions that governments place on travel. Fortunately, more governments have understood that travel restrictions have little to no long-term impact on the spread of a virus. And the economic and social hardship caused for very limited benefit is simply no longer acceptable in a growing number of markets. As a result, the progressive removal of restrictions is giving a much-needed boost to the prospects for travel,” said William Walsh, IATA Director General.
The association said the Russia-Ukraine conflict is unlikely to have any bearing on the long-term growth of air transport.