African airlines’ performance in terms of increased air cargo volumes is the best of all regions in the world, according to a new report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

In October, African airlines posted a 25.9% increase in cargo volumes compared to the same period 2019 – therefore, before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is not as high as the increase seen in September this year (33.1%) compared to September last year, but still the best annual growth globally.

African airlines saw most growth in air cargo volumes on routes between the continent and Asia (25.3%).

“Global manufacturing activity and trade have slowed amid issues related to congestion and input and labour shortages but remain broadly supportive,” states IATA’s report.

Air passenger volumes in Africa declined by 60.1% measured in the industry standard of revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) in October this year compared to October 2019, before the pandemic. On passenger routes between Africa and Asia volumes declined the most (-92.3% in October 2021 compared to the same month in 2019), while it declined 41.6% on routes between Africa and Europe and 30.7% on routes between Africa and the Middle East.

IATA points out that less than 10% of people in Africa have as yet been fully vaccinated.


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