Tag

Slider

Browsing

Jon Howell is CEO and founder of Aviadev, Africa’s premier forum dedicated to growing connectivity to, from and within the African continent. In his own words, he has dedicated the last 10 years of his life to the world of route development, supporting organizations around the globe to improve their air connectivity with a particular passion and focus on Africa.

He says that whilst much of the connectivity that has been built over the last 25 years has been eroded by the pandemic, it will return but work must start now! He shares his thoughts in a linkedin article on why Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) have a huge role to play in shaping a recovery of aviation and travel:

The challenge faced by the airports

Whilst airlines have received most of the press coverage about how difficult their situation is, and are also those who have received the most financial support, airports have also been hugely impacted.

In Africa, many airports do not have large enough operations to have diversified to create a decent revenue stream from non-passenger revenues. Therefore, they are dependent on revenues tied directly to aviation activities and passenger throughput. Understandably, across the continent, this revenue has declined massively since the onset of the pandemic, but airports remain vital pieces of a country’s infrastructure and still need to find the funds to ensure a safe operating environment.

To summarise, a huge amount of their operating expenses have remained whilst aeronautical revenues have dwindled.

Added to this, Many countries in Africa have not created a separate airport authority and operate with just a Civil Aviation Authority. This is an important point, as it is the airport authority that should have a commercial focus and look for opportunities to increase its revenue, not simply to work as regulator and issuer of invoices.

Top of that list of activities should be to attract an airport’s biggest customer, namely airlines as they not only deliver revenue for the airport but a much bigger impact on the destination they serve.

Kenya’s authorities have announced their plans to reopen and ease their imposed COVID-19 related domestic activity restrictions and preventive measures starting from May 1, in an effort to help the country recover from the devastating situation caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

This means domestic air travel in Kenya is back in business with Kenya Airways and its budget carrier Jambo Jet all announcing their domestic travelling schedules.

Authorities in Kenya have started easing COVID-19 restrictions based on local infections rates and will continue applying international travel, however, entry requirements will be put in place to prevent an upsurge in the number of COVID-19 infections.

Kenya currently permits international travel with theexception of India and the UK that have been profoundly affected by the virus and are considered high risk countries.

All passengers coming to Kenya from the above named countries are required to have a valid COVID-19 vaccination certificate and a COVID-19 negative PCR test and must self-isolate on arrival for 7 days.

Other existing domestic requirements remain in force. Protective facemasks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces and social distancing mandates remain in force. Individuals are encouraged to work from home where possible. Certain industry-specific operating requirements are also still in place.

photo: aviationjoshpictorials

by Victor Shalton Odhiambo

Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda are the latest African countries to suspend flights originating from India as the Asian country reports a surging average of 314,000 cases a day testing positive for COVID-19. The suspension has naturally extended to destination carriers Kenya Airways and RwandAir who have cancelled all flights “Until further notice”

For flights cancelled by the airlines, passengers are nevertheless assured of being able to re-book their flights or get a refund for the unused portion of their ticket at a later date.

The ferocious surge in the new cases seems to be reversing the industry’s biggest travel comebacks, as Asian carriers were the first to show signs of recovery. Indian carriers had reached 87% of their pre-pandemic seat capacity through early April, according to Bloomberg analysis of data from flight tracker OAG, but that progress has now unravelled led by a pullback in domestic flights, which make up the vast majority of the market.

The pandemic surge has also prompted United Arab Emirates’ national airline, Emirates, to also suspend flights between Dubai and India for 10 days effective Sunday, April 25, a critical blow for India, as Dubai is a key connecting city for the country.

Image: Planetware.com

By Victor Shalton Odhiambo

The national carrier of the State of Qatar continues to rebuild its network announcing it will operate three weekly flights to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire via Accra from June 16, 2021. This will become the fourth new destination in Africa announced by Qatar Airways since the onset of the pandemic.

This new service to Abidjan will be operated by the airline’s state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner and will be configured with 22 seats in Business Class and 232 seats in Economy Class.

The airline has introduced several new destinations over the past 12 months to its growing route network with some African destinations including flights to Abuja, Accra, Luanda and Kigali flying 4x weekly. The airline also recently announced that it will resume services to Khartoum, Sudan, with four weekly flights starting May 11, 2021.

Even as the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to create unprecedented challenges for the aviation industry, Qatar Airways has nevertheless continued to work diligently taking people home safely and reliably with the Doha based carrier priding itself as the airline that never stopped flying throughout the ongoing crisis.

Qatar Airways growing route network currently stands at over 130 destinations with plans to increase to more than 1,200 weekly flight to over 140 destinations by end of July 2021.

The flight for the Abidjan route will be operated on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and scheduled:

Doha (DOH) to Abidjan (ABJ) QR1423 – departs 02:20 arrives 09:10

Abidjan (ABJ) to Doha (DOH) QR1424 – departs: 17:20 arrives 06:10

By Victor Shalton Odhiambo

As the airline industry continues to struggle in 2021, IATA’s latest report on air travel data from the month of February shows that passenger traffic fell both compared to pre-COVID levels (February 2019) and compared to the immediate month prior (January 2020).

It further notes the following:

  • Total demand for air travel in February 2021 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) was down 74.7% compared to February 2019. That was worse than the 72.2% decline recorded in January 2021 versus two years ago.
  • International passenger demand in February was 88.7% below February 2019, a further drop from the 85.7% year-to-year decline recorded in January and the worst growth outcome since July 2020. Performance in all regions worsened compared to January 2021.
  • Total domestic demand was down 51.0% versus pre-crisis (February 2019) levels. In January it was down 47.8% on the 2019 period. This largely was owing to weakness in China travel, driven by government requests that citizens stay at home during the Lunar New Year travel period.

“February showed no indication of a recovery in demand for international air travel. In fact, most indicators went in the wrong direction as travel restrictions tightened in the face of continuing concerns over new coronavirus variants. An important exception was the Australian domestic market. A relaxation of restrictions on domestic flying resulted in significantly more travel. This tells us that people have not lost their desire travel. They will fly, provided they can do so without facing quarantine measures,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

Africa

Traffic dropped 68.0% in February versus February two years ago, which was a setback compared to a 66.1% decline recorded in January compared to January 2019. February capacity contracted 54.6% versus February 2019, and load factor fell 20.5 percentage points to 49.1%.

Two key components for an efficient restart of travel need to be urgently progressed. The first is the development of global standards for digital COVID-19 test and/or vaccination certificates. The second is government agreement to accept certificates digitally. Our experiences to date already demonstrate that paper-based systems are not a sustainable option. They are vulnerable to fraud. And, even with the limited amount of flying today, the check-in process needs pre-COVID-19 staffing levels just to handle the paperwork. Paper processes will not be sustainable when travel ramps up. The IATA Travel Pass app was developed precisely in anticipation of this need to manage health credentials digitally. Its first full implementation trial is focused on Singapore, where the government has already announced that it will accept health certificates through the app. This will be an essential consideration for all governments when they are ready to relink their economies with the world through air travel,” said Walsh.

Photo: Getty Images

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has published its 2020 safety report on the commercial airline industry. For the first time in more than 15 years there were no Loss of Control Inflight (LOC-I) accidents, which have accounted for the largest share of fatalities since 2016. This positive news, a refreshing break from the pandemic narrative was well received by IATA secretary general Alexandre de Juniac who said “The lack of any such events in 2020 was a positive development. Nevertheless, based on the initial reports from the investigation into the tragic loss of Sriwijaya Air SJ 182 early in 2021, we must continue to learn and improve.”

The report goes on to highlight the following:

  • The total number of accidents decreased from 52 in 2019 to 38 in 2020.
  • The total number of fatal accidents decreased from 8 in 2019 to 5 in 2020.
  • The all accident rate was 1.71 accidents per million flights. This is higher than the 5-year (2016-2020) average rate which is 1.38 accidents per million flights.
  • IATA member airlines’ accident rate was 0.83 per million flights, which was an improvement over the 5-year average rate of 0.96.
  • Total flight operations reduced by 53% to 22 million in 2020.
  • Fatality risk remained unchanged compared to the five-year average at 0.13.

With a fatality risk of 0.13 for air travel, on average, a person would have to travel by air every day for 461 years before experiencing an accident with at least one fatality. On average, a person would have to travel every day for 20,932 years to experience a 100% fatal accident.

“Flying is safe, although the industry did take a step back on performance in 2020. The severe reduction in flight numbers magnified the impact of each accident when we calculate rates. But numbers don’t lie, and we will not allow this to become a trend. We will have even sharper focus on safety during this period of reduced operations and as flight schedules are rebuilt when the world reopens,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Africa’s safety performance

The global average Jet hull loss rate rose slightly in 2021 compared to the five-year average from 2016 to 2020. Africa was one of the regions which showed improvement, recording no jet hull loss in this period recorded on average per 1 million departures

Accidents involving turboprop aircraft represented 29% of all accidents and 40% of fatal accidents in 2020. Africa unfortunately experienced a decline despite a pandemic led slowdown with turboprop hull losses rising from 4.93 in the 2016-2020 five year period to 13.02 in 2020 alone per 1 million departures

Airlines based in sub-Saharan Africa experienced six accidents last year, two of which were fatal, both involving turboprop aircraft. This is the same number of fatal accidents that occurred in 2019, nevertheless the fatality risk increased owing to the fact that there were fewer flights last year

The focus in Africa continues to be on accelerating the implementation of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) safety-related standards and recommended practices (SARPS). At year-end 2020, some 28 African countries (61% of the total) had at least 60% SARPS implementation, unchanged from 2019. “While we recognize the extraordinary challenges in 2020 that touched on all aspects of aviation, we hope that we will see additional movement in this number as the pandemic recedes,” said de Juniac

IATA also continues to work closely with all key stakeholders in the region. IATA and African Airlines Association (AFRAA) joined forces with the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) on a three-year safety project to provide technical support to the African air operators of states party to the Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM) to ensure they achieve and maintain global aviation safety standards.

IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA)

The all accident rate for airlines on the IOSA registry was nearly three times better than that of non-IOSA airlines for 2020 (1.20 vs. 3.29). The 2016-2020 average of IOSA airlines versus non-IOSA airlines was more than twice as good (0.99 vs. 2.32). All IATA member airlines are required to maintain their IOSA registration. There are currently 438 airlines on the IOSA Registry of which 142 are non-IATA Members.

Download the 2020 Safety Report

– IATA –

More off this less hello salamander lied porpoise much over tightly circa horse taped so innocuously outside crud mightily rigorous negative one inside gorilla and drew humbly shot tortoise inside opaquely. Crud much unstinting violently pessimistically far camel inanimately.

Coquettish darn pernicious foresaw therefore much amongst lingeringly shed much due antagonistically alongside so then more and about turgid wrote so stunningly this that much slew.

More off this less hello salamander lied porpoise much over tightly circa horse taped so innocuously outside crud mightily rigorous negative one inside gorilla and drew humbly shot tortoise inside opaquely. Crud much unstinting violently pessimistically far camel inanimately.

Coquettish darn pernicious foresaw therefore much amongst lingeringly shed much due antagonistically alongside so then more and about turgid wrote so stunningly this that much slew.

More off this less hello salamander lied porpoise much over tightly circa horse taped so innocuously outside crud mightily rigorous negative one inside gorilla and drew humbly shot tortoise inside opaquely. Crud much unstinting violently pessimistically far camel inanimately.

Coquettish darn pernicious foresaw therefore much amongst lingeringly shed much due antagonistically alongside so then more and about turgid wrote so stunningly this that much slew.

More off this less hello salamander lied porpoise much over tightly circa horse taped so innocuously outside crud mightily rigorous negative one inside gorilla and drew humbly shot tortoise inside opaquely. Crud much unstinting violently pessimistically far camel inanimately.

Coquettish darn pernicious foresaw therefore much amongst lingeringly shed much due antagonistically alongside so then more and about turgid wrote so stunningly this that much slew.