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Government activities still driving air transport traffic in Africa—New Report

…As C’Town-Jo’Burg leads, Lagos-Abuja ranks 4th busiest in Africa

Routes Africa, a continental aviation research group has released a report suggesting that unlike Europe, Asia and America where air traffic is driven by corporate businesses, Africa’s air traffic is still under the influence of government activities.

The group is the continent’s most-established aviation forum, bringing together leading airlines, airports and tourism authorities to discuss air services to, from and within Africa.

However, to determine how best to drive business development in the continent’s aviation, the body is currently working towards aviation network development conferences and events – ahead of Routes Africa 2018, an aviation event that would take place in Accra, Ghana (16-18 July 2018).

The new report released ahead of the Accra conference showed that the South African domestic flight between Cape Town and Johannesburg’s Oliver Tambo International Airport is the busiest on the continent.

More than 4.7 million passengers flew the 1,292 km between the two airports in the last calendar year.

Routes’ study analysed the top 100 aviation routes in Africa by total capacity in 2017, according to OAG Schedules Analyser, and then ordered them using passenger data provided by Sabre Airline Solutions.

Eight airlines operated services between Cape Town (above) and Oliver Tambo International Airport during the year, with the average cost of a ticket at $78.

In total there were in excess of 34,000 flights between the two destinations in 2017, equating to an average of 95 flights per day.

Second in the list is the flight between Oliver Tambo International and Durban’s King Shaka International Airport.

A total of 2.87 million passengers flew between the two cities, which at just 498 km is the shortest flight by distance in the top 10.

The third-busiest route links Egypt’s capital city Cairo with the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah, while the flight between Nigeria’s capital Abuja and its largest city Lagos ranked fourth. The two services attracted 1.7 million and 1.3 million passengers respectively.

Completing the top five is Cape Town to Lanseria International Airport, situated to the north west of Johannesburg, with 1.2 million passengers.

Others are Durban King Shaka (DUR) – Cape Town (CPT), Johannesburg O.r. Tambo (JNB) – Port Elizabeth (PLZ), Johannesburg O.R. Tambo (JNB) – Dubai International (DXB), Cairo International (CAI) – Riyadh King Khalid (RUH) and Cairo International (CAI) – Kuwait (KWI).

Explaining more, Brand Director of Routes, Steven Small, said: “With the Single African Air Transport Market set to further liberalise and unify the African skies, it is no doubt an exciting time for the continent’s aviation industry.

“Routes Africa will bring together senior decision makers from Africa’s airlines, airports and destinations to plan new services. They will also discuss increasing the frequency and capacity of the existing routes that are popular with passengers,” he noted.