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Economic Boom Boosts Air Travel Across Africa

The future looks bright for air travel across Africa.

It’s predicted that by 2034, 190 million more flights segments will be flown across the continent. To put that figure in context, that rate of expansion will bring the total number of passengers up to approximately 308 million annually.

Tanzania and Ethiopia are expected to add some 10 million passengers each, followed by Uganda and Zambia with 4 million apiece.

Rwanda follows in quick succession, with an expected 2.5 million more passengers a year.

These nations will be battling for dominance of the skies with aerial behemoths South Africa and Nigeria, predicted to carry 26 million and 18 million respectively by 2034.

Part of the reason behind the rapid expansion within the sector is the continent’s economic boom.

A burgeoning middle class has increased demand and the availability of flights — the emergence of budget airlines and improved connections are the result.

In the past many journeys across Africa have been more convenient — and often cheaper — when travelers flew via foreign hubs such as Dubai, London and Amsterdam.

But the rise of budget airlines is finally realizing the dream set out when African nations signed an “open skies” agreement in 1988. New routes are opening up and more local carriers are operating along them.


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