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IATA sees African airlines net loss at $2bn in 2020

By Almot Maqolo

African airlines will register a $2 billion net loss in 2020 owing to the impacts of Covid-19 pandemic, latest data shows.<div><br>Aviation in Africa supports 6.2 million jobs and $56 billion in Gross Domestic Product.

In its financial outlook for the global air transport industry, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Africa was the weakest region in the pre-crisis period.

“Few airlines in the region were able to achieve adequate load factors to generate a profitable performance. The pandemic has added to an already challenging operating environment and as a result airlines in the region are expected to post a $2 billion net loss in 2020,” it said.

However, IATA said the course of the virus in this region is yet to be fully seen. “Nonetheless, border closures have all but stopped flights. International donors will be needed to supplement the limited means for the region’s governments to provide relief packages,” IATA stated.

In the wake of Covid-19, the association has been lobbying African governments to aid the industry in order to minimize the impact on jobs and the broader African economy.

Some governments in Africa have already taken direct action to support aviation. Senegal announced a US$128 million a relief package for the tourism and air transport sector, Seychelles waived all landing and parking fees for April to December, 2020 and Cote d’Ivoire waived its Tourism Tax for transit passengers.

As part of its economic support intervention, South Africa is deferring payroll, income and carbon taxes across all industries, which will also benefit airlines domiciled in that country.

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