[Airlines] September 19, 2023, 12:00 pm ET.By Victor Shalton.
Boeing’s Commercial Market Outlook (CMO) for the years 2023–2042 has unveiled a fascinating aviation landscape in Africa. The report forecasts an extraordinary surge in intra-African passenger traffic, with expectations of quadrupling over the next two decades. This substantial growth, among the highest globally, will necessitate the addition of a remarkable 1,025 new aircraft to Africa’s aviation fleet.
Africa’s air traffic growth, as projected in Boeing’s CMO, stands at an impressive 7.4%. This rate not only surpasses the global average of 6.1% but also ranks as the third-highest growth rate in the world. Randy Heisey, Boeing’s Managing Director of Commercial Marketing for Middle East and Africa expressed confidence in African carriers’ ability to support this extraordinary growth. He highlighted that the average aircraft size and seating capacity for African fleets are set to increase, with a particular emphasis on single-aisle planes like the Boeing 737 MAX.
The resurgence of African aviation traffic in 2023 can be attributed to pent-up demand and economic growth, driven in part by higher global commodity prices. Currently, airline flights in Africa have surged to levels 8% above those seen before the pandemic. Looking ahead, the long-term demand for air travel in Africa will continue to be fueled by an annual economic growth rate of 3.4%, urbanization rates, and the growing middle-class population.
Moreover, initiatives such as the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) and Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) are poised to further stimulate trade and enhance intra-regional connectivity. Notable projections from the 2023 Africa CMO include:
1. Europe remaining the most prominent origin and destination for travelers to and from Africa, leading to a 4.5% annual fleet growth for airlines in the region.
2. Single-aisle jets dominating commercial deliveries, with 730…