African air traffic will grow at well above the world average rate over the next 20 years, according to plane-maker Airbus’ latest Global Market Forecast.
Average annual passenger growth rates to, from and within Africa are expected to reach 5.7 per cent over the next 20 years, in comparison to a world average growth rate of 4.7 per year.
With the African population growing and the middle-class forecast to triple by 2031, more and more people are expected to have the means to fly. The low cost market, with just six percent of African traffic today, has huge potential to grow considering more mature markets typically have a low cost share of over 30 percent. This will help to bring the benefits of flying within reach of even more people.
With these positive developments in the region, the Airbus Global Market Forecast predicts that the African aircraft fleet (of aircraft offering more than 100 seats) is set to more than double from around 600 aircraft to more than 1400 by 2031.
To meet that requirement, the France-based plane-maker projects that airlines on the continent will need 957 new passenger aircraft – with a value of $118-billion - by 2031.
"International traffic to and from South Africa has doubled in the last 20 years and we expect it to more than double in the next 20," said Andrew Gordon, Director Strategic Marketing and Analysis. “There is no doubt that South Africa is helping to drive the development of aviation on the continent. Johannesburg will reinforce its position as one of the world’s aviation mega-cities, a focal point for traffic coming into the region and then connecting these passengers to the rest of Africa."