Kamil Alawadhi, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa

African Airlines Set for a Small Profit in 2024: Governments Urged to Harness Aviation for Economic Growth

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on Africa’s governments to take advantage of a strengthening aviation sector to maximize its benefits for economic and social development across the African Continent.

Recently IATA announced that Africa’s airlines are expected to earn a collective net profit in 2024 for the second year in a row. That is a welcome and hard-won result reflecting the sector’s resilience in its post-COVID recovery. The expected $100 million profit, however, translates into just 90 cents per passenger—well below the global average of $6.14.

“Africa’s airlines are making a collective profit. That is good news. But it is razor-thin and well below the global benchmark. And there are wide variations across the continent where many individual airlines still struggle with losses. The demand to travel is there. To meet it, the African airline sector needs to overcome many challenges, not least of which are infrastructure deficiencies, high costs, onerous taxation, and the failure to broadly implement a continent-wide multilateral traffic rights regime,” said Kamil Alawadhi, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East.

“The challenges facing African aviation are significant, but they are not insurmountable. IATA’s Focus Africa initiative is by no means a panacea, but it does lay out a framework to build a stronger aviation sector that will provide even better support to economic growth and social development. The prize for working together across the continent for safe, efficient, and sustainable air connectivity is well worth focused policy efforts across the continent,” said Alawadhi.