African Air Cargo Market Bucks Global Trend

Logistics Update AfricaNovember-December 2019

African Air Cargo Market Bucks Global Trend
Ongoing trade tensions between the US and China has taken a toll on global air cargo growth, but the only sector that has seen a silver lining during these troubled times is the perishable or special cargo space. It is no surprise then that the African air cargo market, which accounts for a majority of perishables exports, has been bucking the trend. The continent is also on the cusp of a digital transformation and is making major strides in infrastructural growth and liberalisation, which is set to take the African air freight sector to greater heights, Surya Kannoth reports.
Surya Kannoth

Africa accounts for only 1.7 percent of global air cargo. Nevertheless, African carriers are consistently posting the fastest growth than any other region for almost two years, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Capacity has grown by 17.1 per cent year-on-year due to strong trade and investment linkages with Asia underpinning a double-digit increase in air freight volumes between the two regions over the past year.

At a recent workshop hosted by the Government of Nigeria, ICAO Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu cautioned that the realization of better air connectivity in Africa, and the crucial sustainable development it promises, will only be accomplished through the mobilization of sufficient and appropriate investment.

“It is especially urgent for Africa to address its aviation infrastructure gaps, given current and high levels of awareness of how air connectivity has become such a unique and indispensable catalyst for socio-economic growth on this continent,” Aliu remarked at the 2019 Aviation Infrastructure for Africa Gap Analysis Workshop.

ICAO’s long-term traffic forecasts presently indicate that passenger and freight traffic for the African region are expected to grow by 4.3 per cent and 3.8 per cent annually through 2035. Currently accounting for four per cent of global air transport services, Africa presents the highest potential for growth out of all of ICAO’s global regions.


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November-December 2019