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African aviation to grow in the next decade

The demand for business jets is related to economic growth and wealth creation, especially in Africa. (Image source: JoshuaDavisPhotography/Flickr)

The growth of the aviation sector in Africa has been tremendous, according to industry experts, citing that it will grow more in the next decade

The aviation business in Africa currently supports more than 6.9mn jobs and an excess of US$80bn in GDP across nations, stated Ascend Fleets from FlightGlobal, JETNET, IBA.

However, a report published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said that a further 155,000 jobs and US$1.3bn in GDP will be added through effective liberalisation of major markets such as Ghana, Kenya and South Africa.

With a geographic proximity to the Gulf, Africa enjoys a major advantage in trade and business as it capitalises on major cargo and passenger traffic from the Middle East.

Specifically, African business aviation has shown resilience during turbulent economic times. South Africa and Nigeria, which are the continent’s largest aircraft registries, account for more than 50 per cent of the entire fleet of business aircraft across Africa, as per a market forecast report by Bombardier Business Aircraft 2014-2033.

Until 2033, 685 business jet deliveries are expected in the region, with a fleet compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 52 per cent over the forecast period, added the report.

Melanie Humphries, head of aviation finance at Investec – a firm that finances aircraft, said, “Demand for business aircraft is highly correlated to wealth creation, which, of course, is dependent on economic growth. The African fleet has more than doubled since 2000 and now comprises nearly 2.4 per cent of the world’s corporate jet population. As business jets are increasingly being seen as a productive business tool, the long-term prospects for business aviation remain strong.”

Aviation in Middle East then, in Africa now:
In addition to showing strong growth within the continent, the African aviation sector has a lot in common with the Middle East as well, said Alan Peaford, event organiser and summit chairman for Aviation Africa 2015.

“There are many striking similarities between the Middle Eastern aviation market 20 years ago and the African market today,” said Peaford.

The continent’s prospective growth as well as the potentially vital role of the Middle East aviation industry can aid with the creation of a burgeoning market in Africa.