Shipping & Logistics

Hope for airlines as global travel shows signs of revival

aviation

Kenya Airways has ramped up its frequencies to a number of countries in the last couple of weeks. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • International Air Travel Association (IATA) says the sector recorded an 18 percent growth in September when compared with the previous month, coming as good news to the sector.
  • Last month, the US announced that it had started allowing fully vaccinated tourists following months of restriction, with India following suit this week.
  • According to Kenya’s Ministry of Health, a total of 5,997,816 vaccines had so far been administered across the country as of Sunday.

The global aviation industry is showing signs of recovery as more countries open their borders with an increase in the rate of vaccinations, giving hope to the sector that was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.

International Air Travel Association (IATA) says the sector recorded an 18 percent growth in September when compared with the previous month, coming as good news to the sector.

Major economies across the world including the US, India, China and a host of European countries have opened up their borders to tourists.

Last month, the US announced that it had started allowing fully vaccinated tourists following months of restriction, with India following suit this week.

“Air travel picked up in September, after a slight deterioration in the previous month,” said IATA.

“Vaccination rates have been rising around the world, albeit slowly. Nearly half of the global population has received at least one vaccine dose as of October, but large differences remain across advanced and emerging markets,” the agency added.

The latest developments in key demand drivers and travel bookings indicate that air travel recovery will continue, although any significant improvement looks unlikely before the year-end, according to IATA.

According to Kenya’s Ministry of Health, a total of 5,997,816 vaccines had so far been administered across the country as of Sunday. Of these, 3,887,459 are partially vaccinated while those fully vaccinated are 2,110,357.

The relaxation of Covid-19 protocols has seen Kenya Airways ramp up its frequencies to a number of countries in the last couple of weeks.

For instance, the airline has increased flights to Ethiopia from four to seven a week, DRC from five previously to eight, Dare salaam and Entebbe from 14 to 16.

“All this (increase in frequencies) is occasioned by demand increase due to relaxation of travel restrictions by many countries,” said KQ.

The national carrier has so far resumed flights to India and UK with increased frequencies to London after Kenya was removed from the red list, which had barred travellers from Kenya to go to Britain.

The government announced last week that Kenya’s aviation market had picked up by 90 percent as the sector is recording a steady growth in air travel following the effects of Covid-19 that slowed down the industry.

Principal Secretary for Transport Joseph Njoroge said the sector is now recording an improvement in traffic and the aviation industry has begun the process of recovery.

“In Kenya our domestic market is vibrant and we are at 90 percent compared to the levels in 2019. International traffic has also picked up to 71 percent,” said Mr Njoroge.

Freight business, however, has been growing faster than the passenger segment of aviation due to high demand for cargo with Africa recording the highest growth globally in September.

Data from IATA indicates that Africa recorded a 34.6 percent growth in the review period to mark a ninth consecutive increment on month to month.

The volumes, according to IATA, are 20 percent above the pre-crisis 2019 levels but have been trending sideways for the past six months.

All the regions across the world saw their cargo volumes increase, an indicator that the aviation sector is now more dependent on cargo in the wake of dwindling number of passengers seeking air travel.