• Monday, July 22, 2024
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Lagos, Cape Town top unserved routes in Africa – Airbus

Lagos, Cape Town top unserved routes in Africa – Airbus

Airbus, a global aerospace and aviation leader in a new study disclosed that Lagos, Cape Town, Nairobi, Dakar and Douala are key unserved African routes which could provide greater connectivity for travellers, drive economic growth in local economies, and provide a significant boost in revenue for airlines.

The company also highlighted data on Africa from its latest Global Market Forecast (GMF).

Various categories of unserved routes can be identified. One prominent division is between routes that have never had a non-stop flight and those that were previously served by a non-stop flight, discontinued for various reasons, with the non-stop service yet to be reinstated. Both types were examined for Africa’s sub-Saharan region prior to the compilation of this report.

Unserved routes were identified by first merging Origin and Destination airport (O&D) traffic data with flight schedule data, and then filtering out city pairs with sufficient O&D traffic levels to sustain non-stop flights but currently lack such non-stop service. The analysis used traffic and schedule data spanning from the beginning of December 2022 to the end of November 2023.

The study reveals that some of the most appealing unserved routes are concentrated in a few African cities. Lagos, Cape Town, Nairobi, Dakar and Douala each have multiple routes ranking amongst Africa’s top unserved routes today. Next to these, there are different examples of routes to and from other major cities that round the top tier of Africa’s unserved routes.

The uppermost segment of Africa’s presently unserved routes are long-haul intercontinental flights to North America, Europe and the Indian Subcontinent.

Unserved city pairs within Africa rank lower on the list due to their currently lower traffic numbers. Nevertheless, the study still identified some promising prospects. Intercontinental flights and flights within Africa were handled as two distinct categories in this study and separate rankings of the most important unserved routes were created for each category.

West Africa as a subregion sees the highest number of unserved routes. Nine out of the top 15 unserved routes identified in the study and discussed in the report start or end in West-Africa.

With the region’s booming population, with its cultural and economic diversity, with the role it plays in international trade and especially when considering the growth forecast for the subregion, the potential to turn the unserved routes into actual ones is substantial.

The value of cargo traffic to and from the subregion is another key factor to consider in truly understanding the potential.

Out of the 15 identified unserved routes, 11 previously had non-stop flights. Some of the latter were discontinued years ago, whereas 4 were still in operation back in 2022. Additional details and insights are provided in the dedicated route descriptions within this report.

“Despite significant traffic between certain city-pairs, some identified routes still lack regularly scheduled non-stop flights. Factors such as restrictive bilateral air service agreements, economic variables, and challenges with capacity, frequency and operating cost efficiency contribute to these routes remaining unserved,” said Geert Lemaire, Market Intelligence and Consulting Director, Airbus.

“With our capacity to make analyses about route and network development potential in-house, Airbus remains committed to partnering with airlines across Africa to identify optimised fleet solutions inline with network development requirements that further stimulate the continent’s air transport industry growth and improve connectivity for travellers.”

The forecast, meanwhile, predicts a 4.1 percent growth overall in air traffic over the next 20 years, resulting in an anticipated need for 1 180 new aircraft by 2043.