Ethiopia leads on road to aviation recovery
Ethiopia’s air transport industry is recovering faster than the rest of the continent, and the International Air Transport Association, IATA, now predicts that Ethiopian Airlines will return to pre-crisis levels in 2023, a year ahead of the rest. from the continent.
Ethiopia’s progress hinges on a more measured approach to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
In its latest analysis, IATA says passenger traffic to, from and within Ethiopia in June 2021 was only 30% lower than the comparable period of 2019. This also represented a 17% improvement between January 2021 – 47% less than in January 2019 – and June 2021.
Ethiopia’s performance in June was well above the -66.6% recorded for the African continent, compared to 2019. Passenger demand is now expected to return to pre-Covid levels by 2023. transport services and has progressed in the recovery. The government must continue to focus on maintaining effective air connectivity amid the Covid-19 crisis. This will put Ethiopia in a strong position to overcome the crisis and accelerate the eventual recovery of industry and the economy, ”IATA said.
Air transport contributed $ 4.2 billion to Ethiopia’s GDP in 2019 and its aviation sector, which directly employed 19,000 people, supported more than 1.3 million jobs overall. economy, according to IATA.
The number of domestic, inbound and outbound international routes and the frequency with which they are served in Ethiopia fell 83% from 2019 due to blockages and travel restrictions.
Despite improvements, connectivity was still 40% below pre-crisis levels in early September, reflecting still limited options for international and domestic travel.
Only one percent of Ethiopia’s estimated 118 million population is fully immunized. IATA urges Ethiopia and other African countries to step up vaccination campaign to benefit from increasing freedom of movement as more countries lift restrictions on vaccinated travelers.
Airlines lobby says Ethiopia’s recovery can be further strengthened and made more sustainable if government steps up vaccination against Covid-19, digitizes its health certificates by adopting the Trusted Travel Pass and IATA Travel Pass, defended by the African Union. Adopting both tools would aid recovery by making verifying traveler’s health information faster and more convenient. The government is also to facilitate airline operations by helping airlines repatriate around $ 59 million in revenue that remained stranded in the country as of August 2021.
“Solving this problem quickly is essential for airlines to continue to provide the connectivity needed to maintain jobs and energize economies as they recover from Covid-19,” said Kamil Alawadhi, regional vice president of the IATA for Africa and the Middle East.