African airports see 0.1 percent decline in freight traffic in H1 2016

African airports see 0.1 percent decline in freight traffic in H1 2016

Aug 25, 2016: Airports in Africa saw freight traffic increase by 0.7 percent in June compared with the previous year and declined 0.1 percent during the first six months of 2016, reports Airports Council International (ACI).

South Africa saw modest growth in air freight traffic (2.3 percent).

However, the air freight traffic in South Africa was not enough to offset air cargo traffic dips in other major markets, such as Egypt (-7.4 percent) and Kenya (-6.8 percent).

Security risks in Northern Africa curtailed traffic at major tourist destinations while plummeting oil prices stunted the economic progress of such key economies as Nigeria.

Weak overall demand across the continent, poor connectivity within the continent and a poor record of liberalising aviation represented additional obstacles to prospective growth in traffic levels.

In Africa, passenger traffic decreased 11.8 percent in June 2016 and 4.4 percent from January to June. Passenger traffic was negatively affected by the disruption of air traffic in Egypt and significant traffic drops in Tunisia, the major leisure destinations for European travelers. Security in Egypt remained a major concern following the October 2015 crash of a Russian airliner in Sinai and the Egypt Air accident in May 2016. From January to June 2016, passenger traffic at Egypt's and Tunisia's airports fell 27.4 percent and 14.4 percent respectively.

Other countries that reported traffic losses in the region were Congo (-17.3 percent), Mozambique (-6.9 percent) and Zambia (-2.8 percent).

South Africa, the major air transport market in Africa reported a robust 7.3 percent growth rate during the first half of the year, with domestic passenger traffic outpacing international traffic (8.5 percent and 4.9 percent respectively).

In Morocco, total passenger traffic grew 0.4 percent, the result of 5.5 percent growth in domestic passenger traffic.

Other important markets - Nigeria, Kenya and Algeria, reported 2.7 percent, 8.2 percent and 10.7 percent traffic increases respectively. International passenger traffic in Kenya and Algeria grew a robust 8.4 percent and 9.9 percent respectively during the first six months of 2016.

At the individual airport level, high traffic growth was seen at Johannesburg (JNB, +5.8 percent or +0.54 million passengers year-to-date), Cape Town (CPT, +8.0 percent or +0.36 million passengers year-to-date) and Algiers (ALG, +10.7 percent or +0.34 million passengers year-to-date).

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