Home » Africa: Airbus Predicts Robust Annual 5% Growth in Nigerian Air Transport for Two Decades

Africa: Airbus Predicts Robust Annual 5% Growth in Nigerian Air Transport for Two Decades

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Airbus airlines Nigeria's air transport

In a promising revelation, Airbus Company has forecasted a continuous annual growth rate of at least 5 percent in Nigeria’s air transport sector over the next two decades.

According to independent.ng, this projection was shared by Joep Ellers, Airline Marketing Director for Africa at Airbus, during the 7th Aviation Summit held in Abuja.

Ellers emphasized that air transportation constitutes a significant contributor to Nigeria’s economy and highlighted the importance of collective efforts to ensure the continued flourishing of the sector.

According to Airbus’s projections, passenger traffic in Nigeria is expected to increase by 2.9 percent from 2019 to 2042, necessitating the acquisition of an additional 159 aircraft to meet the growing demand within the country during this period.

READ: Aviation: Airbus Marketing Director- Africa, Highlights Nigeria’s Need for 159 More Aircraft by 2042 to Tap into Market Potential

Furthermore, Ellers outlined projections for air traffic growth in Nigeria with various regions:
1. North America: An estimated 3.3 percent growth in traffic between North America and Nigeria over the next two decades.
2. Europe: A 3 percent growth in traffic between Europe and Nigeria during the same period.
3. Latin America: A robust 4.7 percent increase in traffic between Nigeria and Latin America.
4. African Neighbors: A notable growth of 5.1 percent in traffic between Nigeria and other African countries.
5. Middle East: Anticipated growth at 4.5 percent in traffic between Nigeria and the Middle East.
6. Asia Pacific: The highest projected growth rate at 5.6 percent in traffic between Nigeria and Asia Pacific.

Ellers also emphasized that, in the broader African context, air transportation is set to outpace the global average growth rate. This growth will be driven by factors including Africa’s rapidly expanding population, urbanization, the rise of the middle class, the allure of inbound tourism, and the potential of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), which has gained adoption across many African countries.

READ: Aviation: Airbus Forecasts Demand for 1,180 Aircraft for African Airlines in the Next 20 Years as Market Shows Strong Growth Potential, Says Expert

Airbus estimates that Africa will require an additional 1,180 aircraft between 2019 and 2042. Of these, 880 will be typical single-aisle aircraft, and 300 will be wide-body aircraft. This marks a significant 25 percent of the total aircraft needed for the continent over the specified period.

Furthermore, Airbus’s projections foresee Africa’s GDP growing by 3.3 percent annually between 2019 and 2042, coupled with an increase of 831 million in population. Urbanization is set to rise by 492 million, with traffic experiencing an annual growth rate of 4 percent over the next two decades.

George Uriesi, the Chief Operating Officer of Ibom Air, a domestic airline, echoed Airbus’s optimistic outlook for the African air transport sector. He noted that Ibom Air, despite its relatively short existence, had already carried 2.5 million passengers and operated 34,802 scheduled flights as of July 12, 2023. Uriesi expressed the airline’s commitment to serving the African region while acknowledging the challenges posed by foreign exchange scarcity to the growth of domestic airlines.

He also highlighted Ibom Air’s recent admission into the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and its plans to collaborate with foreign airlines, further solidifying the airline’s vision to play an integral role in the growth and development of African aviation.

As the aviation industry in Nigeria and across Africa continues to chart an upward trajectory, these projections paint a bright future for air transport, linking the continent’s burgeoning economies and fostering global connectivity.

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