Only 19 per cent capacities of 419 African airports are utilised, while the other 81 per cent remained grossly under utilised.
The Nigerian Government has also been charged to take the interest of the citizens as topmost in its plan to re-establish a new national carrier for the country.
Mr. Aaron Munetsi, the Director, Government, Legal and Industry, African Airlines Association (AFRAA) stated these in an interview with journalists as the just concluded 15th Akwaaba African Travel Market held in Lagos.
Munetsi said that the statistics was recently shared by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in one of its reports.
In order to effectively use the airports to their full capacities, Munetsi called for cooperation among African governments, saying that it was necessary for them to open up their airspace in order to increase traffic to them.
He said: “The fact remains that airports on the continent are so under-utilised. The statistics that was shared recently by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) showed that all the airports in Africa only utilise 19 per cent of their capacities, which means over 80 per cent are abandoned.
“Even, the busiest airports, 80 per cent of their facilities are abandoned. The idea is to make sure that the ones we have are utilised to the maximum. It is only when we exceed their utilisation capacity that we can think of building new airports.”
He also criticised the bottlenecks in some African countries against foreign carriers operating into them and encouraged such airlines to report such challenges to AFRAA for proper attention.
He emphasised that through its relationship with African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), such challenges could be addressed, adding that if the complainant was not satisfied with the resolution, it could be escalated to African Union (AU) for proper attention.
By Olusegun Koiki