The International Air Transport Association says air travel in Nigeria and other African countries grew by 34.7 per cent in February.
The Geneva-based trade association representing over 230 international/global airlines said Africa posted a strong rebound in February 2022 compared to January 2022 while Omicron-related impacts moderated outside of Asia.
It added that the war in Ukraine, which began on 24 February, did not have a major impact on traffic levels.
This was disclosed in a report on the IATA website titled, ‘Passenger Recovery Accelerates in February.’
The report said total traffic in February 2022 was up by 115.9 per cent compared to February 2021. According to it, domestic traffic was up 60.7 per cent compared to the year-ago period, building on a 42.6 per cent increase in January 2022 compared to January 2021.
The report stated that African airlines had a 69.5 per cent rise in February revenue passenger kilometres versus a year ago, a large improvement compared to the 20.5 per cent year-over-year increase recorded in January 2022 compared to the same month in 2021.
It added that in February 2022 African capacity was up 34.7 per cent and load factor climbed 12.9 percentage points to 63.0 per cent.
IATA’s Director-General, Willie Walsh, said, “The recovery in air travel is gathering steam as governments in many parts of the world lift travel restrictions.
“States that persist in attempting to lock out the disease, rather than managing it, as we do with other diseases, risk missing out on the enormous economic and societal benefits that restoration of international connectivity will bring.
“As the long-awaited recovery in air travel accelerates, it is important that our infrastructure providers are prepared for a huge increase in passenger numbers in the coming months. We are already seeing reports of unacceptably long lines at some airports owing to the growing number of travellers.
“And that is even before the surge of Easter holiday travel in many markets next week. The peak Northern summer travel season will be critical for jobs throughout the travel and tourism value chain. Now is the time to prepare. Governments can help by ensuring that border positions are staffed adequately and that background security checks for new staff are managed as efficiently as possible.”