Muhammad Al Bakri, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East

Iata expects a further decline in passenger traffic, more jobs at risk and more GDP losses than previously estimated, according to new data that indicates that the impact of COVID-19 on Africa’s aviation industry has worsened sharply since its previous assessment in April.

Job losses in aviation could increase by up to 3,5m which is more than half of the entire region’s 6,2m aviation-related employment and 400 000 more than the previous estimate.

GDP supported by aviation in the region could fall by up to US$35bn (R608bn), a considerably greater decline than Iata’s previous estimate of a decline of $28bn (R487bn).

Traffic this year is expected to plummet by 54% (more than 80m passenger journeys) compared with 2019, an increase on the previous estimate of a 51% fall in traffic on the continent.

Looking at the South African scenario, Iata has revised its June estimate of a 15,6m YOY drop in passengers in 2020 over 2019, to 16,6m. This will put 287 700 jobs at risk, worse than the previous estimate of 269 000. This August estimate says the negative effect on SA’s 2020 GDP will be a fall of US$5,8bn (R 101 bn).