Addis Ababa (Bole) International Airport handled some 8.7m passengers pa in 2016 and is now the fourth largest in Africa. By 2019, annual capacity will increase to 22.0m passengers pa
A study carried out by Intervistas in 2014 for IATA indicates that fully implementation of the YD in some 12 representative countries in Africa would generate some US$1.3 billion in GDP and create up to 155,100 jobs in aviation, tourism and the wider economy.
Despite this, there has been some improvement in market liberation, with some States signing bilateral YD agreements or collectively through the Regional Economic Committees. Low service frequencies remain a problem, with 45% of medium-haul routes operated less than four times per week. The average African airline load factor in 2017 (70.3%) was below the global average (81.4%), although this was based on IATA members only. Many airlines have been slow to introduce cost-efficient aircraft in their fleets, often using 150-175 seat (B737-sized) jet aircraft rather than single aisle jet or turboprop aircraft. In addition, intra-regional travel is made more complex by visa requirements (the African Visa Openness Report indicated that, in 2016, some 78% of intra-regional passengers required visas either on departure or arrival.
Airport infrastructure in Africa has improved over the past 15 years, although nearly all airports are state-owned and are unprofitable. 80% of Africa’s traffic is concentrated at 50 airports. Airport infrastructure development has been somewhat haphazard in relation to future traffic demand. Key challenges include the need to improve non-aeronautical revenue streams, airport security and overall passenger satisfaction.