It has been estimated that Africa’s aviation will lose 3.5 million jobs as the effect of the COVID-19 mars air travel globally.
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), before the pandemic, the continent’s aviation industry contributed more than 6.2 million jobs and the Gross Domestic Product topped 6.2 million $56 billion.
Now, the continental GDP will reportedly contract by $35 billion. The IATA said, of all regions, Africa and the Middle East recorded the lowest air traffic in July, compared to the same period in 2019 – with passenger traffic crashing by as much as 93.7 percent year on year.
In order to mitigate the imminent economic disaster, the international body recommended that the two regions should adopt COVID-19 testing instead of widespread quarantine measures. It said this will revitalise aviation operations in the regions.
In April, the IATA reported that Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, lost $760 million in revenue since the start of the pandemic, having airlifted 3.5 million fewer passengers.
It estimated at the time that the setback might cost the country 91,380 jobs and $650 million contribution to the Nigerian economy. Weeks after the report, the effect of the huge loss kicked-in as airlines began to cut jobs.
It started with two airlines – Bristow Helicopters and Air Peace – the companies disengaged more than 200 pilots and engineers combined as they regretfully blamed the move on the pandemic.
Although airlines in Nigeria and other African nations have since started airlifting passengers, the devastating impact of the pandemic still bites hard and, as experts put it, the worse is yet to come.
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