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Rising African Aviation Traffic Will Require Over 1,000 New Aircraft, Boeing Predicts

Amidst the rapid growth of intra-African passenger traffic, Boeing envisions a soaring demand for 1,025 new aircraft in Africa within the next 20 years.

As Africa’s skies bustle with more travelers, Boeing [NYSE: BA] sees the continent outpacing much of the world’s aviation growth. The intra-African passenger traffic, Boeing predicts, will increase more than fourfold within the next two decades. This rate positions Africa’s aviation growth amongst the top globally. To cater to this soaring demand, Africa will need 1,025 new airplanes.

Boeing’s 2023 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), predicts African air traffic will grow at a rate of 7.4%, making it the third-fastest-growing region in the world and surpassing the average worldwide growth pegged at 6.1%.

Randy Heisey, Boeing’s managing director of Commercial Marketing for the Middle East and Africa, highlighted, “African carriers are well-positioned to support intra-regional traffic growth and capture market share by offering services that efficiently connect passengers and enable commerce within the continent. We forecast an increase in the average aircraft size and seats per aircraft for the African fleet, as single aisles, like the Boeing 737 MAX, will be the most in demand for the continent.”

A Strong Rebound

Rebounding strongly in 2023, African aviation traffic benefits from the demand and economic growth catalyzed by burgeoning global commodity prices. Notably, African airline flights have risen to 8% above their pre-pandemic benchmarks. This uptrend is fortified by Africa’s robust long-term annual economic growth of 3.4%. Factors like urbanization and the burgeoning middle-class demographic also contribute. Economic thrusts include the African Continental Free Trade Area and the Single African Air Transport Market.

Stats to Know

Here are some striking projections from Boeing’s 2023 Africa CMO that span until 2042:

  • Europe stands out as Africa’s primary origin/destination for travelers. Boeing forecasts a 4.5% annual growth in African airlines’ regional fleets to meet this market demand.
  • Single-aisle jets are projected to form over 70% of commercial deliveries, translating to 730 new aircraft mainly catering to domestic and intra-regional demands. Additionally, the continent will require 275 new widebody planes for long-haul and freight routes.
  • A vast majority, approximately 90% of African jet deliveries will focus on more fuel-efficient models such as the 737 MAX, 777X, and 787 Dreamliner. One in five of these will replace older aircraft.
  • A spike in demand for aviation professionals is on the horizon. Boeing predicts 69,000 new aviation career opportunities in Africa. These include 21,000 pilots, 22,000 technicians, and 26,000 cabin crew members.
  • Commercial service opportunities, spanning the supply chain to repairs, are valued at $105 billion.

About Boeing

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For more insights and detailed projections, delve into the full Commercial Market Outlook here.

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