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Africa’s aviation industry negatively impacted by Russia-Ukraine conflict, say experts

CEO of Kenya Airways Allan Kilavuka pointed out that the conflict has increased living costs in many African countries. Picture: Reuters

CEO of Kenya Airways Allan Kilavuka pointed out that the conflict has increased living costs in many African countries. Picture: Reuters

Published May 10, 2022

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Nairobi – The Russia-Ukraine conflict is exerting a negative impact on Africa's aviation sector, experts said on Monday.

Abderahmane Berthe, secretary-general of the African Airlines Association, said at a continental aviation forum, the conflict has resulted in a high cost of fuel for aircraft.

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“We hope that this crisis will not continue because this will continue to impact our airlines and if the airlines have high operating costs, it means that the airfares will go up and will impact the passenger traffic,” Berthe told the 10th Aviation Stakeholders Convention.

He said Africa’s travel sector and cargo operations of many African airlines also face challenges.

According to Berthe, the aviation industry has seen rising prices of many imported goods amid the Ukraine crisis.

“We foresee a lack of foreign currency in many African countries that will make it difficult for airlines to repatriate their revenues back to their home countries,” said the secretary-general.

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CEO of Kenya Airways Allan Kilavuka pointed out that the conflict has increased living costs in many African countries.

“It is very difficult to stimulate the air travel sector when consumers have a low propensity to spend. So we are concerned that the crisis will dampen the recovery of the aviation sector,” Kilavuka said.

The three-day conference which started on Sunday, gathered more than 500 delegates from 47 African countries for discussions on the development of the travel ecosystem.

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