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Growing business confidence excites operators globally


Asaba Airport

The growing business confidence in Nigeria’s aviation sector has been commended by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), describing it as positive for overall growth of air travel business in Africa.
IATA, in a market analysis report released recently, said the business confidence level is on a three-year high, leading to at least 7.5 per cent growth in the continent’s passenger traffic demand for the month of October.
With the confidence level and commendation, the local sector stands a better chance of attracting new investmests, especially at a time the Federal Government is keen on concessioning the airports and floating a new national carrier that is 95 per cent driven by private sector.
The Guardian learnt that the recognised confidence is not unconnected with the Ease of Doing Business initiative of the Federal Government that now, among others, allows for visa on arrival. Also, penetration of the local market by other African carriers has improved, even as Nigerian carriers are now reciprocating on both regional and international routes.
IATA said while the continent continue to account for just 2.2 per cent of the global traffic share, African airlines’ traffic grew by 7.5 per cent year-on-year in October, up from 3.6 per cent in September.  
“Conditions in the region’s two largest economies—Nigeria and South Africa, still are diverging, with business confidence levels in Nigeria near a three-year high, while confidence levels in South Africa are consistent with falling economic activity. Capacity rose 3.4 per cent, and load factor jumped 2.7 percentage points to 70.9 per cent for the region,” the report stated in part.
Globally, passenger traffic results for October shows that demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometers, or RPKs) rose 7.2 per cent compared to the same month last year. Capacity grew 6.2 per cent and load factor climbed 0.8 percentage points to 80.8 per cent, which was a record for the month.
IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, said October’s performance was a strong bounce-back after the hurricane-related disruptions in September, with domestic and international travel growth largely in balance.

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