CPT heads for aviation mega-city status

CAPE Town is set to become one of Africa’s aviation mega-cities.

This is according to the recently released 2019-2038 Airbus Global Market Forecast for Cities, Airports and Aircraft.

The study expects a revival of aviation growth in Africa, with the continent expected to expand from housing two to eight aviation mega-cities by 2038. The study lists Johannesburg and Addis Ababa as Africa’s two aviation mega-cities at present. The additional six cities expected to grow into aviation mega-cities are Cape Town, Port Louis, Nairobi, Lagos, Accra and Casablanca.

Currently, Airbus lists 66 aviation mega-cities in the world and reports that over 60% of global traffic flies to or from them, with nearly 90% of airlines having some level of service to these cities.

The study also predicts that African air traffic is expected to grow strongly over the next two decades at 4,8% per annum, with domestic and intra-regional traffic expected to grow at 5,4% per year on average over the forecast period. It expects long-haul passenger traffic to and from the African mega-cities to increase from 31 500 to 180 000 daily passengers by 2038.

“A rebound in commodity prices and rising exports are expected to revive economic growth in the region, together with expanding domestic markets, growing middle-class populations and greater regional integration,” the report says.

It also forecasts that improvements to infrastructure, greater political stability, economic diversification, greater liberalisation of air transport and greater visa openness will assist the continent with further aviation growth.

The report is optimistic about African liberalisation of air transport, advising that over 80% of the existing aviation market in Africa is represented by the 28 countries that committed to participate in the Single African Air Transport Market, which was launched in 2018.