Aviation sector optimistic of a strong rebound in Q2


Despite being one of the industries hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, players in the aviation space are upbeat about a strong rebound in the second quarter (Q2) of 2022, once recently-introduced restrictions which were imposed on some flights are removed.

Over the past 20 months, global passenger traffic has averaged only half of what it was pre-pandemic – with total traffic for 2021 forecast to be only 4.6 billion of the 9.2 billion passengers served two years ago, according to data from the International Airport Review.

However, locally, the industry saw a modest recovery in the second half of last year prior to emergence of the Omicron variant; and according to Head of Communication and Research at the Centre for Aviation Policy and Development, Africa (CAPD-Africa), Dominick Andoh, despite some setbacks, developments from the third quarter of 2021 were encouraging.

“At the end of last year, the aviation sector was on the path to recovery with a load factor nearing 70-80 percent during the yuletide,” he said in an interview with the B&FT

Emergence of the Omicron variant late into 2021 also saw drastic measures – such as the banning of flights from some destinations by authorities in some major trade destinations, a move, in his opinion, that was rather heavy-handed.

“The discovery and spread of the Omicron variant led to the introduction of new travel protocols and flight ban by some countries such as the UAE – a major tourism and trade destination for Ghanaian travellers,” he stated.

But Mr. Andoh emphasised that with an increasing rate of vaccination, greater adherence to protocols and safety measures as well as better information about the virus, there is much cause for optimism of a rebound in the near-future. “We are optimistic that things will rebound in the second quarter, especially as the UAE ban is lifted.”

The aviation expert stressed that testing and vaccination is what has been proffered by the International Air Transportation Association (IATA), not bans and border closures; and commended Ghana as one of the few countries responding to the call, saying: “So far, Ghana is an example of countries going by testing and vaccination and not air-travel bans.

“The uptake in vaccination has been very good so far. There has been exemplary coordination between the security agencies, Ghana Health Service and Ghana Airports Company Limited,” he noted.

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