In a remarkable turnaround for African carriers, the year 2023 has witnessed a resurgence in the aviation industry, as airlines from the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) reached new heights, exceeding pre-pandemic intercontinental routes. According to a report released by AFRAA on September 7, as of August this year, African airlines had already seen a remarkable recovery, with traffic levels reaching an impressive 98.4 per cent, similar to 2019 standards. This resurgence has spread across various market segments with a domestic market share estimated at 34 per cent, intra-Africa routes at 29 per cent and intercontinental routes at 37 per cent as of now. ALSO READ: Rwanda gets first US aviation safety assessment The report also indicated that the total number of intercontinental routes operated by African airlines exceeded pre-pandemic levels since October 2022. Moreover, some major airports such as Johannesburg, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Lusaka, Cairo, Casablanca, Abidjan, and Lomé, have already attained or exceeded pre-pandemic levels of intra-Africa connectivity since December 2022. Another trend is the narrowing of the revenue gap attributed to Covid-19 when comparing 2023 to 2022. According to the data provided, in the first three months of this year, African airlines missed revenue levels achieved during a similar period in 2019 by only $0.3 billion (approximately Rwf359 bn). However, projections from AFRAA data suggest that this gap will further shrink to $0.2 bn (approximately Rwf239 billion) in the second quarter. While the full-year revenue gap for 2023 is yet to be computed, the signs point to a brighter year compared to the prior year. ALSO READ: Airlines to be required to share passenger data under new bill Drawing on the positive outlook, data shows that the full-year 2022 cumulative airline revenue gap for all African airlines compared to 2019 stood at a substantial $3.5 bn (approximately Rwf4.2 trillion). Meanwhile, the jet A1 price continues the upward trend, going up by over $22 (approximately Rwf26,000) in one month, while the global weekly average jet fuel price during the week ending of August 25 was up by 2.9 per cent at $126.37 (approximately Rwf151,100) per barrel. About AFRAA The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) is a trade association of airlines from the member states of the African Union (AU), founded in Accra, Ghana, and headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya in April 1968. AFRAA’s mission is to promote, serve African airlines, and champion Africa’s aviation industry. Its membership of 51 airlines cuts across Africa and includes all the major intercontinental African operators. The association members represent over 85 per cent of total international traffic carried by African airlines.