- Lagos and Abuja airports have been identified as the most expensive airport in Africa in terms of charges
- IATA stated that the development of the industry has been hindered by high taxes
- The vice president of IATA said aircraft lease rental rates in Africa are three times higher than in Europe
Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos came second on the list.
According to the association, the continent's high taxes hinder the development of the industry in the nation.
Different continents with different challenges
The Vice-President of IATA for Africa and the Middle East, Kamil Al-Awadhi, stated that African airlines have distinct challenges that set them apart from airlines on other continents like Asia and Europe during the Aviation Africa 2023 Summit in Abuja.
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According to The SUN, Al-Awadhi cited high borrowing rates of around 25% as one of the problems that have combined to harm the carriers on the continent.
This, he said, has also stopped them from competing with their counterparts in other areas of the world.
He claimed that aircraft lease rental rates are also concerning and 'killing'. He also revealed that the charges are three times higher than that of Europe.
IATA vice president said:
Abuja has the highest charges followed by Lagos. How can you have such high taxes and expect to be profitable? Nigerian airlines can’t compete with others. African airlines have put themselves in a terrible situation to compete. They are not financially viable with excess charges.
Fuel is higher by 20 percent. The loans are horrendous. The continent needs to review these issues. If you want to see Gross Domestic Product (GDP) change, fix your aviation industry. Doha, Dubai and the entire United Arab Emirates (UAE) grew from nothing. Airlines contribute to the growth of the economy.
He revealed that whereas 18% of the world's population live in Africa, just 2.1% of air travel occurs there.
Al-Awdhi, however, said that African-based airlines are anticipated to have a modest combined loss of about $484 million in 2023,
This, according to him, comes despite the fact that the continent is already a challenging area to run an airline due to issues related to connectivity, infrastructure, and the economy.
He pointed out that in spite of these challenges, the industry is still moving towards profitability in the wake of the COVID-19 disruption and might do so as early as next year.
The Federal Government of Nigeria recently approved United Airlines to operate international flights within the country.
Legit.ng earlier reported that Airlines postponed and canceled flights of international travelers leaving Nigeria after luggage belt malfunctions at the new terminal of the MMIA.
“Poor runway lighting”: FAAN explains why Kano-bound aircraft landed in Lagos airport
In another report by Legit.ng, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) said it diverted flights to MMIA in Lagos from Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport due to poor runway lighting at the Kano airport.
Abdullahi Yakubu-Funtua, the director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, said the diversion became necessary after a glitch was discovered on Runway 06/24 on July 15, 2023, at about 1600hrs.
According to a Leadership report, after efforts to restore power failed, Yakubu-Funtua said the airport management needed to activate a Notice to Air Men (NOTAM) to allow for repairs.