African Airlines Trying to Pick Up the Pieces Left By Covid-19

South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya have been the three African countries hardest hit in 2020 with the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. South African Airways has been floundering financially for a number of years and has received numerous government bailouts to remain in the skies. With lengthy lockdown measures and the curtailing of flights both locally and internationally, the airline's plight has worsened. Nigeria is still grappling with the relaunch of a national carrier, while Kenya joins many countries in shedding jobs in the sector. Further cutbacks on flights, the inability to pay landing costs and various other taxes are also being experienced by African and other airlines abroad. According to Peter Mburu for Daily Nation, a report by the African Airlines Associations and the Economic Commission for Africa, shows that South Africa has lost U.S.$.2,7 billion, Nigeria U.S.$906 million and Kenya lost U.S.$667 million. The report notes that many African airlines risk closing down due to liquidity crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic which worsened their indebtedness to banks, aircraft lessors and manufacturers, and which has left them running on survival mode. Another casualty is Air Namibia, which has closed its doors recently. By April 2020, flight departures in Africa were estimated to be about 95% lower, compared to a global decline of 78%.


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