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'China factors' help boost aviation industry of Africa

(People's Daily Online)

16:20, August 08, 2012

"I am Liberian and I go to Ethiopia to see my husband. He works at a transnational company in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. I visit him once a month," Annie said on the flight from South Africa to Ethiopia. This is a miniature that the middle class promoted the development of aviation industry of Africa. The Boeing Company has recently announced a forecast report, which showed that the economic prosperity and expansion of the middle-class group have boosted the aviation industry of African continent.

At present, Africa is one of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world and its growth rate had reached almost 13 percent in 2011. The African Airlines Association disclosed that the annual growth rate of African aviation industry is expected to reach 7.5 percent in the next 10 years. The International Air Transport Association estimated that the growth rate of African air passenger traffic will rank second in the world within the next few years. Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of EasyJet Airline Company Limited, recently said that Africa will be the last cutting-edge of aviation industry.

The African aviation industry has created a good performance. In 2011, the operating revenue of South African Airways increased by 2 percent year-on-year and Kenya Airways increased by more than 21 percent year-on-year. The airline capacity of South Africa had an increase of over 10 percent in the first half of 2012 and that of West Africa increased by 8 percent.

Strong progress benefits by active investment of African countries in aviation industry. Ethiopia has spent 2.6 billion U.S. dollars updating airplanes, bending on developing Addis Ababa into the air transport center linking Asia, Africa and Latin America. Kenya Airways also plans to invest 3.6 U.S. dollars to double the number of airplanes in the next five years, becoming the air service hub of East African area. Meanwhile, the opening of new routes has also widened the territory of the aviation industry in Africa. Rwanda has launched a route to Turkey and Botswana also launched a new route from Maun to Cape Town, South Africa in June this year.
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