Talk Africa: Turbulence hits Africa’s Airlines

South Africa Airways, which was already struggling even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, has entered business rescue as the aviation industry worldwide reels from the effects of the crisis.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken many major industries worldwide, with some fairing worse off than others. The global aviation industry is among those hit the hardest, with its grave and expansive consequences only unfolding by the day. Airlines are now faced with billions of dollars in losses, and many are seeking state aid to avoid being grounded for good.

For African airlines, the global crisis comes at an already bad time, with several major carriers struggling to stay in the air. The industry now grapples with an acute liquidity crisis and about 3 million jobs hanging in the balance.

According to industry regulators, Air Mauritius has entered voluntary administration, South Africa Airways has entered business rescue with several other distressed carriers placing their staff on unpaid leave. More airlines also risk the same fate in the absence of urgent financial aid. But aviation in Africa supports 6.2 million jobs and contributes 56 billion dollars in GDP; therefore, sector failure is not an option.

In this episode of Talk Africa we look into how the COVID-19 turbulence has impacted African airlines, and what industry players are doing to survive.