By Ogova Ondego and Tourism-Review.Com
Published November 1, 2011
Though the growth of the airline industry on a global scale is expected to be around 5.4% between now and 2020,Â Africa expects a higher rate of 6.5% per annum according to aircraft manufacturer Airbus.
The growth of a number of African economies along with increasing stability and a growing interest in what the continent can offer for tourists are some of the factors contributing to this optimism.
Already, many international airlines–Emirates, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, Gulf Air, KLM, British Airways,–are in a break-neck competition with African operators–Kenya Airways, Ethiopian, South African–over the growing African market.Perhaps nothing illustrates this better than the return of Gulf Air (December 5, 2011)Â and Qatar Airways (November 2, 2011) to Uganda’s Entebbe airport that is set on growing into an alternative eastern Africa hub to Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.At least a million passengers are reported to have passed through Entebbe in 2010.
Qatar launches a daily service between Kampala and Doha on November 2, 2011. Gulf Air launches four-times-a-week service between Bahrain and Kampala a month later, on December 5, 2011.
Whereas many countries have numerous Aviation Megacities, the whole of Africa currently has just one: Johannesburg, South Africa. An Aviation Megacity is a place, which serves 10,000 or more passengers per day. By 2020, if the Mother Continent is to cope with incoming, and in some cases outgoing, demand, then six such places will be necessary. South Africa, according to estimates, is going to need at least 180 more aircraft at huge costs.