Engineering News reports that, according to global airline Emirates Southern Africa regional manager Fouad Caunhye, the commercial airline industry is an important indicator of economic prosperity and a key driver of economic growth through its connectivity services, which enable trade between countries through the movement of goods and people.
African international travel demand grew by about 5%, based on the positive Gross Domestic Product growth (GDP) of most sub- Saharan countries. "The biggest indicator of economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa is already evident in the airline industry," he said.
Caunhye pointed out that buoyancy and increased demand can be seen in the African airline industry, Engineering News says. He warned, however, that escalating costs may impact on the operational costs and trigger economic slowdowns in the general economy, which, in turn, could result in a substantial decline in demand for travel and cargo. He said new and established airlines in Africa are investing large sums of money, introducing new routes, products and aircraft. "There is continuous investment to ensure industry growth, especially in South Africa," he noted, "where the main gateways have state-of-the-art facilities for the smooth transition of inbound and outbound passengers."
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Posted on 2 Apr 2012 13:31