The International Air Transport Association has revealed that airlines will pay $222bn extra for fuel this year.
IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, Kamil Alawadhi, in his address to the 2022 General Assembly of the African Airlines Association taking place in Dakar, Senegal, said although oil prices have retreated from mid-year peaks, the average price of jet fuel so far this year has been $138.8 a barrel.
According to the IATA boss, this means airlines would collectively pay an extra $222 billion for fuel this year compared with 2021, adding that fuel accounts for 30% of airline costs.
However, he warned that African carriers should not compromise on safety, stressing that in 2021, the continent’s airlines on the IATA Operational Safety Audit registry had zero accidents with incidents across Africa by regional and global operators continuing to be experienced.
He said, “Regrettably the region’s accident rate remains the highest. This should serve as sharp reminders that we need to work together towards enhanced safety oversight particularly in the areas of reporting and investigation of incidents and accidents, adopting a more aggressive approach to addressing the highest recurring operational risks.”
He also stressed the need to prioritise safety data and information exchange by all stakeholders in order to build an accurate picture across the continent.
According to him, this would promote the understanding of the critical importance of aeronautical information (NOTAM/AIP) to aviation safety, urging stakeholders to address it as a priority regional deficiency, with a clear commitment to improving it by all states and stakeholders.