Africa’s Aviation industry safety performance improved in 2017 in all sub-Saharan countries, IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said.

Airlines in the Sub-Saharan Africa region had zero jet hull losses and zero fatal accidents involving jets or turboprops for the second consecutive year.

Both the turboprop hull loss rate and the all-accident rates declined against the average of the previous five years. However, the turboprop hull loss rate increased compared to 2016 (5.70 vs. 1.52). In turn, this largely was responsible for causing an increase in the all-accident rate compared to 2016 (6.87 vs. 2.43). “Meaning, there is still a large gap to cover in the safety performance of the continent’s turboprop fleet,” according to an IATA release.

De Juniac said 34 African Airlines are now member of IATA’s IOSA Operational Safety Audit program. “We say the safety level for IOSA carriers is much better than without it. But we are also asking governments to adopt IOSA to their own regulations as their standard, as it is now in many countries outside of Africa,” de Juniac said.

Under the 2015 Abuja Declaration, African governments committed to recognize IOSA as a safety standard and set a target date for the continent’s airlines to be IOSA-registered by 2020.

De Juniac estimates in the next five to 10 years the continent will have strong, dynamic air traffic demand because of economic growth and the increase in the middle-class population in many countries.

“But there are some big obstacles: The level of costs is incredibly high—for fuel, labor, etc.—which creates pressure on airline development,” de Juniac said, adding that infrastructure problems were more significant in Africa than in other parts of the world.

Kurt Hofmann, hofmann.aviation@netway.at