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The Aviation industry in Africa

By Michael Kachitsa

Air transport supports 6.2 million jobs and $55.8 billion in African economic activity before the Corona Virus Pandemic. That is 1.8% of all employment and 2.6% of all GDP in African countries in 2016.


Every person employed by the aviation sector directly, and in aviation enabled tourism, supported another 14.8 jobs elsewhere in Africa. Similarly, $5.40 of economic activity was supported elsewhere in Africa for every $1 created by the air transport sector.

In Africa the aviation sector employed over 415,000 people directly in 2016. Analysis of these workers suggests:

  • 146,400 (35% of the total) were employed by airlines or handling agents in roles such as flight crew, check-in staff, maintenance crew, or head office staff
  • 33,200 (8%) had jobs with airport operators such as airport management, maintenance, and security
  • 192,800 (46.5%) worked on-site in airports in retails outlets, restaurants, and hotels
  • 28,600 (7%) were employed in civil aircraft manufacturing, including systems, components, airframes, and engines
  • 14,500 (3.5%) worked for air navigation service providers in jobs like air traffic control and engineering

Airlines, airport operators, retailers and other on-site businesses, as well as air navigation services and civil aircraft manufacturers all contribute to GDP in Africa. In 2016, the operations of these businesses generated $10.3 billion directly to GDP.

The aviation sector’s spending with suppliers is estimated to have supported a further 601,000 jobs and a $6.8 billion contribution to GDP. In addition, spending by those employed in the aviation sector and its supply chain supported 248,000 more jobs and a $2.8 billion contribution to Africa’s GDP.

Source – AviationsBenefits

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