Business aviation an economic engine for Africa

The African business aviation market has been resilient through the global financial crisis and new aircraft sales fared better than in developed markets such as Europe and North America.

In fact, according to market statistics Africa’s business jet fleet has more than doubled in the last 10 years. Africa’s two largest business aircraft registries, South Africa and Nigeria, account for over 50% of the entire fleet of business aircraft in all of Africa. Between 2014 and 2033, 685 business jet deliveries are expected in this region, with a fleet compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5% over the forecast period.
Melanie Humphries, head of aviation finance at Investec said, “with the expansion of trade and business opportunities in Africa, the demand for business travel has also expanded.”
“The primary reason is that business aircraft are a necessary tool for many high net worth individuals and corporates that do business in and around Africa.
Poor regional connectivity and limited infrastructure means that air travel is still the preferred mode of transport for passengers and cargo, presenting an opportunity for the aviation industry in Africa.
In fact, business jets in Africa, and the access, predictability and passenger safety they provide, are playing a critical role in realising the continent’s growth potential,” she added.
As a bank of African origin, Investec is recognised as a leading aviation financier both on the continent and globally.
It has been named the best business jet financier in Africa for 4 consecutive years based on its ability to execute deals across various African jurisdictions.
In addition, Investec was appointed as one of only two Qualified Advisors to the Export Import Bank of the United States to support the funding of US-manufactured exported aircraft.
“Where available, ECA funding solutions remain a very attractive source of funding for capital equipment,” said Humphries.
According to Humphries, commercial air transport supports 6.9 million jobs and $80.5 billion in GDP in Africa and it is forecasted that the number of jobs supported by aviation and tourism will grow to 10.5 million by 2032, a 51% increase.
Moreover, the contribution to GDP is forecast to grow to $168.7 billion by 2032, a 109% increase on 2012 figures.