Southern African airline input costs have soared, especially fuel prices which are currently averaging US$136.8 Billion for the year.

The International Air Transport Association estimate that it will be US$122.8 billion to the industry’s total 2022 fuel bill.

“Southern African airlines are caught in a catch-22 they have to increase fares to cover their rising costs, but there is such little elasticity in the market that any sudden and significant upward price adjustments will deter customers,” Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) CEO Aaron Munetsi said.

Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) appealed to two Southern African Development Community (SADC) governments to provide all airlines with financial relief.

“All airlines, without exception, were diversely impacted by the pandemic AASA, in conjunction with other airline representative associations, appealed to the SADC governments to provide financial relief to all airlines regardless of ownership, by way of cash injection or through other instruments such as the waiver or reduction of statutory taxes, levies and charges ” he added.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 pandemic and the measures adopted by the region’s governments had a severe impact on the Southern African airline industry.

“Financially, the pandemic-driven disruption to normal airline operations and business put carriers under immense pressure,” Aaron Munetsi said.