Africa is a hotbed of opportunity when it comes to markets that have yet to reach their full potential. While international airlines build capacity to steal traffic from domestic carriers and China invests in infrastructure, the OEMs still have the dangling carrot of aeroplane sales.
Kuljit Ghata-Aura, President, Boeing Middle East, Turkey, and Africa, spoke on the AviaDev Insight Africa podcast about the importance of Africa to the US aeroplane manufacturer.
He remarked, “We've got a really rich history in Africa, and we're very proud of that … We’ve got 60 plus airline customers, 500 plus Boeing airplanes operating all over Africa. It’s really quite significant – 66% of all aircraft in operation are Boeing.”
The yearly Commercial Market Outlook (CMO) from Boeing aims to identify the need for new aircraft in different parts of the world. Africa's latest CMO found a demand for 1,000 additional aeroplanes by 2040, with a $160 billion investment potential. At 1,100, Airbus came up with a similar figure.
Boeing, on the other hand, is on the back foot in this situation. With its numerous models of the 737 MAX, it has a strong narrowbody offering, but it lacks a regional competitor.
Around 50 Dreamliners are currently in service in Africa, according to Boeing. Air Austral, Air Tanzania, EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, and Royal Air Maroc are among the major airlines that fly there. Airk Air has aircraft on order, although the 787's presence in Africa is still limited.