African airlines would need more than 700 new aircraft worth approximately $80 billion (R569bn) over the next 20 years to cope with growing passenger and freight demand in the continent's growing economies, Boeing's senior manager for market analysis, Michael Warner, said yesterday.
He said the African economy was projected to grow by 4.8 percent this year as a result of rising demand for both exports and imports.
"As the demand for African commodities grows and foreign development and tourism increase, African carriers will require a modernised fleet to compete on routes historically dominated by foreign carriers. Africa's current fleet is nearly 20 years old on average in a market that demands newer, more efficient planes to help offset the rising cost of fuel."
Warner said passengers were demanding nonstop flights rather than indirect routes with a change of planes at a hub airport, meaning nonstop routes between Africa and Europe, the US, the Middle East, China and India.