Etihad and partners contribute $3.6bn to Africa’s economy

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) and its equity airline partners are expected to contribute $3.6 billion (AED13.21 billion) gross domestic product (GDP) to the African economy in 2016 and support 425,000 jobs.

The core economic contribution of the EAG and its partners will be $1.1 billion while the tourism contribution will be $2.5 billion. The core operations also support 117,000 jobs and 308,000 jobs through the tourism contribution, EAG said citing a report issued by Oxford Economics Group.

The core contribution of $1.1 billion includes the impact of EAG’s global operations, its capital spending in Africa, and the operational impact of its partners. Among this, EAG’s global operations alone will make a $400 million contribution to the economy and sustain 39,700 jobs in 2016, mainly through purchases of products and services from African-based suppliers.

James Hogan, president and chief executive officer, EAG, said: “Many jobs across the supply chain in hotels, ground transport companies, freight forwarders, catering, manufacturing, and throughout the tourism industry, all benefit from the presence of the EAG, with suppliers in these sectors creating tremendous employment opportunities for emerging markets such as Africa.

“These contributions to economies in Africa are substantial. They are also an indication of the continued increase in travel into and out of Africa via our hub in Abu Dhabi, signalling the possibility for even more growth and prosperity across the continent in the future.”

The number of visitor arrivals carried into Africa by Etihad and its partners is expected to grow to over 3.2 million by 2024. As a result, the GDP contribution will increase to $5.6 billion and sustain 596,000 jobs in the continent.

Etihad operate services to 117 passenger and cargo destinations around the world in 2016. It is expected to carry 19 million passengers on over 100,000 flights, among which almost 8,300 flights will be to and from Africa, serving some 1.1 million passengers in the continent.

Since launching its first service to Egypt in 2004, Etihad has expanded its operations across the African continent with the opening up of outstations in eight countries including South Africa, Morocco, Libya, Sudan, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania.

EAG was established in 2014 and comprises four business divisions - Etihad Airways, Etihad Engineering, Hala Group and Airline Equity Partners. The group owns minority investments in seven airlines: airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Jet Airways, Virgin Australia, and Swiss-based Darwin Airline, trading as Etihad Regional.