Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) and its equity airline partners will support around 425,000 jobs and are expected to contribute US$3.6 billion GDP to the African economy in 2016, as Abu Dhabi becomes a key hub for business travel both in and out of the continent, according to the statement released by the company.
EAG and its partners make a substantial contribution to economic prosperity in Africa and throughout the global economy, by initiating vital connections between leading commercial centres and emerging markets, according to data revealed by research organisation Oxford Economic Group.
When divided, EAG and its partners will contribute $1.1 billion and $2.5 billion to the core economy and the tourism sector respectively, supporting 117,000 jobs through core operations, with another 308,000 jobs supported through the tourism contribution, the report states.
As of now, the Abu Dhabi-based airline operates to 117 passenger and cargo destinations around the world and is expected to carry 19 million passengers on over 100,000 flights, among which around 8,300 flights will be to and from Africa serving 1.1 million passengers in the continent.
Furthermore, Etihad Airways has expanded its operations across the African continent with the opening up of outstations in a further eight countries including South Africa, Morocco, Libya, Sudan, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania.
The core contribution worth $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 of Etihad Aviation Group, 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 Etihad Aviation Group, 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 amount of 1.1 million spending will leave a significant economic footprint in Africa by the airline. This is estimated to contribute $2.5 billion in GDP for the continent and support around 308,000 jobs. Moreover, the number of visitor arrivals carried into Africa by Etihad Airways and its partners have projected a rise of over 3.2 million by 2024. As a result, the GDP contribution grows to $5.6 billion, sustaining 596,000 jobs in the continent’s economy.
Impact on air connectivity
In addition to the economic contribution, the positive implications of the air connectivity will boost African productivity equal to $1.1 billion and support around 72,200 jobs in 2016. Additionally, the productivity increase will also go up to $2.2 billion by 2024, equating to an estimated 145,000 jobs.
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