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Cameroon Air Transport: Minnows Outdo Heavy-weights

Nsimalen

 

Cameroon air traffic has been subject to steady growth over the past five years. Closing in on one million travelers per year, there has been increased number of companies serving the countries international airports. Even the departure of Suisse (last year) has not slowed this momentum. The arrival of new companies such Turkish Airlines and the increase in the frequency of flight by existing companies have more than made up for the difference. Travel volume in Cameroon increased by 10% between 2012 and 2013. However, the CCAA reveals that the increased volume continues to be uneven among airports.
Douala International Airport (DLA) commends 43% of national and 72% of international travel. Yaoundé-Nsimalen (NSI) handles 37% of national and 27% of international travel. The contribution of Garoua International Airport is negligible.

Cameroon government has recently added a new international airport (Maroua-Salack), which will serve tourists visiting the Far North. Companies such as Turkish Airlines are positioning themselves to be first users of this infrastructure.
According to a report from the Cameroon Aeronautics Authority (CCAA), Air France remained the most important carrier serving the country with 22% market share. Brussels Airlines was a distant second with a 14% market share, and Cameroon Airlines Corporation (Camair-Co) commended 11% of air traffic.

Brussels Airlines came ahead of all heavy competitors in year-over-year growth. CCAA states that air travel growth has been uneven among European carriers (Air France, Brussels Airlines), which increased flight frequencies over the year. While Air France has experienced a decline in their market share, Brussels has grown 18% from 2012 to 0213, due mainly to the departure of Swiss. (Brussels and Swiss share the same parent company (Lufthansa).

The African regional routes was the theater of exceptional growth by smaller companies in 2013. The CCAA noted that Asky Airlines (+10%) and Ceiba International (+47%) were impressive both in terms of increased transfer and passenger volumes. However, almost all other African carriers experienced some decline between 2012 and 2013: Kenya Airways loss market share (-17%). The same applied to Royal Air Maroc (-24%), Senegal Airlines (-25%), South Africa Airways (-9%). Increased traffic, in Cameroon airports, is expected to continue with the future arrival of Iberia (Spain) and Air Rwanda.

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