Introduction of the pan-African passport in 2018 to increase travel

The new pan-African passport reported to be introduced in 2018 will allow travellers from across Africa to visit other countries on the continent without a visa. This, according to research by global travel technology provider Sabre Corporation, is expected to increase travel spend by 24%.

Travellers from were surveyed to gain insights into travelling in Africa in an effort to alleviate airlines of certain issues and capitalise on opportunities. The travellers surveyed had all flown within the past 24 months and shared that they would be willing to spend between $1,100 to $1,500 more on travel with the introduction of the pan-African passport.

READ MORE: Minister Malusi Gigaba Shares Department’s Plans To Ease Travel In Africa

Survey participants also highlighted that they would like more personalised and tailored travel journeys, saying they’d be willing to pay up to $104 more per trip for extras such as excess baggage and special food and beverages.

“Airlines will flourish if they invest in technology that can make sense of customer data, and use it to offer passengers the right product in the right context at the right time,” said Dino Gelmetti, Sabre vice president Airline Solutions, Europe, Middle East and Africa. “This technology, which empowers airlines to mirror the personalised shopping tactics already mastered by the online retail industry, has been proven to increase ancillary revenue by an average of 10%, and is being used by some of the world’s most forward-thinking carriers.”

Dino Gelmetti, Sabre vice president Airline Solutions, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Of those surveyed, 23% has not travelled abroad at all in the past two years. Their top reasons for not travelling more often:

  • 32% said travel is too expensive.
  • 31% said it’s difficult obtaining visas.
  • 30% said it’s too difficult to book flights.
  • 28% said there are no flights to their chosen destination.

Issues cited about travelling:

  • 27% said the check-in process takes too long.
  • 22% said the check-in procedure is confusing.
  • 20% don’t like the food on planes.
  • 19% think there is not enough to do at the airport.

Their top three reasons for choosing a local carrier over a foreign airline:

  • It offered cheaper tickets.
  • It offered the latest technology on board.
  • It offered greater comfort on board.

“The results suggest that while travel is inaccessible to many and is difficult for those that do travel, there is still a strong desire to travel more,” said Gelmetti. “Additionally, most of the pain points can be addressed by airlines, and these tweaks could make all the difference to travellers. African carriers currently face tough competition from international rivals that control 88% of African airspace. But, as demand for travel increases, African airlines have a real opportunity to win the lion’s share of bookings by addressing the pain points of travellers and going the extra mile to improve their experience.”

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