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Airline passenger numbers in Africa are expected to more than double in less than 20 years based on a growth rate of about 5.6%, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) said this week. The rate would raise the African number to about 200-million, exceeding that of the global annual compound growth rate, which Iata estimated at 3.6%. At the global rate, the number of global airline passengers would increase from about 4-billion to about 7.8-billion. The estimate for Africa is, however, off a low base, said airline insider Linden Birns, and made up a mere fraction of the global figure. A week ago Paul Steele, the senior vice-president of external relations at Iata, told the annual assembly of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) that the region, and SA in particular, was at risk of missing an important opportunity. "African airlines are not in a healthy financial state. This year, while the global aviation industry will make a profit of $31.4bn, African airlin...

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