51st AFRAA assembly calls for enhanced intra-African connectivity

The assembly brought together leading airline CEO’s and air transport decision-makers and stakeholders. By Our Correspondent

November 15, 2019: The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) concluded its 51st annual general assembly hosted by Air Mauritius on Wednesday with a call for enhanced intra-African connectivity through collaboration among African airlines in order to better tackle key challenges they face and grow their market share through intra-African networks.

The assembly, which brought together leading airline CEO’s and air transport decision-makers and stakeholders, extensively examined ways to achieve success in an integrated and interconnected Africa to establish an environment where aviation can thrive and prosper.

The African Airlines Association, also known by its acronym AFRAA, is a trade association of airlines from the member states of the African Union (AU). Founded in Accra, Ghana, in April 1968, and headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, AFRAA’s mission is to promote, serve African Airlines and champion Africa’s aviation industry.

AFRAA membership of 44 airlines cuts across the entire continent and includes all the major intercontinental African operators. The association members represent over 85 percent of total international traffic carried by African airlines.

Abdérahmane Berthé, secretary-general, AFRAA said “Stakeholders have underscored that the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) are major opportunities for our region, but we need profitable and globally competitive airlines in order to reap the dividends. We are certain that the insights and partnerships from our 2019 AGA will contribute to the momentum towards a stronger aviation industry in Africa.”

In his report, Berthé noted that in 2018 AFRAA member airlines expanded their networks on both intra-Africa and intercontinental routes. Six AFRAA member airlines launched a total of 23 new routes connecting 14 intercontinental destinations and 9 cities within the continent.

The assembly also noted that the potential for air traffic growth in Africa is significant and the removal of restrictions and non-physical barriers for the movement of people, goods, and trade as well as the reduction of taxes and charges are vital steps to reduce the cost of travel in Africa and promote the emergence of low-cost carriers.

Somas Appavou, CEO, Air Mauritius said: “Air connectivity has greatly contributed to the development of our country which makes Mauritius an excellent example of the impact that aviation can have on a country’s economy. In Mauritius, air connectivity contributes 22.6% to the GDP representing USD 3 billion in terms of economic activity. We […]

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