•The Association leaders during its 52nd Annual General Assembly called for airlines to take specific measures to build resilience and emerge stronger after the crisis.
•An appeal was made to governments and financial institutions to continue supporting the industry as a means to secure the continent’s social and economic recovery.
The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) is calling for a multi-sectorial and practical approach by governments and stakeholders towards the recovery of air transport and interrelated sectors.
The association leaders during its 52nd Annual General Assembly, this week, called for airlines to take specific measures to build resilience and emerge stronger after the crisis.
“We are conscious of the enabling role that aviation plays in facilitating trade and growing our economies therefore we should seek to emerge from this pandemic more resilient,”said Transport Minister of the Republic of Angola, Ricardo de Abreu.
In a comprehensive analysis of the industry’s outlook for 2021, it was noted that recovery of traffic in Africa is expected to start with domestic markets.
Intra-African routes are projected to follow suit, while international traffic is expected to take more time to reach pre-crisis levels due to a challenging operating environment.
“This is a pivotal moment in our history as we aim to reposition the African air transport market towards recovery and sustainability,” said Abdérahmane Berthé, AFRAA Secretary General.
Berthé added that this is also the time to address and prioritise challenges faced by African airlines that hinder the growth and recovery of carriers on the continent.
The association said it had tackled the crisis by resolutely pivoting its strategic and tactical resources to support recovery efforts.
“We have launched an interactive capacity sharing portal to provide access to market-leading services to African airlines, and developed a recovery plan revolving around nine pillars of interest to the sector and a comprehensive strategic plan that is geared towards helping the industry meet its aspirations,” he said.
During the Assembly, key stakeholders emphasised the importance of coordinated efforts and a collaborative approach as a way to secure business continuity.
An appeal was made to governments and development financial institutions to continue supporting the industry as a means to secure the continent’s social and economic recovery given the sector’s strategic contribution to national GDP.
“Although we foresee a slow recovery, we are currently implementing key measures that will restore passenger confidence and optimise our operations for a more affordable and successful industry,” said TAAG Angola Chief Executive Officer Rui Carreira
This year’s summit saw the expansion of AFRAA’s fraternity with two new members, Overland Airways Limited and Syphax Airways; bringing the association’s membership to 47 African airlines.;
Similarly, De Havilland Canada, PRODIGY Avia Solutions Limited and South African Tourism joined the Associations’ partnership programme which serves as a forum for industry-related organisations to support the development of air transport in Africa.