ROADMAP

Africa air transport chiefs commit to changes

African airlines had reopened 81.3 per cent of their international routes in October 2021

In Summary
  • This was during the 53rd African Airlines Association(AFRAA) Annual General Assembly & Summit.
  • Ingredients for successful restart include: Safe travel measures, removal of travel restrictions, financial support to airlines.
A file photo of planes at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. /Jack Owuor
A file photo of planes at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. /Jack Owuor

African airline leaders have set a roadmap for the transformation and  economic development of the continent's air transport.

This was at the 53rd African Airlines Association(AFRAA) Annual General Assembly & Summit under the theme: “Flightpath to Africa’s resilient travel ecosystem.”

“This Assembly provides an opportunity to rethink our industry and develop a resilient and sustainable perspective for the airline industry, ” said Abdérahmane Berthé, AFRAA’s Secretary-General.

Berthé said safe travel measures, removal of travel restrictions and financial support to airlines are key to jumpstarting the sector.

Others measures include technology, reinvention and redefinition of airline business models, cooperation among African airlines, and passenger confidence.

An in-depth analysis of the industry’s outlook made at the assembly shows  positive trends of airlines into recovery, with African airlines reopening 81.3 per cent of their international routes by October 2021.

The analysis further shows that African airlines grown their regional fleet since 2020, allowing a deeper market penetration and a better feed.

African cargo capacity grew by 33 per cent since 2019 and cargo load factors improved by 9 per cent from pre-pandemic levels.

“Cooperation and collaboration among African airlines through initiatives such as network coordination and joint cost containment are among the initiatives that will enable airlines rapidly overcome the impacts of the pandemic,” said AFRAA 2021 President, Rui Carreira.

The assembly concluded with the adoption of three  industry resolutions to advance the cause of African aviation.

These include the safe reopening of borders, financial support to African airlines and a lab concept approach for attainment of sustainability of African airlines.