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 are positioning ourselves to further develop the sector. This can only be envisaged within the broader regional and African context. As African airlines, we all have similar preoccupations and AFRAA’s 51st AGA has created a conducive environment for us to ponder on how best to harness the full potential of Africa’s aviation.”

Among the resolutions, this year’s Assembly resolved to set up an Instructor Development Program for AFRAA Member Airlines (IDPA) aimed at developing 100 highly qualified instructors in the next five years (20 per year) with sponsored tuitions to support Human Capital development which is now critical given the fast-growing demand of air transport services in Africa.

The Assembly approved the amended Articles and By-laws of the Association which are aligned with AFRAA’s new mission, vision and strategic objectives to promote better efficiency and effectiveness. The Assembly also launched the AFRAA Aviation Consultancy Unit with the objective of providing support to establish efficient and effective strategies to gain leverage in the market and data-driven studies that are aimed to build winning strategies and business plans to achieve the airlines’ goals,

Five new member airlines were welcomed at the Assembly namely: Air Djibouti, Air Peace, Air Senegal, Safarilink aviation and Uganda National Airlines Company Ltd. Similarly, six aviation-related companies also joined AFRAA Partnership Programme in 2019, namely: Alton Aviation Consultancy, Associated Energy Group (AEG FUELS), Civic Petroleum Limited, Collins Aerospace, Hitit Computer Services and Safran.

AFRAA Awards:
Two deserving companies were recognized at this year’s awards ceremony namely: Royal Air Maroc in the category of Airline of the year – global operations for best improved results for the year 2018 and in the category of Airline of the year- remarkable financial performance and profitability in 2018. Kenya Airways received the award for Airline of the year in the category– best improved intra-Africa connectivity for the year 2018.

Appointment of AFRAA officials:
The 51st AFRAA AGA electedMr. Rui CarreiraPresident of the Association for the year 2020. Ms.Yvonne Makolo Chief Executive of RwandAir was elected Chairperson of the Executive Committee.Mr. Desire Bantu Balazire, Chief Executive of Congo Airways was elected 1st Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee while Mr. Somas Appavou, ChiefExecutive of Air Mauritius was elected 2nd Vice Chairman for the year 2020.

Host of the 52nd AGA
TAAG Angola will host the 52nd Annual General Assembly set to be held from 22-24 November, 2020, in Luanda, Angola.

Air Mauritius
Created in 1967, Air Mauritius has flights to and from Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa serving 22 regional and international destinations.

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