April 13, 2021: The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) secretary general Abdérahmane Berthé, had a consultative meeting on April 8 with the newly appointed IATA regional vice president for Africa & Middle East, Kamil H Al-Awadhi, following his recent assumption of office in March 2021. Berthé and Al-Awadhi discussed key priorities for both associations’ collaborative support to the African airline industry.

Among the top priorities discussed were building blocks and actions for the restart of the air transport industry. AFRAA and IATA agreed to heighten advocacy for the next steps to release financial support to airlines that are in dire funding to avoid insolvency or bankruptcy in light of the severe impacts of Covid-19 pandemic to the travel and tourism industry.

On health and safety protocols, the meeting underscored the ‘Saving Lives, Economies, and Livelihoods’ campaign which calls to Action to African States to work towards harmonising pre-entry and exit requirements for cross border travel, increase mutual recognition and cross-border information exchange.

The meeting also reviewed the highlights of AFRAA and IATA annual plan of activities under the framework of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) that enhances the collaboration of the two associations on a number of industry focus areas with the objective of delivering quality service to their mutual members and the industry as a whole in Africa. The main areas of collaboration between AFRAA and IATA include: industry restart actions, safety & security, advocacy, smart regulation, industry costs, environment, implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), infrastructural development and capacity building.

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