Feb 26, 2019: Ahead of the 51st African Airlines Association (AFRAA) Annual General Assembly (AGA) and Summit to be held from November 24-26, 2019 at Yaounde, Abderahmane Berthe, secretary general, AFRAA and Camair-Co CEO Ernest Dikoum, met Mohamadou Moustafa, minister deputy secretary general of the presidency of the Republic of Cameroon; Jean Ernest Ngalle Bibehe, minister of transport of the Republic of Cameroon, and other government stakeholders in Yaounde.

Speaking at a press conference, Berth expressed appreciation to the government of Cameroon's support to the development of aviation in the country. He applauded the government's commitment to the liberalisation of African skies noting that Cameroon was the 28th State to sign the solemn commitment for the Single Air Transport Market (SAATM). "The airline business cannot grow and thrive without market access it is one of the critical factors for airlines business to succeed. With the liberalisation of African skies for African carriers, the African airspace is poised for greater heights that will bring us closer to our common goal of an integrated and prosperous Africa," he said.

A major challenge discussed was high taxes and charges in Africa which are among the main factors that have resulted in high cost of operations in the African Aviation industry. "AFRAA urges airports to adhere to ICAO's principle of user consultation in the determination and fixing of charges and fees to ensure that they are commensurate with the level of service delivered," he said. The industry can only thrive in an environment where air travel is made affordable and more Africans are able to travel, all actors must ensure the sector is well-positioned for success.

He highlighted various forms of collaboration and resource sharing among airlines which AFRAA is addressing. "In line of the new strategic direction of the Association, AFRAA has launched various new task forces for its members. Through the new projects, we seek to several avenues to address pertinent challenges and identify common solutions to pave way for a stronger association for our members," he said.

AFRAA will vigorously implement its action plan that will transform the industry as well as help fuel positive economic progress across the African continent. He took the opportunity to commend Camair-Co on its recent renewal of IATA Operational Safety Audit programme (IOSA) which demonstrates the airline's adherence to world-class safety standards.

The AGA brings together aviation leaders and stakeholders to take stock of aviation milestones and plan the future for the development of African aviation. The AGA will discuss issues on the development of air transport in Africa in general and development opportunities for African airlines in particular. Air transport in Africa is an economic bridge linking people, goods, and capital to markets and industries and integrating the vast continent.

"It is a pleasure and an honour to host the 51st AFRAA AGA and Summit in Yaound. Camair-Co looks forward to welcoming top executives and other aviation stakeholders to Cameroon," Dikoum said.

In addition to the provision of an excellent platform for brand visibility through sponsorship, AFRAA AGA will present exhibition opportunities for aviation companies to showcase their services, equipment, components, supplies, and IT solutions. The 51st AGA will be attended by chairmen and CEOs from African airlines, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), International Air Transport Association (IATA), African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), civil aviation authorities, airport companies, air navigation services providers as well as aircraft and engine manufacturers, component suppliers, and many other service providers.

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