The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced that Rwanda’s flag carrier, RwandAir, has become the latest airline in Africa to sign the IATA Safety Leadership Charter. The Charter aims to make organisations prioritise safety culture, which is an area of focus in IATA's Collaborative Aviation Safety Improvement Program (CASIP), under ‘Focus Africa’. Focus Africa aims to address critical challenges hindering the advancement of aviation across Africa and unlock the continent's commercial and economic potential through air transport.

"At RwandAir, safety is not just a priority but a fundamental principle guiding our operations. Our organizational culture is deeply rooted in robust safety practices, making it the cornerstone of our operational integrity. By signing the IATA Safety Leadership Charter, we are not only reaffirming our unwavering commitment to a culture of safety but also recognizing the imperative to continuously build on the work that has gone before," says Yvonne Makolo, CEO of RwandAir.

The IATA Safety Leadership Charter was made with input from IATA members and the larger aviation community. Its goal is to assist industry leaders in nurturing a safety-focused culture within their organisations.

"Enhancing aviation safety in Africa is not just a critical priority; it's a fundamental component of the continent's overall development. Fostering a robust safety culture is paramount. We commend RwandAir's leadership for their commitment to safety by signing the IATA Safety Leadership Charter. This clearly demonstrates their dedication to cultivating a strong safety culture and continuously striving for improvements that benefit not only RwandAir but the broader industry as well,” says Kamil Alawadhi, IATA’ Regional Vice-President for Africa and the Middle East.

The Safety Leadership Charter emphasises several guiding principles to enhance safety within organisations. Airlines are expected to lead by example, expressing a commitment to safety through both words and actions. The charter advocates for the promotion of safety awareness at all levels, extending from employees to the leadership team and the board. It emphasises creating a trusting environment, where every employee feels accountable for safety and is encouraged to report relevant information. Additionally, the charter advises leaders to integrate safety into the core of business strategies, processes, and performance measures. Lastly, a commitment to continuous improvement is highlighted, urging organisations to regularly assess and enhance their safety culture.

Over 40 airlines have signed the IATA Safety Leadership Charter, and RwandAir is now the second African carrier to sign, following Ethiopian Airlines, which was among the initial signatories of the IATA Safety Leadership Charter in September 2023.

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