The African Union (AU) together with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) and the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), have published the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) handbook.
The handbook is a guide to the origins, objectives, economic and social benefits as well as the implementation of SAATM by the AU and its member states.
SAATM is intended to open up intra-African air travel with enhanced connectivity and African competition. This will enable and promote growth by facilitating greater intra-African trade, transport, commerce and investment as well as the free movement of business travellers and tourists. In doing so, SAATM will underpin the AU’s Africa Continental Free Trade Area strategy and give life to its 2063 agenda.
Another goal of SAATM is to strengthen Safety and Security oversight in Africa and promote cooperation among African carriers through the formation of partnerships, mergers and consortia. As a result, stronger African airlines will be able to compete favourably with stronger states or blocs from outside the continent. SAATM’s full implementation will create a larger market for African carriers and improved access to capital.
SAATM was officially launched in January 2018 and to date, 27 AU member states, representing over 80% of the current aviation market in Africa, have committed to establishing the SAATM.