Today, The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) and Air Mauritius kicked off the 8th African stakeholder’s convention with a call for enhanced collaboration in order to accelerate the development of the sector in Africa.
Held from 12-14 May 2019 in Mauritius under the theme “Winning together”, the convention brings together operators and service providers with the view to foster dialogue, build sustainable networks in supply chain management, create a competitive environment for business and improve the aviation support base in the continent.
Speaking as Chief Guest at the Opening Ceremony of the event, Hon. Honourable Ivan Collendavelloo, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius said: ”We must work together or we will fail together but of course we want to win together. Therefore, the only solution is to work together. We want to encourage the reduction of barriers between African states using approaches that take into account the needs of each country.”
Mr. Abderrahmane Berthé, AFRAA Secretary General said: “A successful and viable African aviation industry is achievable, but this requires rigorous efforts as well as close coordination and collaboration by all stakeholders ranging from Governments, regulatory authorities, airports, air navigation service providers, suppliers of the wide range of aviation products and services and the customers. Together, we can ensure an integrated, interconnected Africa that is competitive within itself and globally.” Mr. Berthé further reiterated that the purpose of this convention is to establish lasting relationships and partnerships between aviation stakeholders and airlines for the benefit of African Aviation.
Mr. Somas Appavou, Chief Executive Officer , Air Mauritius said: “Africa is a continent of boundless opportunities. With a population of 1.2 billion, double digit growth rates in many countries and a fast expanding middle class, our continent has become the new promised land for the development of air travel. Industry partners in Africa will have to take these emerging opportunities and overcome challenges together. This is how we can leverage each other’s strengths and leapfrog the many barriers that no single player can overcome alone.”
Mr. Appavou pointed out that aviation is a lifeline for small island developing states (SIDS) such as Mauritius and also highlighted the need for strong partnerships to overcome the competitive and operational hurdles faced by these islands. These include scale, remoteness from source markets and access to resources and competencies.
Among other key messages from the convention, all stakeholders were urged to intensify efforts to reduce the crippling high cost of doing business in the Aviation sector in Africa. This includes a call to African governments to reduce taxes, charges and fees imposed on airlines and other key services, as well as continue to make efforts to ensure that airlines are able to repatriate their earnings.
The 2019 edition of the Convention features masterclasses where cutting edge ideas, technologies, industry best practices, new opportunities and practical solutions will be presented and discussed by aviation leaders with the aim of creating a platform for robust discourse.
Other key topics to be discussed include; The Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), Matching Capacity & Demand – Improving Load Factors, Yields, and Profitability, Addressing aviation skills gap in Africa for economic growth, Mitigating Cybersecurity threat and building cyber resilience just to name a few.