Various States in Africa have begun lifting their ban on scheduled air travel in the efforts to re-start the air transport industry and recovery process of their economieswhich have suffered immense damagefrom the unprecedented COVID-19 Pandemic since the beginning of 2020. Beginning with domestic air transport, a few States have equally announced plans to allow international scheduled flight services over the coming weeks.
We commend the commitment of governments, African airlines, airports, Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs),as well as the Civil Aviation Authorities (CAAs) to re-start the industry, guided by therecommended health and safety protocols.These effortsunderscore the shared confidence and ambition of industry to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, and also support the vitally needed recovery of the economy. We, therefore, encourage passengers and other industry partners to join in unified efforts to sustain healthy and safe air transport activities.
The development of theICAO Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) ‘Take-off’ Guidelines to enhance global synergy in combating the spread of the pandemic in the aviation industry will strengthen industry recovery process. It is expected that industry institutions including AFCAC, AFRAA, IATA, ACI, CANSO and UNWTO, AUC and ECOWAS, among others, would continue in their advocacy for government support to air transport recovery and sustainability.
In the same vein, as the industry gradually re-opens in Africa, it is vital to rebuild confidence in air travel, while governments shouldexpedite financial stimulus and other interventionstosustain the re-start of local airlines and essentially protectair transport industry jobs.This will promote thecatalytic role of air transport in overall economic recovery.
Africa must take responsibility to ensure the success ofrecommended actions to combat the pandemic on the continent. The COVID-19 pandemicchallenge offers the industry in Africa the opportunity to evolve technologically and otherwise,in readiness for a sustainable future.
The August-September 2020 edition of the Aviation & Allied Business Journal will be published online only, and focuses on Air Traffic Management (ATM) in Africa, with incisive articles and interviews from industry leaders and experts against the background of the COVID-19 Pandemic. We also present you with the new perspectives of Africa’s air transport industry, in addition to a dedicated update on Nigeria’s fast-growing aviation market.
Capt. Edward Boyo