The efforts and optimism to achieve sustainable recovery of air transport in Africa have continued as the new year 2021 unfolds, despite the challenge of the second wave and new variants of the COVID-19 disease. Industry institutions share the conviction that interventions that allow the safe continuation of air travel are essential to sustain industry recovery as well as economic recovery.
Airlines, airports, air navigation service providers have continued to observe new COVID-19 protocols as developed and updated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) through the ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Taskforce (CART), and also promoted by regional aviation institutions.
We believe the industry in Africa must step up efforts to support vaccine distribution as well as aviation and economic recovery in Africa. Governments as well as development and financial institutions must therefore play their critical roles to ensure these are achieved, given the immense financial difficulty operators face.
We commend ICAO’s unifying leadership and the passion among industry operators in driving industry recovery efforts. In addition, we applaud the efforts of the Airports Council International in developing the ACI Airport Health Accreditation Programme (AHA), for which ACI has said 27 African Airports have received accreditation. Among other benefits, ACI said the AHA promotes best practices and aligns efforts across the industry, while it also “enables airports to demonstrate to passengers, staff, regulators, and governments that they are prioritizing health and safety in a measurable, established manner.”
As the industry continues to press on governments and finance institutions to support aviation and economic recovery, we commend African States and regional financial institutions that have extended financial support to industry operators. This intervention demonstrates the commitment of governments and institutions, and should be sustained continent-wide over the next 3-4 years as the industry looks to recovery.
Moreso, with the development of COVID-19 pandemic vaccines, continued government support is needed to enable the industry step up efforts to support effective vaccine distribution throughout Africa.
As 2021 unfolds, individual organizations and industry sub-sectors must continue to review strategies to drive recovery and protect lives; while building greater cohesion in the aviation industry and with other closely related economic sectors.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 should be the test phase of Africa’s unified trade region of over 1.3 billion population and ABOUT $3trillion combined gross domestic product (GDP) under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), as we anticipate the successful interplay of liberalized air transport and free trade area in Africa.
This first edition of the Aviation & Allied Business Journal online for 2021focuses on Airports, and brings you insightful articles and interviews from top industry executives on the industry response and anticipation for the year amidst the pandemic. Let me express our appreciation to you over the strong growth we have recorded in our online readership. We invite you to partner with Aviation & Allied Business in 2021, and we assure you of business-changing innovations and more incisive content in the Aviation & Allied Business Journal online in 2021.
We wish you a very successful business year in 2021.
Capt. Edward Boyo