As aviation industry partners continue to strive for speedy and sustainable recovery in the air transport industry and the economy, the recent commencement of the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines globally and in Africa is expected to build new confidence amongst air travellers and governments regarding safety of air travel.
In Africa specifically, we commend efforts of States so far to distribute the vaccines; and encourage more States to join given the limited number of States involved, and the volume of vaccines so far distributed. Importantly too, States and aviation partners should work more collaboratively to improve air cargo infrastructure to support safe distribution of sensitive cargos now and in the future. Already, ICAO Council has recently “endorsed the CART’s call that countries adequately consider aviation’s crucial role in the fight against the pandemic when defining related national policy and spending priorities.”
States should work more closely with the aviation industry to safely minimize restrictive requirements for air travel, essentially guided by ICAO’s recently updated recommendations, as contained in the ‘Take-off’ Guidelines issued by the Council’s Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART), to enhance recovery of air travel.
In the efforts to ensure safe and seamless air travel process amidst the COVID-19, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently launched the IATA Travel Pass, which is expected to simplify and expedite safe travel process. African airlines should adapt to such initiatives expected to drive passenger movement and overall industry recovery.
The industry has continued online deliberations on strategies to drive speedy recovery and address pre-COVID-19 challenges in Africa. We commend the commitment of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) and IATA in this regard; in addition to the efforts of the Nigerian Ministry of Aviation, collaborating with the International Partnership for Aviation Development, Innovation and Sustainability (iPADIS) led by the immediate-past President of the ICAO Council, Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, to drive aviation development particularly in West Africa.
Without doubt, West Africa requires critical aviation infrastructure like MROs and cargo facilities, in addition to improved government support to local airlines for seamless interconnectivity in the region. We expect more active participation of global and regional investment and finance institutions to strengthen air transport in West Africa, and other African regions, to drive the success of continental programmes like the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM).
This edition of the Aviation & Allied Business Journal Online focuses on Aircraft, Engines and MRO, with exclusive interviews and articles from industry experts, as well as reports on recent industry meetings in Africa. Aviation & Allied Business is pleased to offer increased support to our clients as businesses strive to achieve a more successful business year ahead; we invite you to partner with Aviation & Allied Business as the industry works towards recovery over the next 1-3 years.
Capt. Edward Boyo