The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) calls on the continent’s airlines to work together and merge operations to fill existing gaps in the sector and build resilience for recovery after the Covid-19.
AFRAA’s secretary general, Abdérahmane Berthé, said smaller airlines should consolidate and share basic facilities, while established airlines should work together and share code to avoid traveling on the same routes.
“AFRAA conducted a survey and one of the issues identified is airlines operating the same route at the same time and thus suffering losses. We suggest that airlines should work together and be innovative to come back and recover from the pandemic. , “Mr. Berthé said. .
At the 52nd AFRAA Virtual Annual General Meeting hosted by TAAG Angola Airlines, Berthé said that African airlines had lost more than $ 9 billion and expressed fears that a second wave of the pandemic could affect operations even further. The virtual meeting replaces the conference that was to take place in Luanda, Angola.
Mr. Berthé added that in October, African airlines reopened 70.8 percent of international routes before the Covid-19, but that could drop as infections increase.
“Apart from Covid-19, AFRAA has also identified high taxes and levies as some challenges hampering the growth and recovery of mainland transport companies,” he said.
The virtual meeting was attended by African and world aviation leaders who sought to create a roadmap for a successful restart and recovery of the African aviation industry. They called on governments and financial development institutions to continue to support the industry in ensuring the social and economic recovery of the continent, given the sector’s strategic contribution to the national gross domestic product.
“Africa will need to focus on aviation as one of the key drivers of socio-economic recovery and development. We are aware of the empowering role that aviation plays in facilitating trade and growing our economies while navigating these times together, and we will try to make this pandemic more resilient, organized and determined to succeed, ”said Ricardo de Abreu, chief gas and Angola’s transport minister.
The recovery of airline traffic in Africa is expected to begin in domestic markets.