The experts made the call on Monday at the ongoing 55th General Assembly of the African Airlines Association – AFRAA at the Munyonyo Commonwealth Speke Resort in Kampala. The three-day event that started on 19-21 November 2023 is being conducted under the theme, “Strides to Transform Aviation for Development.”
International aviation industry experts have Challenged African governments to accelerate the implementation of the
Single African Air Transport Market – SAATM, an initiative of the African Union - AU to liberalize air transportation on the continent.
2015 as AU's flagship project to achieve Agenda 2063, the
Single Air Transport Market aims to create a solitary unified air transport
market in Africa, liberalize civil aviation, and spur Africa’s economic
The experts made
the call on Monday at the ongoing 55th General Assembly of the African Airlines
Association – AFRAA at the Munyonyo Commonwealth Speke Resort in Kampala. The
three-day Assembly that started on 19-21 November 2023 has attracted over 500 delegates is being conducted under the theme, “Strides to Transform Aviation for Development.”
Al-Awadhi, the Regional Vice President
for Africa and Middle East (AME) at the International Air Transport
Association (IATA), an agency that advocates for airlines’ safety and
security standards pointed out that African governments keep
on increasing charges and taxes on spare parts that get fitted on their aircraft,
yet, they do not prioritize investments to improve the aviation infrastructure.
//Cue in: "We have been…
Cue out: …industry in Africa."//
Mburu-Ndoria, the Director of Trade Services
and Intellectual Property Rights at the African Continental Trade Area - AfCFTA Secretariat under the AU observed
that with the vast distances between African countries and cities, liberalization
of air transport is inevitable owing to the poor road,
port, and railway infrastructure that constrain efficient transportation of
both goods earmarked for export and passengers.
//Cue in: "Given the vast…
Cue out: …and economies worldwide."//
Responding about Uganda’s position readiness to embrace the single air transport
market, Gen. Edward Katumba, the Minister of Works and Transport says the Government is yet to
align its legal regime with the principles of the Single African Air Transport Market to allow free movement of citizens, goods, and services without
//Cue in: "We need to walk the talk…
Cue out: …citizens can travel unimpeded."//
Africa's air transport
industry with 55 member states has always been a relatively
small player compared with the global industry yet it offers great potential
for growth and economic development by fostering trade, tourism, and
foreign investment initiatives.
A report by the International Air Transport Association revealed
that airlines worldwide carried 3.4 billion passengers in 2022 compared
to the 2.2 billion realized in 2021. Out of the number, African Airlines
carried 67 million passengers, representing a 55.8 percent growth, only 2
percent of the global traffic.
The report which was
presented by Abderahmane Berthe,
AFRAA’s Secretary Genera revealed that 85% of the intra-Africa flights currently
are direct while the remaining 15 percent connecting. Only 21 percent of the
direct flights are operated under 5th freedom traffic rights, which remains a
According to the report,
the average Passenger Load Factor recorded in Africa for 2022 was 71.6 percent
a 10.6 percent increase compared to 2021. However, this is seven percent less
than the global average. The mismatch between capacity and demand and the limited
commercial cooperation between local carriers may explain this low performance
in terms of load factor in Africa.
According to IATA, the
cargo volume increased 68 percent from 2021 to 2022. African airlines moved 960
thousand tons of freight, representing 96.7 percent of 2019. The African region
represents 2 percent of the world's total freight.
in 2023, Northern Africa accounts for 39.5 percent of the total African air traffic, followed by Central and West Africa at 21.7 percent, Southern Africa
at 19.4 percent, and Eastern Africa at 19.3 percent.
Airlines Association estimates the revenue loss for 2022 at
USD 3.5 billion, about 13.219
trillion Shillings representing 20 percent of 2019 revenues. The Association
anticipates that narrow down the loss to USD 1 billion (3.777 trillion
Shillings) in 2023.
Ochola's journalism career begun from Radio King 90.2 FM in Gulu around 2009, and Radio Rupiny 95.7 Fm under Vision Group in 2012. He also reported for Mighty Fire 91.5 Fm, Kitgum in 2015 before joining Wizarts Foundation in 2017.
He has been reporting for Uganda Radio Network (URN) since 2017 before being posted as Bureau Chief Kitgum, and latr Gulu between 2018 - 2021. Currently, he reports from Parliament.