African Aviation Leaders Call For Liberalised African Skies For Continent's Carriers
January 14, 2015 17:41 PM
ADDIS ABABA, Jan 14 (BERNAMA-NNN-ENA) -- Africa should implement the Yamoussoukro Declaration of 1999 aimed at liberalisation of African skies for African airlines and establish a single air transport market for the continent to benefit from its skies, African aviation industry leaders say.
The call was made at a meeting held here Monday to discuss the impact of intra-Africa air service liberalisation by Ethiopia's Ministry of Transport, the African Airlines Association and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
African leaders did not give much attention for African aviation, said Ethiopian Transport Minister Workneh Gebeyehu, who added that instead they were giving foreign airlines the opportunity to gain better market access.
Bilateral agreements are hindering and restricting the growth of the African aviation industry and creating unfair playing fields, the Minister added.
A lack of co-operation among African airlines and clumsy implementation of the Yamoussoukro Declaration were challenges for the improvement of African aviation, Werkneh said.
African Airlines Association Secretary-General Dr Elijah Chingosho stressed the benefits of the declaration by the African Ministers in charge of civil aviation in Yamoussoukro, Cote d'Ivoire in November, 1999, concerning the liberalization of air transport markets in Africa, saying it provided substantial benefits for passengers and the wider economy.
Like the 27 Europeans countries which are benefited from their single aviation market, Africa should launch a comparable aviation market, he noted.
IATA Vice-President Raphael Kuuchi stated that liberalizing African skies for African carriers, low taxation, utilizing the latest technologies, and strong partnerships among African airlines were the best solutions to address aviation challenges.
He added that Africa would benefit greatly from implementation of the declaration through raising the contribution of aviation to the continent's gross domestic product (GDP) by US$1.3 billion and the creation of an additional 155,000 jobs.
According to a report presented at the meeting, Africa is not enjoying the benefits from its skies with African carriers' share from aviation activities in the continent limited to 18 per cent while 82 per cent of the aviation activities in Africa were utilised by foreign airliners.