AFRAA Urges African Airlines To Own Airports To Mitigate Loss

Munetsi pointed out that airlines on the continent, unlike their counterparts in Europe, America or Middle East, were operating at a huge loss.

 

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African Airlines Association has called on African governments to develop a policy that would enable their airlines to own airports in their countries or vice versa in order to reduce losses.

Director of Government, Legal and Industry Affairs, AFRAA, Mr Aaron Munetsi, canvassed this position on Tuesday at the Akwaaba African Travel Market held in Lagos.

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Munetsi pointed out that airlines on the continent, unlike their counterparts in Europe, America or Middle East, were operating at a huge loss.

He attributed the loss to payment of landing and parking charges, en route charges, aviation fuel and payment on aircraft lease to lessors.

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Ethiopian Airlines is the only carrier on the continent, which owns an airport at the moment, while Kenya Airways was also pushing for same position through its government.

Munetsi declared that two most important components of aviation were airlines and airports, noting that unlike airlines, airports hardly close shop and called on players in the sector to develop interest in airport construction.

He said, “Several airlines have collapsed in Africa in the past 10 years but I want you to point to one airport that has collapsed within the same period of time. I still don’t know why people are not looking at setting up an airport rather than an airline.

“Airlines and airports are the most important components of aviation industry, everything else is peripheral to these two.”

He also agitated for the implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market by African governments, saying that this would lead to growth in the aviation industry on the continent.

Munetsi lamented that only 19 per cent of air passengers were airlifted by African carriers from the continent, while airlines outside the continent transport the other 81 per cent, stressing that Africa could not continue to allow foreign carriers to dominate its airports.

He explained further that as at 2016, only Morocco and South Africa received more than 10 million passengers and tourists on the continent, while Atlanta Airport alone in United States, welcomed at least 184 million passengers and tourists within the period.

He insisted that there was level playing field for all airlines on the continent to thrive but declared that without cooperation, alliance and team work, airlines on the continent would continue to remain unprofitable.

 

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