AFRAA IN FAVOUR OF AN INTERCONNECTED AFRICA, BUT FROWNS ON HIGH TAXES – By Daisy BARRO

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The Secretary General (SG) of African Airlines Association (AFRAA), Mr. Abdérahmane Berthé, has said that for economies of scale to be the norm, an interconnected Africa must first exist. This is mostly made possible by intra-African connectivity, trade and tourism. In such a scenario, the big winner will be the aviation industry through the domination of African skies by African carriers.

While attending a meeting in Luanda, Angola with Mr. Rui Curreira, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of TAAG Angola Airlines, Mr. Rui highlighted the negative impacts of inflated charges and fees on African airlines, laying emphasis on how these retard the growth of the aviation industry on the continent, because excess charges prevent African airlines from achieving their maximum potential by making them less competitive.

Also noted at the meeting was the fact that fuel alone accounts for about 30%-40% of airlines’ operating cost in Africa, a problem compounded by the activities of some nations who impose supplementary taxes on fuel which go contrary to decisions adopted at the Chicago Convention.

The SG of AFRAA also mentioned that the association has come up with steps to be taken to improve the current international policy and regulatory framework that targets charges in the sector, and will robustly implement this plan of action. He encouraged all authorities concerned to adhere austerely to the principles of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and to the foundation set in the Chicago Convention; noting that the result of adhering to these will undoubtedly lead to an economic boom throughout the continent.

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