The Secretary-General of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA), Mr Abdérahmane Berthé, met Ethiopian Airlines Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Mesfin Tasew Bekele, to discuss a new perspective for the Aviation industry and its improvement.
What is the AFRAA?
The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) was founded in 1968. The association counts forty-four members. In addition to its values, AFRAA has set objectives such as:
- Safe, secure edition and reliable air transport
- Enhance the visibility, reputation and influence of African airlines in the global aviation industry
- Sustainable air transport
Purpose of the Meeting
The Secretariat made a presentation on AFRAA projects and how it could align itself with those of its members while at the same time supporting the Ethiopian Airlines projects.
According to Mr Berthe, “AFRAA is pleased to meet Ethiopian Airlines, one of AFRAA’s founding member airlines, for the CEOs Dialogues. Today’s discussions have facilitated an opportunity for a close connection between AFRAA and Ethiopian Airlines and culminated in a better understanding of Ethiopian Airlines’ priorities vis-a-vis AFRAA’s mandate.”
The Secretary-General Of AFRAA and the Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines have discussed the aviation developments and priorities for advocacy on factors affecting the sustainability of the air transport sector, notably: taxes and charges, currency repatriation, and the implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM).
What is the SAATM?
The Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) is a flagship project of the African Union Agenda 2063. It is an initiative of the African Union to create a single unified air transport market in Africa to “advance the liberalisation of civil aviation in Africa and act as an impetus to the continent’s economic integration agenda.” SAATM will ensure aviation plays a significant role in connecting Africa, promoting its social, economic and political integration and boosting intra-Africa trade and tourism. To date, thirty-four countries have been favourable to this project.
How the situation in Ethiopia has affected Ethiopian Airlines’ operations
For several weeks the country has been facing clashes with armed groups in the Tigray region.
Ethiopian Airlines already has five out of 21 domestic destinations where it is unsafe to travel. The Department of Foreign Affairs announced that people should avoid these regions (Arba Minch, Axum, Hawassa, Gondar, Semera) due to insecurity. Some flights are still available in these regions on some dates.
The Nigerian Government has invited Ethiopian Airlines to be its technical partner and core investor for its national carrier (Nigeria Air).
Ethiopian Airlines offers, at the moment, deals to five international destinations: London, Chicago, Beirut, Jeddah, and Johannesburg.
What are your thoughts about the meeting between Ethiopian Airlines and AFRAA? Let us know in the comments!