African governments have been urged to reduce taxes and other charges on the aviation industry to cushion struggling airlines.
African Airlines Association (AFRAA) Secretary General Abderahmane Berthe said it was regrettable that African air transport currently accounts for a meagre three per cent of world traffic, yet the continent carries 16 per cent of the world’s population.
He said besides high costs imposed by governments, airlines also have to contend with inadequate infrastructure in many countries and restriction of market access.
“Weak performance is making it difficult for most of our airlines to effectively finance their fleet to compete well internationally,” said Mr Berthe at the 50th AFRAA annual general meeting that kicked off on Monday in Rabat, Morocco.
However, he noted that it was not all doom and gloom for African aviation, with the industry expected to grow at 4.9 per cent per year in the next two decades despite the headwinds.
“African air traffic is expected to double in the next 15 years courtesy of population growth and economic rates,” said Berthe. He described the single African air transport market launched in Addis Ababa in 2018 as a positive for the continent’s aviation industry.
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