AFRAA Secretary General – Mr Abdérahmane Berthé, made an intervention at the CANSO Africa Conference in Livingstone – Zambia, on 06 September 2023 on the topic: “Perspectives on African Aviation – Challenges and Opportunities for Collaboration”.
Starting off is intervention, Mr Berthé made a highlight of the state of the industry. According to AFRAA data, in August 2023, traffic carried by African airlines reached 98.4% of the 2019 level the same month. In terms of revenue loss by African airlines attributed to covid-19, this is expected to reduce to USD 1 billion. The global intra-African connectivity is estimated to have reached the pre-COVID level since December 2022 while the percentage of international routes operated by African airlines exceeded the pre-Covid level since October 2022.
In terms of collaboration to support jointly Aviation growth in Africa, Mr Berthé gave a perspective on joint initiatives that will anchor aviation now and in the future. He gave a detailed narration of initiatives where AFRAA is collaborating with CANSO and other stakeholders. The main areas of collaboration include: the African Aviation Industry Group (AAIG), the Air Transport Sustainability Laboratory roadmap, infrastructure improvement and the SAATM Joint Prioritized Action Plan.
On infrastructure improvement, CANSO and AFRAA are spearheading the Free Routing Airspace (FRA) project which aligns with the common strategy of reducing ANSP navigation fees while decreasing flight operating costs. Hence, the gains toward air service affordability will generate air traffic volume to benefit air operators and ANSPs in Africa. The kickoff workshop is planned for October 2023 for five (5) trial routes from Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways. The implementation of these routes will annually achieve the following benefits:
- Prevent burning 3,200 metric tons of fuel,
- Avoid emitting 10,100 metric tons of CO2, and
- Attain cost savings of US$ 2,784,000.
The SAAM Joint Prioritized Action Plan pillar 4 on infrastructure improvement is another area of collaboration for AFRAA, CANSO and other stakeholders. “We need to develop a Seamless Airspace Architecture. Consequently, through Collaborative Decision-Making (CDM), airspace users, and Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) must select relevant Aviation System Block Upgrade (ASBU) modules and new technology pieces of equipment to ensure seamless operations safely and efficiently,” Mr Berthé concluded.