Sumary of Africa: ‘Why Poor Air Connectivity in Africa May Persist’:
- When the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) was launched in January 2018, it was enthusiastically embraced as the key that would unlock air travel in Africa..
- Although 33 countries in the continent are signatories to the project, industry observers are not optimistic that many countries in Africa would open their airspace for a single air market in the continent..
- Commercial aviation expert and former Chief Operating Officer, African World Airlines (AWA), Sean Mendis who spoke to THISDAY on air connectivity in the continent, identified many impediments that would frustrate the success of SAATM..
- He noted that currently most airlines in Africa, especially in the West, Central and South Africa exist precariously because of many factors..
- So, without strong and efficient airlines, these carriers would not be able to maximise the benefits of the single sky offered by SAATM, he said..
- “The lack of access to local capital on reasonable terms means that most African airlines are funded by entities that lack expertise in aviation and often have different or even conflicting priorities for their investments (e.g..
- Airlines that can create a legitimate alternative to inefficient ground transport will be the ones who are successful..
- “Too many African airlines experience early success and become greedy, resulting in unrealistic expansion plans that eventually lead to failure….