There is the need for airlines especially in Africa to come together and form partnerships that will aid the development and growth of the aviation sector on the continent.
This is according to the Director General of the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) who underscored the importance of such collaborations as very critical to the fortunes of the industry. Engineer Simon Allotey made this observation when he made a presentation on the topic, “Building Synergy for Sustainable Growth in Aviation” at the third Aviation Ghana Breakfast Meeting in Accra yesterday.
According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), in Africa the aviation industry contributes 6.2 Million jobs and $55.8 billion of GDP i.e. 1.8 % of all employment and 2.6 % of all GDP in African Countries. For Ing. Allotey, these numbers could increase if airlines would combine their value and performance which he said, underpins the concept of synergy. Africa currently only has only 2.2% (98 million passengers) of global passenger traffic with a forecast growth of 300m by 2037 at a 20-year projected annual growth rate of 5%.
He cited recent partnerships such as the interline agreement between Emirates and Africa World Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines and ASKY Airlines and the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) as great examples of partnerships that ought to be encouraged. On SAATM however, Ing. Allotey said that it was rather unfortunate that out of a possible 54, only 27 African countries have signed the agreement, which he estimates has a huge potential to increase connectivity and ensure seamless travel among countries on the continent.
On the Ghanaian aviation scene, he mentioned that it was even more crucial that airlines collaborated with each other owing to the fact that more and more airlines are due to launch operations in the coming years. He stated specifically that besides African World Airlines, Unity Air and Passion Air that currently service the domestic routes, about nine more are in the works to come on stream according to records available.
This he said, could have dire consequence on the local market considering the relatively small size of it. “There are 5 prospective Airlines going through certification and in addition, 4 applications for air carrier license are being processed. Mergers, takeover and partnerships are key to the survival of these potential airlines.” Ing. Allotey stressed.
Story by: Samuel Obeng Appah