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AFRICAN AIRLINES TO ENGAGE STATES ON OPENING AIR SPACE

Uganda Airlines CEO Jenifer Bamuturaki (L) shakes hands with a delegate in Kampala, Uganda on November 21, 2023.

A total of 570 delegates from the aviation sector yesterday resolved to engage their home governments to liberalise and open up air spaces within Africa to ease movements.

 

During the closure of the 55th African Airlines Association Annual General Assembly (Afraa) in Kampala, Uganda on Tuesday, delegates unanimously agreed that opening up air spaces within African countries is a game changer for the sector.

 

“So far, 37 out of 54 countries have subscribed to the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) but majority have not fulfilled the commitment. The problem is that most countries are protective and as Afraa, we have engaged them to open up their air spaces because it is a good initiative. For example, Morocco who opened up its air space to Europe at first were hit hard but in the long run got a lot of traffic,” Afraa Secretary General Abderahmane Berthe said.

 

“Another major problem we have is visa restriction which is a complex thing and as Afraa we cannot do much about it, but we are still engaging governments to facilitate free movement of people as this will facilitate trade and tourism,” he added.

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