PICTURE COURTESY OF: Menzies Aviation
IATA’s Focus Africa is a new collaborative initiative to urgently address critical challenges hindering the advancement of aviation across Africa.
Menzies Aviation, a leading service partner to the world’s airports and airlines, has announced it is an official partner for the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Focus Africa Initiative. The decision represents the company’s commitment to Africa’s aviation ecosystem, leveraging its extensive experience and expertise in the region.
According to IATA data, African airlines have experienced a swift recovery in 2023, witnessing a remarkable 87.1 percent year-on-year growth in revenue passenger kilometres (PRKs), during the first quarter – just 9.4 percent below 2019 levels. As the largest aviation services company on the African continent, with operations at 40 airports in 19 countries, Menzies is well-positioned to help continue this exceptional path of growth in a region that holds significant potential.
Through its participation, Menzies Aviation aims to contribute its operational excellence and innovative solutions to help address challenges faced by African airlines and airports. Demonstrating its commitment and investment in the region, the company is currently working on achieving the IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO) certification or recertification in 16 of its African stations. In South Africa, it secured a new five-year ground handling license and won contracts in both ground handling and air cargo services.
Abdoulaye Cisse, head of Africa, Menzies Aviation, said: “The potential for air travel in Africa is huge. It has 17% of the world’s population yet only contributes about 2% of total global travel. While there are hurdles to overcome, joining the IATA Focus Africa initiative is a testament to our long-term commitment to the continent, and our desire to collaborate with industry leaders to improve aviation safety, facilitate growth, and contribute to Africa’s development journey.
“As the first ground services company partnering on this initiative, we are determined to use our position and expertise to raise the bar for aviation services across Africa providing new technologies, equipment, training, and certifications. Menzies is a trusted partner, and we are optimistic about the outlook for the market in Africa in both the near and long term.”
Kamil Al Awadhi, IATA regional vice president for Africa and the Middle East, added: “Strong partnerships are critical to the success of Focus Africa and its ability to support the development of a resilient African air transport industry that will foster economic growth, drive skills development, and support job creation. Menzies Aviation joining Focus Africa strengthens the coalition and builds even more momentum for the initiative. The contributions of Menzies Aviation and other Focus Africa partners will help unleash the untapped potential of African aviation.”
ATA’s Focus Africa is a new collaborative initiative to urgently address critical challenges hindering the advancement of aviation across Africa. It seeks to draw a common understanding of the challenges facing aviation in Africa and work to develop a safer, more secure, and better-connected continent, driven by a diverse, skilled workforce to unleash aviation’s potential and unlock economic and social opportunities.
The six focus areas identified for Focus Africa are:
- Safety: Improve operational safety through a data-driven, collaborative program to reduce safety incidents and accidents.
- Infrastructure: Facilitate the growth of efficient, secure, and cost-effective aviation infrastructure.
- Connectivity: Promote the liberalization of intra-African market access through the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM).
- Finance and Distribution: Accelerate the implementation of secure, effective, and cost-efficient financial services and adoption of modern retailing standards.
- Sustainability: Assist the African aviation industry in achieving Net Zero by 2050.
- Future Skills: Promote aviation as a career path to ensure a steady supply of diverse talent ready to meet future industry needs.