Aviation industry players want African states to adopt what they term a co-ordinated approach to a sustainable recovery of the industry.
At the 9th Aviation Stakeholders’ Convention held in Ethiopia, participants asked airlines to re-examine their operations with a view to winning and retaining support from financial institutions.
In a joint statement, the African Airlines Association, International Air Transport Association, and Airport Council International Africa urged stakeholders to look into high taxes, fees and charges that impact sustainability of air travel, support implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement and the Single African Air Transport Market to drive business growth in Africa.
“African States are encouraged to consider steps towards lifting prohibitive travel restrictions in the form of quarantine measures for fully vaccinated and negatively tested travellers. In the short term, quarantines may be applicable only to passengers coming from those areas with a very high incidence of the virus, to be regularly reviewed in co-ordination with health authorities,” read part of the statement.
Simple and seamless
African states are further encouraged to adopt any form of globally interoperable digital health pass or certificate, approved by the World Health Organisation, that will seamlessly integrate into testing and travel processes of the different stakeholders of the air travel industry.
In the forum Building Blocks for the Air Transport Industry Recovery stakeholders were also asked to be flexible, lean, smart and have a clear strategic focus putting in place a future-ready business model.
“There is a need for constant and sustained dialogue among governments, civil aviation authorities, tourism and travel industry players, air transport associations and other key stakeholders, to implement harmonised and internationally adopted health and travel protocols to bring back the necessary confidence for a safe, simple and seamless air travel in the new normal,” the stakeholders agreed.
They also urged decision-makers to consider steps towards a durable restart and recovery such as expediting the vaccine roll-out, reducing high cost of testing fees and using universal, accessible and affordable Covid-19 testing facilities to air travellers.
Ethiopia’s Transport Minister Dagmawit Moges encouraged operators to diversify businesses.