Leaders from the African Airlines industry concluded their 45th Annual General Assembly and Summit at Leisure Lodge Resort in South Coast of Mombasa (Kwale County), Kenya with a resolve to work closely together to better serve the African air transport market and connect Africa together and to the rest of the world. To facilitate this, the airlines called for unrestrained intra-Africa market access (where demand exists), regulatory alignment among African States and an even playing field that encourages fair competition among players. The three-day conference was held under the theme: "Challenging times – Africa's strategic alignment" and brought together over 380 high profile delegates from 55 countries across the world.
The well organized and colourful Assembly was officially opened by the Governor of Kwale County, His Excellency Salim Mvurya who lauded the role of African airlines in making travel more accessible to the majority of the people. He challenged African airlines to be more aggressive and innovative in their service delivery while managing their costs to ensure competitiveness and encourage more people to travel by air. The Governor urged airlines to work together and make travel across the continent seamless and affordable. Governor Mvurya called for the implementation of the key recommendations and resolutions that will emerge from the conference. He further called upon industry stakeholders in Africa to work together and seek partnerships to broaden their network and take advantage of the growing air transport market.
2012 Performance of African Airlines
Delivering the state of the industry report to the Assembly, the Secretary General of AFRAA, Dr. Elijah Chingosho noted Africa's potential to be a significant force in aviation on the back of robust economic growth forecasts, with the continent having among the fastest growing economies worldwide. According to Dr. Chingosho, "Over the period 2010-2015, Africa will be one of the fastest growing regions in the world in terms of international traffic with an average growth rate of 6.1% compared to the global average of 5.8%."
On the performance of African airlines, Dr. Chingosho noted that passenger numbers had grown consistently year on year since 2004 except in 2011 where the numbers dipped as a result of the Arab Spring and political instability in parts of North Africa. In 2012, passenger numbers increased to 62.9 million; a cumulative growth of 61.5% up from the 2011 figure of 56.4 million. Domestic passenger numbers in Africa in 2012 increased by over 8% to 19.4 million, and intra-Africa passengers up 12.75% to 16.8 million. Intercontinental passenger numbers in 2012 increased by 12.9% over 2011.
The report noted that air freight shipment in Africa is still very low. In 2012 the continent airlines carried 788,500 tonnes of freight, representing 1.8% of total global air freight shipment. AFRAA member airlines in 2012 carried a total of over 710,800 tonnes. The Middle East and Africa recorded the highest year-on-year air freight growth of 12.8% and 11.0% respectively. Major African carriers such as EgyptAir, Ethiopian, Kenya Airways, and South African Airways are investing substantial resources to grow their air freight business. This will reduce the hitherto over reliance on aircraft belly capacity for cargo shipment, which is limited and subject to baggage load.
The Secretary General highlighted the activities and gains made by AFRAA Secretariat on safety, training, industry costs, enhancing image of African airlines, environment and liberalization of air transport services. Full reports available at: http://www.afraa.org/index.php/our-work/agas/45th-aga-2013/sgs-report.
Challenges of the Industry
Excessive airport taxes, charges and fees, above industry fuel cost and poor infrastructure were singled out as major challenges confronting airlines. Dr. Chingosho said that, "The generally high cost of operations is making African airlines less competitive". He called on African States to take their safety oversight responsibility seriously and together with the African Union engage the European Union on the unfair banning of some African airlines.
The AFRAA Assembly called upon governments to demonstrate commitment towards liberalizing the air transport industry and creating a conducive environment for airline operations. This will increase regional and domestic traffic and create a bigger Africa-base market for airlines. Governments should remove barriers to cooperation between carriers and put in place policy and regulatory frameworks that facilitate beneficial cooperation. Dr. Titus Naikuni, MD and CEO of Kenya Airways and 2013 President of AFRAA, said, "... the slow pace of air transport liberalisation is hurting the growth and development of Africa. Though some airlines may not be prepared for competition in a liberalized environment, protecting such airlines sets the whole industry back."
2013 AFRAA Annual Awards
Four categories of awards were conferred at a colourful Leisure Lodge Resort beach front gala dinner. The 2013 AFRAA Annual Awards recognised the following deserving companies and individuals:
The Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Airways, Dr. Titus Naikuni, was conferred the coveted AFRAA Distinguished Service Award for his outstanding service to the African aviation industry. Under his leadership at Kenya Airways for the last 11 years, the airline initiated many innovations, provided leadership in the AFRAA Joint Fuel Project since 2011, provided technical assistance and capacity building to other African airlines, was among the first African carriers to obtain IOSA certification, forged partnerships and alliances with other African airlines and extensively expanded KQ's route network within the continent and beyond.
Ethiopian Airlines was crowned Airline of the year for its impressive growth, profitability and partnership with other regional airlines in Africa. The award citation paid tribute to Ethiopian Airlines for its remarkable performance revealed through its exceptional profitability, fast and profitable growth good load factors, technological leadership, investment in modern fuel efficient fleet, win-win partnerships with other African Airlines as well as its extensive global cargo operations.
Mr. Luis Felipe de Oliveira, Regional Head, Airport Infrastructure and Fuel of IATA was conferred the AFRAA Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his distinctive contribution in spearheading lobbying efforts in Africa to reduce taxes, charges and fees on aviation fuel and for supporting the development of air transport in Africa through lowering taxes on Jet A1 fuel. Mr. de Oliveira has worked closely with African Airlines and AFRAA in spearheading campaigns in Africa against high fuel charges and taxes through lobbying governments and suppliers and advocating for transparent pricing of jet fuel. He has also worked closely with the AFRAA Fuel Steering Committee and facilitating capacity building among the fuel resource personal in African Airlines.
The Government of Angola and the Civil Aviation Authority of Ghana both received AFRAA Distinguished Service Provider Awards. The award to the Government of Angola recognized its laudable efforts in the reduction of jet fuel prices in response to appeals by IATA and AFRAA which has reduced operating costs for airlines flying to and from Angola. The reduction in storage facilities costs, into plane and inventory costs and the reduction of the transport costs from the refinery to the airports are greatly appreciated by the airline industry. Honorable Augusto da Silva Tomás, Minister of Transport of Angola received the award on behalf of the Government of Angola.
The award conferred on the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) recognize its effort in spearheading the reduction of jet fuel prices in Ghana through lobbying the ministries of Energy and Transport and seeking the support of the Seat of Government of the Republic. The efforts saw the reduction in the stabilization margin, resulting to a drop in Jet A1 fuel prices in the country. Air Commodore Kwame Mamphey received the award on behalf of Ghana CAA.
Appointment of Officers
The 45th AGA elected Mr. Monwabisi Kalawe, CEO of South African Airways as Chairman of the Executive Committee while Mr. Abdehahmane Berthé, CEO of Air Burkina and Mr. Abd Elmahmoud Suleiman Mohammed, CEO of Sudan Airways were elected First and Second Vice Chairmen respectively. The AFRAA Executive Committee has oversight responsibility for the Association and crafts policy as well as oversees implementation of projects and programmes by the Secretariat.
The Assembly also elected two new members to replace those whose term of office on the Executive Committee expired at the close of the 45th AGA. Abderahmane Berthe was re-elected to represent the West/Central Region while Monwabisi Kalawe CEO South African Airways was elected to represent the Southern Africa Region. Both members will serve a term of 3 years each to the close of the 48th AGA.
Host of the 46th AGA
The Assembly announced that the 46th AFRAA AGA will be hosted by Air Algerie, whose Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Mohamed Salah Boultif, was elected the 2014 President of AFRAA. The AGA will be held in a yet to be named venue in Algeria from 02-04 November 2014. As a prelude to what delegates should expect next year, a short video on some of the facilities and attractions that will be sampled during the AGA was played by Air Algerie.
Exhibition of Aviation products and services
31 suppliers and service providers benefited from the outstanding visibility, networking and direct sales opportunities by displaying their products/services and interacting with delegates at the conference. The exhibitors included: Global Airtech, African Aerospace, American General Supplies, Airbus, Aero Industrial Sales, Amadeus, APG Network, Atlantic FuelEx, Aurora Aviation, Boeing, Bombardier, CFM, Chatsford, Resource Group (Contractair), Embraer, Flightline Training, Hadid International, HahnAir, IFE Services, Kenya Airways, Linkham Services, Lufthansa Systems, mercator, Optiontown, QualiAudit, Sagem Defense Security, South African Airways Technical, Transworld Aerosystems Africa, Travel Technology Interactive and Wirecard.
The 45th AFRAA Annual General Assembly was proudly sponsored by the following industry players. AFRAA is grateful for their support.
Airbus; American General Supplies; Aurora Aviation; Boeing; Bombardier; Coca Cola; Willow Creek
Atlantic FuelEx; Kenya Nuts; SITA; Wines of the World
Amadeus; CFM; Domaine Kenya Limited; High Beam Global; GA Telesis; Global Airtech; Ilyushin Finance; Linkham Services; Resource Group; UATP
Presentations of the AGA are available on the AFRAA website: http://www.afraa.org/index.php/our-work/agas/45th-aga-2013/speeches-and-presentations.
Testimonials from some delegates
"I did enjoy my first participation to this kind of conference where I got the chance to meet the main key persons in airline business" - Mr. Zohir Houaoui, Head Of Commercial Division - Air Algerie
An excellent, well organised event" - Mrs. Victoria Moores, Air Transport Editor, African Aerospace
"The 45th AFRAA AGA was perfectly organised and set up, asante sana!" Mr. Oliver R. Theilig, Director Sales - MTU Maintenance Berlin-Brandenburg GmbH
"Appreciate high and extensive efforts of AFRAA Secretariat to organize such meetings successfully. Well done – Congratulations!" - Mr. A Basit Kardash, Assistant Commercial Director, Sudan Airways Co. Ltd
"Very well organised and handling of over 300 delegates" - Mr. Hassim Pondor, Regional Head APCS – Africa - International Air Transport Association
"The conference provided adequate networking opportunities and hence met my objectives. The AGA was very well organised and attended." - Ms. Ona Peters, Head, ERM Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (Nahcoaviance) Plc
"AFRAA AGA was very well organized this year, thank you to all the team for that!" - Romain Angella, Business Development Manager – Maureva Ltd
"Very good gathering. Kenya Airways and AFRAA did a great job" - Mr. Gunjan Kumar Regional Sales Director - ICLP PVT Limited
"The conference sessions were appropriate and informative." - Mrs. Jane Kanyunyuzi Principal Economic Regulation Officer - Uganda Civil Aviation Authority
What some delegates liked/disliked about the AGA
"The high quality of debates" - Mr. Carlos Fumo, Administrator - LAM Mozambique Airlines
"The CEO panel stood out the most as very appropriate." - Mr. Aaron Munetsi, Regional General Manager, Global Sales, Africa & Middle East - South African Airways
"The weather was too hot" Mr. Simon-James Smith, Aviation, Underwriter - Xplico Insurance Company Ltd
"I liked the efficient organisation of the event and the level of participation." - Ms. Iyabo Sosina Secretary General - African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC)
"The delegates' tour was superb but the game was on vacation." Mr. Michael Otieno, Aviation Marketing & Management Consultant Punto Azul
"I liked the audience engagement and opportunity to network at functions" – Mr. Matthew Miller, Business Development Manager - ACS Aviation Solutions
"I liked the panel discussion sessions – very educative." - Mr. Peter Amaleboba, Deputy Director Legal & International Relations - Ghana Civil Aviation Authority
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