RwandAir Boss calls for a need to unify African Aviation

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The Chief Executive of the national carrier RwandAir, Yvonne Manzi Makolo, has emphasised the need for a single unified air transport market in Africa, saying it will need more commitment from governments across the continent.

Makolo made the call in an interview with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), earlier last week, when questioned on what it will take for aviation to recover in Africa.

She said that there has to be more support for aviation from governments. But this doesn’t necessarily mean financial support.

“Now, more than ever we need a single African aviation market,” she highlighted, “We have talked about it endlessly but the time for talking is over and we must get on with the implementation.”

Makolo suggests that Africa must open and that African airlines must have open skies and be able to fly where they want to meet travel demand.

“This would help with the biggest challenge we face in Africa outside of the pandemic, which is cost.”

Whether it is the cost of visas, airport charges or taxes on aviation fuel, she said, travel within Africa can be extremely expensive.

“If the market opens up, competition will increase, and this would drive down prices and improve standards.”

The African market is vastly under-tapped and opening up would be a significant boost for aviation, she reiterated.

The call comes at a time IATA recorded a moderate rebound in passenger demand mainly driven by recovery in domestic markets.

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