Airlines promote free access to African skies

Fatima Beyina-Moussa, CEO of ECAir, Equatorial Congo Airlines and President of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) addresses the assembly

Fatima Beyina-Moussa, CEO of ECAir, Equatorial Congo Airlines and President of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) addresses the assembly

Fatima Beyina-Moussa, CEO of ECAir, Equatorial Congo Airlines,, the national airline of the Republic of Congo, chaired the proceedings of the 47th General Assembly of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA).  The event, under the high patronage of Denis Sassou N’Guesso, President of the Republic of Congo, was held from 8-10 November 2015 at the Complexe sportif de la Concorde in Kintélé under the title “Open Skies: Growth through Competition and Collaboration”.

In total, 35 airlines attended. More than 300 participants discussed strategies to promote the implementation of the Yamoussoukro Decision, which enshrines free access for air carriers to intra-African connections. Even though it was adopted by 44 countries in November 1999, to date only 11 African countries have committed to implementing it effectively.

At the beginning of the discussion, the leaders of the AFRAA member airlines received valuable support from the Congolese President, Denis Sassou N’Guesso: “One of the great merits of your association is the awareness that unity is strength and that in your industry salvation lies in the need for solidarity, in sharing essential resources and in vital synergy. Your association pursues ambitions and goals that are in perfect harmony with the African Union”, declared the head of the Congolese state.

President Denis Sassou N'Guesso speaks at the event

President Denis Sassou N’Guesso speaks at the event

The active participation of Denis Sassou N’Guesso at the 47th General Assembly of AFRAA is highly symbolic. The Republic of Congo is committed to making air transport one of the major pillars of its economic diversification strategy.

In recent years, the Republic of Congo has in fact provided advanced infrastructure in this area. Significant investment has been made to build or upgrade nine airports.

Three of these, including Maya-Maya Airport, which boasts ultramodern architecture, are world-class. In particular, the country has launched an airline, ECAir, which, in the space of just four years, has become the benchmark for passenger air transport in Central Africa.

More than 300 participants attended the 47th General Assembly of African Airlines Association (AFRAA)

More than 300 participants attended the 47th General Assembly of African Airlines Association (AFRAA)

For her part, Fatima Beyina-Moussa, who headed AFRAA this year, said: “At ECAir, we opted to negotiate with our peers and were able to conclude inter-airline agreements with TAC, Asky, Ethiopian, South African Airways, Air Algérie and agreed to operate the Brazzaville- Beirut route in collaboration with Trans Air Congo. I am also pleased to announce that Kenya Airways and ECAir have decided to collaborate closely in the near future. I would like to thank my colleague, Mr Mbuvi Ngunze, CEO of Kenya Airways.”

Edmund Makona, CEO of Air Zimbabwe, succeeds Fatima Beyina-Moussa as head of AFRAA. Air Zimbabwe will host the 48th General Assembly of AFRAA from 20-22 November, 2016, in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

African Press Organization

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One Response to “Airlines promote free access to African skies”
  1. I think this is wonderful – there is definitely a need for solidarity at all levels in Africa – I also think that, in the near future, if the airlines also offered discount tickets for people of BLACK African Heritage – to fly to Africa and visit – to begin to open a conduit between the Continent and us who are part of the rank and file Black people who work here, but don’t have sufficient means to afford a ticket to visit Africa.

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