Aviation Africa 2020 aims high despite coronavirus outbreak


The 5th Aviation Africa Summit & Exhibition 2020, an event organized by Times Aero space in association with Ethiopian Airlines and the Ministry of Transport attracted more than 600 participants from 75 countries and 32 representatives of Africa on the aerospace and defense industry.
The event was a two day summit and exhibition that include Speakers from African airlines leaders, civil aviation authorities, business aviation & support industries. It calls stake holders to cooperate on achieving a sustainable African aviation future and for more open Africa air transport market, and present debate on the current existing challenge Corona virus.
In December 2019, The international air lines associations forecasted 3.8% African RPK growth for 2020, but this has been narrowed to 3.4% following the outbreak and the travel limitation resulting from the corona virus threat.
“Previous disease outbreaks have peaked after one to three months and recovered to pre-outbreak levels in six to seven months,” said Raphael Kuuchi, special envoy to Africa at the IATA.
The outbreak of the virus demonstrates the resilience of the industry, and its members, in times of adversity. even if the air line did not stop its flight to china according to Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, the air line is seeing a 20% decline in demand “The corona virus is a huge challenge” however “we have certain other experiences helps us to minimize the outcome, it is temporary problem we have a capacity to recover”
Also the organizers share the challenge of the virus, “we were expecting more than 800 participants on the event, but because of the virus the number shows decrease” said Mark Brown managing director of the times aerospace.
The forum calls on governments to relax taxes and charges through this crisis and called for air traffic control slot retention rules to be moderated. Addressing the key theme of sustainability a panel of experts working across Africa’s aviation sector underlined the call for multilateral engagement to achieve the goal.
Abderahmane Berth Secretary General African Airlines Association stated that “The implementation of single Africa air transport market SAATM will result in enhanced connectivity and reduced journey times as well as lower airfares more efficient use of airspace.”
“African aviation has many opportunities, but also faces challenges that the sector must face together to ensure a sustainable aviation future,” said Tewolde. “Our main challenges include the attitude to aviation by African governments. We need support from governments, taxes need to be reduced and infrastructure needs to improve.”
Lack of human resources, the poor level of connectivity, low traffic demand and restrictive regulations, High fares and costs Heterogeneous levels of aviation safety and security Infrastructure capacity and operational limitations Limited access to finance are some ongoing challenges to the sector in the continent. Currently African aviations only command 20% of the global market share.
Different international organizations including Boeing and Airbus participated in the event and next year the 2021 African aviation will be held in Kigali, Rwanda.
A month ago African aviation host the 29th annual African aviation MRO Africa and the 8th African aviation training conference and exhibition in Addis Ababa, which gathered more than 40 African airlines.