Africa Airlines Association (AFRAA), the Nairobi-headquartered trade association for airlines from the member states of the African Union (AU), envisioning a sustainable, interconnected and affordable Air Transport industry in Africa, has announced an industry-first Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Ethiopian Airlines on training that will facilitate a framework of collaboration between AFRAA and Ethiopian Airlines Aviation Academy that aims at achieving common objectives on the training of aviation professionals across the African continent.
According to airlinegeeks.com, AFRAA’s Secretary-General, Abdérahmane Berthé and Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde Gembremariam, accompanied by their respective leadership teams held a consultative meeting at Ethiopian Airlines headquarters in Addis Ababa.
Among others, AFRAA’s on-going projects geared towards fostering collaboration among its members were noted including cost reduction and creation of synergies among African airlines. Various areas of advocacy by AFRAA for the sustainability of African aviation through the promotion of intra-Africa travel, reduction of high operating costs and infrastructural development were also discussed.
The collaboration will support the development of a sustainable and safe air transport system in Africa and thereby effectively contribute to the continent’s economic development and integration.
Abdérahmane Berthé noted, “There is a need to develop aviation professionals within Africa and bridge the training gaps in the continent and beyond. Hence, a partnership between AFRAA and airline aviation training centres would be a way forward to overcome the challenges relating to the training of next-generation aviation professionals.”
“AFRAA welcomes cooperation with Ethiopian Airlines on the coordination of Ethiopian Airlines Aviation Academy training activities, exchange of programs to attain our common objectives and enhance the effectiveness of the Association in serving the interests of the African aviation sector,” Mr Berthé added.
AFRAA’s initiatives and actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to support the air transport industry among others clubbed with the workable solutions by the Association for resilience to the industry is AFRAA’s 9-Pillar recovery plan outlining a framework of various areas of intervention, measures to be taken as part of urgent, immediate, and consistent actions for the survival and rebound of the industry.
Other initiatives that have been launched since the on-set of the pandemic include the AFRAA MRO joint venture, AFRAA connectivity index, AFRAA connectivity portal, AFRAA capacity sharing portal: AFRAA project for the reduction of air navigation bills. Mr Berthé invited Ethiopian Airlines to take part as a pilot airline for AFRAA’s new projects.
Meanwhile, Ethiopian Airlines has announced that it has operated COVID-19 vaccine delivery flights from Mumbai to Addis Ababa and from Beijing to Brazzaville.
The airline transported the first batch of coronavirus vaccines from Mumbai to Addis Ababa on March 6, 2021, and continued to play its prominent role in the vaccine distribution transporting the vaccines from Beijing to Brazzaville via Addis Ababa on March 10, 2021.
Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services, the cargo unit of Ethiopian Airlines Group, has been instrumental in facilitating the flow of medical supplies including PPE across the globe in support of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by deploying its state-of-the-art cargo terminal, which is the largest in Africa with an annual capacity of around one million tons and compartmentalized temperature-controlled led cold storage facilities.
Ethiopian is a major cargo partner of WHO, WFP, donor governments and philanthropists in facilitating the flow of essential medical supplies owing to the massive cargo facility including Pharma Wing, large and dedicated freighters and well-trained manpower.