African Aviation lives in its own Bubble and need to burst it to thrive says expert

The African aviation sector seems trapped in its own bubble, said Chris Zweigenthal, CEO of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA), on Friday at the body’s annual general assembly in Namibia.

Addressing delegates from Southern African airlines, Zweigenthal said concerns of the past are still present in the aviation industry, including the growing international competition on the continent and weak local currencies which contribute to higher operating costs.

Furthermore he said, many regulatory and bureaucratic constraints remain, including highly restrictive visa regulations in some states that are hindering growth and development of the industry and tourism.

“The lack of enthusiasm to effect liberalization and the associated reservations of many states and airlines on a fully implemented Yamoussoukro Decision (YD) are also an impediment to the industry’s ability to compete,” he added.

Meanwhile, Zweigenthal believes that the bubble has to burst and the industry should adopt a visionary approach to realize a successful, self-sustaining aviation industry in the region and across Africa.

“Such a vision must be founded on support for the achievement of the UN Sustainable Goals for 2030, how we approach business and what we have collectively achieved in Africa,” he said.

AASA represents airlines in the Southern African and Indian Ocean islands and works with organizations, policy makers, regulatory bodies and other stakeholders from across the air transport sector to promote safe, efficient, reliable, sustainable and competitive air transport services in the region.



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