Air Transport World

Rising costs plague AFRAA membership. (African air transport industry)

Rising costs plague AFRAA membership

The harsh realities of the present situation of the African air transport industry were discussed with unusual frankness at the 17th Annual General Assembly (AGA) of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) held here this spring.

It was one of the observers from the airline industry--Salim Salaam, chairman and president of Middle East Airlines and a member of the International Air Transport Association Executive Committee, speaking as Secretary General of the Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO)--who succinctly highlighted the issues facing the members of AFRAA and AACO. "The root of all the problems is soaring costs,' he said. "We must obtain the new generation of aircraft but their financing is prohibitive and challenging; insurance costs are soaring; and the training of our staff is imperative and the expenses are high,' Salaam told the AGA. He urged governments to respect the industry's "sincere efforts to bring international air travel within the reach of more and more people as well as developing domestic air travel,' beseeching the authorities "not to pressure us with requests for reduction of tariffs when our costs are rising and restrictions on ease of travel do not enable us to tap our markets as we would wish.' Salaam also called for the development of "a more dynamic system that would lead to a better exchange of traffic rights.' While not advocating deregulation he called for "a re-examination of the structure of bilateralism that has been with us for the past 40 years.'

The views of Gunter Eser, making his first appearance at an AFRAA AGA as IATA's director general, attracted particular interest. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.