Air Transport World

AFRAA members moving toward collective reliance. (African Airlines Association)

AFRAA members moving toward collective self reliance

After ten years as Secretary General of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA), Colonel Semret Medhane will step down on July 31. The closing session of the 18th AFRAA Annual General Assembly (AGA) on April 9 was largely devoted to tributes to his accomplishments for the African air transport industry while off the floor during the three-day meeting speculation was rife as to his successor. At ATW's presstime, Group Captain Frank Okyne, managing director of Ghana Airways and second VP of AFRAA for 1985-86, was the front runner among the candidates. The AFRAA Executive Committee will announce its choice before Colonel Medhane's term of office expires. The new secretary general will be given a five-year contract renewable for another five years but no longer.

The 18th AGA was chaired by General M.F. Rayan, President of AFRAA for 1985-86 and Chairman of EgyptAir, which hosted the meeting. In his address to the opening session of the AGA he pointed out that AFRAA "has spearheaded the movement of African airlines toward collective self reliance in many ways including: the joint insurance project; the project for the joint purchase of fuel; the common training program; the common policy on the licensing of technical personnel and airworthiness certification of aircraft; and the achievement of more equitable prorates.'

In his report on the state of the African air transport industry, Medhane highlighted the financial problems of AFRAA member airlines. He said that "the encouraging economic gains of 1984 could not be maintained in 1985--profit margins dwindled rapidly. …

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