Aviation experts from across Africa are set to gather at the 55th African Airlines Association (AFRAA) Annual General Assembly (AGA) in Kampala from November 19 to November 21. The assembly, hosting around 500 delegates, will delve into critical issues such as enhancing profitability for African airlines, fostering international cooperation, and increasing the involvement of women in the aviation sector.
Profitability Challenges in African Aviation
Ms. Jenifer Bamuturaki, the Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Airlines, highlighted the hurdles faced by African airlines in achieving profitability. High operational costs, particularly fuel expenses, pose a significant challenge. The assembly will provide a platform to address concerns related to operational costs, taxation, and losses incurred by airlines.
Challenges in African Aviation Profitability
|High Fuel Costs||Collaborative Negotiations|
|Taxation Issues||Advocacy for Fair Taxation|
|Operational Losses||Partnerships and Code-sharing|
Ms. Bamuturaki emphasized the importance of working collaboratively through partnerships such as interlines and codeshares to mitigate challenges and improve overall profitability.
Connectivity and Protectionism
The assembly will also tackle the issue of protectionism practiced by many African countries, restricting airlines from direct penetration within the continent. The lack of connectivity due to protectionist policies will be addressed to foster a more open and connected African airspace.
Addressing Connectivity Challenges
|Protectionist Policies||Advocacy for Open Skies Policies|
|Limited Connectivity||Strategies for Direct Flight Routes|
Uganda Airlines, which currently serves nine regional routes and two international routes, aims to foster collaboration among African airlines to establish more direct flight options, thereby overcoming geographical challenges.
Promoting Women’s Participation in Aviation
In an effort to encourage diversity, the assembly will discuss the establishment of a women’s association in aviation. Ms. Bamuturaki expressed the need to break gender barriers in the traditionally male-dominated industry. The initiative aligns with the International Air Transport Association’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity.
Empowering Women in Aviation
|Women’s Association in Aviation||Encourage Female Participation|
|Diversity and Inclusivity Programs||Promote Equality in the Industry|
Ms. Betty Binen, acting Marketing and Business Development Officer at the Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre, highlighted the positive impact of the conference on promoting tourism in Uganda.
The AFRAA Annual General Assembly stands as the premier aviation summit in Africa, drawing CEOs from African airlines, officials from the International Civil Aviation Organization, African Civil Aviation Commission, civil aviation authorities, service providers, and aircraft manufacturers.