AFRAA MEETING KICKS OFF IN KENYA
(Posted 24th November 2013)
The 45th Annual General Assembly kicked off yesterday afternoon with the 162nd meeting of the Executive Committee of the African Airlines Association among the picture perfect background of the Indian Ocean.
Held this year at the Leisure Lodge Resort in Diani Beach – the last AFRAA annual meeting in Kenya took place in 1997 in Nairobi – a difference of some sort compared to the 2012 venue in Johannesburg. AFRAA, formed in 1968 and based in Nairobi / Kenya, now has 30 members including all the leading airlines on the African continent.
The meetings will be chaired by the Kenya Airways CEO Dr. Titus Naikuni who plays host to nearly 400 airline representatives from across the African continent and a large number of observers from the aviation industry across the rest of the world. Present at Diani Beach will be senior executives of aircraft manufacturers, other regional airline associations, IATA and ICAO, all watching from the sidelines how aviation’s last frontier continent, Africa, is shaping up to face present and future competition from global players.
‘Changing Times – Africa’s Strategic Alignment’ is the befitting theme for Africa’s most important aviation meeting of the year during which such topics as aviation safety, aviation infrastructure, market access and cooperation as well as environmental challenges will be on the agenda. Dr. Naikuni was quoted in a media release to have said: ‘The 45th Assembly will seek to build on the existing cooperation among African airlines, improve industry competitiveness and further enhance the gains made in safety and capacity development. While much has been done by African airlines to improve connectivity across the continent, the high operating costs environment and limited market access, continue to be serious drawbacks to the airlines’ growth and profitability’.
Dr. Elijah Chingosho, the Secretary General of AFRAA in the same media briefing added his own voice when he according to the media release said: ‘The AGA will evaluate the growing air transport opportunities in Africa and how operators can provide safe, reliable, efficient and profitable air services to support the continent’s development. By taking stock of the market realities, African airlines will be able to mobilize the necessary resources and forge partnerships to grow their market share. The AFRAA AGA is the premier gathering of senior global aviation executives in Africa. Annually, it brings together global aviation leaders, aircraft/engine manufacturers, service providers and suppliers to take stock of aviation development and plan the future. Air transport in Africa is an economic bridge – linking people, goods and capital to markets and industries and integrating the vast continent’.
The AFRAA Secretary General is expected to present a detailed state of the industry in Africa report highlighting the achievements, challenges and plans for the future. His presentation and the address by the Director General and CEO of IATA, Tony Tyler, are expected to set the mood for discussions of the two day summit.
The 45th AFRAA AGA is expected to conclude with the adoption of a number of resolutions urging airlines, governments and other stakeholders to act in concert to advance the course of African aviation. AFRAA will also use the occasion to present Awards to individuals and companies that distinguished themselves in the industry in 2012.
On the sidelines of the Assembly will an exhibition of aviation, equipment, component, supplies and IT solutions take place, giving airline executives first hand information on the latest state of the art equipment and services. Other exhibitors who have signed up for the exhibition include training resources, consultancy, financial and aircraft leasing service providers with more than 30 companies in total present at the venue.
Also participating in the 45th AFRAA AGA will be AFCAC, civil aviation authorities, airport companies and air navigation services providers like ASECNA.
Watch this space for breaking and regular news from Africa’s aviation industry.