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Experts meet in Kigali to define the future of African aviation

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Kigali: Hundreds of African aviation players –including handlers, airlines, airports and regulators are meeting in Kigali for the African Aviation Week dedicated to championing best practice, market liberalisation and world-class safety standards in aviation industry across the continent.

The weeklong event is being held under the patronage of the Government of Rwanda in partnership with the AviAssist Foundation – an organisation dedicated to promoting professionalism in African aviation safety and AviaDev - a forum focusing on growing connectivity to, from and within Africa.

Part of the week’s activities include a high-level conference dubbed ‘African Ground Handling International Stakeholders’ Conference’, which gathers executives, policy makers and service providers in the aviation industry to share best practices that would contribute to promoting aviation business on the continent. 

These events come at a time when Africa is tipped to be the world’s fastest growing aviation market with nearly 6 per cent annual growth in passenger volumes over the next 20 years. Participants are therefore set to break down the barriers to safety excellence, quality and efficiency.

Africa is on the move

Several African Union member states have demonstrated political will to open their skies. As of May 2018, 21 AU member states had signed solemn commitment to the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), an initiative of the African Union to create a single unified air transport market in Africa, the liberalisation of civil aviation in Africa and as an impetus to the Continent’s economic integration agenda.

The current size of the Single African Air Transport market is comparable to the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite free trade area with 26 countries, a population of 527 million persons, a GDP of $624 billion and per capita income of US$1,184.

The creation of a Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM); the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA); and the African Passport are the three flagship projects of the the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 elaborated in 2013.

Rwanda’s progress 

Rwanda is among the AU member States that have signed the Solemn Commitment to the single Air Transport Network agreement.

The national flag carrier, RwandAir, also IATA member, has renewed its IOSA certification and has been ISAGO and EASA certified.

The Airline was recently named among the top 10 World's Most Improved Airlines and 3rd Best Regional Airline in Africa in 2018 at the World Airline Awards 2018. 

RwandAir which operates one of the youngest and state of the art fleet on the African continent, currently reaches out to twenty-six (26) destinations across East, Central, West and Southern Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Asia.

It is estimated that by June 2018, RwandAir’s destinations will increase from 26 to 31 destinations. The new destinations in the fiscal year 2018/19 will include AddisAbaba guangzhou , TelAviv , Guinea and NewYork . It is also planned that over the same period, number of passengers travelling with RwandAir will reach 1,151,300 from from 926,571. (End)


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