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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

● IATA: Who said what during IATA's recently ended 69th AGM.

IATAAs the 69th International Air Transport Association's Annual General Meeting came to a close on Tuesday in Cape Town, South Africa, many a speech and promise was made by various industry heavyweights (both African and international), politicians and analysts. Herein lies a brief summary of the more interesting, relevant bits.

As more speeches and excerpts become available, so the post will be updated.

South African Minister for Public Enterprises, Malusi Gigaba, called for a greater cooperation between sub-Saharan Africa's big 3: Ethiopian Airlines (ET), Kenya Airways (KQ) and South African Airways (SA).
Malusi Gigaba SAASouth African Airways, which turns 80 years in 2014, Ethiopian Airlines and Kenya Airways are the continent’s largest carriers with each executing distinct business strategies.

It might soon be necessary though that these airlines pursue collaborative efforts in order address this glaring market failure to which we have alluded above pertaining to the inability to connect the continent by air without having to stop-over in Europe or anywhere else! It is accordingly important that all of these airlines be embedded in the African continent and provide an efficient, sustainable and safe mode of travel on the continent
Source [SA Government]

Reference this post on the same topic raised by Kenya Airways (KQ) boss Titus Naikuni: ■ ETHIOPIA: Ethiopian Airlines shoots down Kenya Airways mega-merger idea as SAA now sets sights on dominating the African market.

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John Mirenge, the maverick CEO of Rwandair (WB), once more outlined his plans to develop Rwanda as a regional hub adding that aviation has a huge role to play in his country's economic development.
John Mirenge Rwandair"We (RwandAir) only started three years ago and we are slowly moving into a definite market of the short and regional flights before looking at long-haul destinations," he said.  Mr Mirenge said Rwanda was rebuilding its international airport in Kigali with the aim of making it a hub for regional African flights.  "We are in the heart of Africa and almost every other African country is between three and four hours’ flight time from Kigali," he said.
Source [BusinessDay]

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Qatar Airways (QR) boss, Akbar Al Baker, was very, very upset that African governments hadn't granted his airline traffic rights willy-nilly.
Akbar Al Baker Qatar Airways (BLOOMBERG)It’s very important that the authorities revisit this. This closed-door policy is not in the interests of the African people,” he told a media briefing on the second day of the International Air Transport Association’s annual general meeting, in Cape Town.
...
Africa has so much potential, yet, it is badly underserved by airlines. Airlines in Africa are worried that their inefficiencies will be exposed by competition from the outside.
Source [Al-Arabiya]

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Airbus Africa VP of sales, Hadi Akoum, "urged" SAA to hurry up with its planned order for 25-35 new wide-body aircraft, adding that the A350 production line was fast filling up.
There’s a huge demand for this aircraft, as it’s a real game-changer. We’re pushing SAA to move faster, as we have a limited production capacity,” Airbus Africa VP of sales Hadi Akoum told journalists in Cape Town.
Source [Engineering News]

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SAA's Acting CEO; Nico Bezuidenhout, stated that despite its persistent drain on the South African fiscus, SAA is still an important contributor to the South African economy.

Nico Bezuidenhout"In South Africa alone, the value of SAA extends well beyond its balance sheet, with the airline functioning as a substantial economic enabler." He said a recent Oxford Economics study found that SAA, SAA Technical, SAA Cargo, the airline Mango, Air Chefs and the SA Travel Centre collectively contributed R3.6bn through direct output to the country's economy.

Source [News24]



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AFRAA boss Dr Elijah Chingosho stated that, while Africa is a candidate ripe for the Low Cost Carrier market, high infrastructural fees coupled with high taxation among others rendered the model very difficult to implement on a continental scale.

Dr Elijah Chingosho AFRAA"Africa is a huge continent but also the poorest and the surface infrastructure is poor, so there is a need for low-cost carriers," says Chingosho. "But there are one or two major problems for their development: the cost of doing business in Africa, because governments levy very high taxes on airlines and on fuel; and the limited penetration of credit cards and internet use in Africa."
 Source [Flight Global]

Reference this post regarding LCC fastjet(FN) and its mounting financial problems: ■ TANZANIA: fastjet looks to reduce holding in Fly540 Tanzania as its Ghana, Angola, Kenya outfits "all underperform".

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