Ethiopian Airlines has responded to the International Air Transport Association’s calls for a liberalised African market and informed Air Cargo Week (ACW) of its expectations, which include a single African aviation market.
“Pan-African institutions are critical in the liberalisation of African skies for carriers,” Ethiopian tells ACW. “The [African Union] AU is the most important platform for advocacy of African market liberalisation.” The airline also identified the African Civil Aviation Commission, which is part of the AU, and the African Airline Association as organisations it cooperates with in advancing the liberalisation agenda.
IATA announced earlier this month that it estimated $1.3 billion more for African gross domestic product and 155,000 jobs would result from liberalisation. IATA hired consulting firm InterVISTAS to examine 12 African nations, Ethiopia, Algeria, Angola, Namibia, Kenya, Uganda, Tunisia, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa. It found that liberalisation would increase traffic flows between the countries by 81 per cent. Liberalisation should also come through the 1999 Yamoussoukro Decision, an agreement between 44 countries. Ethiopian Airlines also identified this as a necessary step. As well as the lack of implementation of Yamoussoukro, Ethiopian points to to much taxation, expensive airport and civil aviation fees, government intransigence and high fuel costs as barriers.
For Ethiopian, its priorities for liberalisation are to, ensure priority access to African markets, to ensure ownership of local skies and to reduce the cost of aviation for all. The airline expects the market to, “gradually be liberalised,” and says that, “aviation is considered as a strategic sector, an enabler of investment, trade and tourism flow.”