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12th Aviation Stakeholders Convention kicks off in Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa, May 13, 2024 (FBC) – The 12th edition of Aviation Stakeholders Convention and Africa’s 1st Safety and Operations Summit, hosted by the Ethiopian Airlines Group kicked off in Addis Ababa today.

A two-day convention being convened under the theme: “Beyond connecting African aviation,” brought together over 500 delegates from the aviation industry in Africa, Europe, Middle East, Asia and North America.

The Convention is the industry’s ideal platform to drive growth opportunities and deliberate on the developments of the African aviation industry, it was learnt.

Speaking on the occasion, Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO, Mesfin Tasew said, “Your presence here today is a testament to your commitment to advancing the aviation industry and shaping its future, particularly in Africa.”

Mesifin described the African aviation industry which has remained weak, fragmented and is unable to deliver the desired results of the continent’s ambition particularly, in accelerating the  intra Africa air transport services, as quoted by ENA.

To this end, the group CEO urged African governments to deliver on their commitments for the expansion of intra Africa connectivity.

“We need to continue urging African governments to make a practical move for the expansion of intra Africa connectivity by implementing certain initiatives. Thus, this would accelerate the socioeconomic integration of the continent as aspired by African heads of states,” he urged.

Moreover, the CEO elaborated that African airlines need to have better access to grow their foreign currency in order to pay bank loans, aircraft discharges, to buy spare parts and pay for repair services.

“We do understand that several African countries have a shortage of hard currencies. Since no country can afford to stay without air connectivity, we need to urge African governments to include the aviation sector in their priority list when advocating the limited resources they have.”

Numerous existing airports infrastructures in Africa needs to upgraded and expanded and new ones need to be built for enhanced connectivity, according to Mesfin.

African Airlines Association (AFRAA) Secretary General Abdérahmane Berthé said on his part only 10 percent of African citizens can afford air transport.

For him, this aviation industry demands considerable room and adequate investment for growth in addition to the policies at the political level.

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