20 November 2012

African Airlines Should Work Together to Improve Operations

Pretoria — African airlines should work together to improve operating conditions on the continent, says acting South African Airways (SAA) chief executive officer Vuyisile Kona.

"SAA wishes to continue to play a critical role in terms of air transport on the continent. We are also cognisant of the fact that our operating environment is highly challenged currently, and as airlines we have to be able to assist one another.

"As SAA, we clearly see ourselves as part of Africa and are supportive of the African agenda," said Kona on Tuesday.

The acting CEO was speaking at the African Airlines Association Annual General Assembly hosted by SAA.

Regular stakeholder engagement was important and so was the fostering of relationships.

Also he said Africa's open skies policies should be implemented quickly so as to provide African airlines with easier access to intra African markets.

Excessive taxation, lack of expert aviation skills, inadequate infrastructure as well as higher than world market fuel prices were among the challenges facing African airlines.

"Building routes within Africa is costly and takes time and there is always a danger that political change can endanger those investments in a short time," said Kona.

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