The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) has appointed Abderahmane Berthe, the new secretary general for the association
The Air Bukina Faso director general replaces Dr Elijah Chingosho, who has served the association for nearly 16 years.
Berthe's appointment was announced yesterday during the ongoing 49th annual general assembly and summit in Kigali. The event is being hosted by RwandAir. Speaking after he was announced new AFRAA secretary general, Berthe promised to champion the formation of a single African air market, saying it is essential to support profitability of the aviation industry.
He pledged to work with stakeholders in addressing the current challenges affecting the industry, including high cost of operation and limited access to market emanating from unliberalised airspace.
The ENAC Toulouse University graduate also worked as the chief executive officer Air Mali and XL Airways and Star Airlines.
"After 16 years at AFRAA, seven of which were at SG and CEO, I believe it is time for me to retire and leave the organisation.
"It has been a great privilege and honour to lead AFRAA, and I am proud of what the AFRAA team has achieved during my term of office. I would like to thank the executive committee for their support and guidance and the AFRAA membership fraternity. I am fully committed to lead AFRAA until my successor is appointed," said Dr Chingosho.
He called on governments to support the industry in terms of modernisation of the airport infrastructure, and implementation of the 1999 Yamoussoukro treaty to further support the sector.
According to Dr Chingosho, it is critical for African airlines to form trusted partnership and entities for a safe and viable industry. The outgoing AFRAA secretary general believes streamlining customs procedures while emphasising free movement of people and goods will further stimulate the sector that supports more than 6.9 million jobs and contributes $80 billion in GDP in Africa.
The African Airlines Association is a trade association of airlines composed of nations of the African Union. Founded in Accra, Ghana in 1968, and today headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya the primary purpose of AFRAA is to establish and facilitate co-operation between African airlines.