Fatima Beyina-Moussa, CEO of ECAir, Equatorial Congo Airlines (www.flyecair.com), the national airline of the Republic of the Congo, and president of AFRAA, the African Airlines Association, since November 2014 is coming to the end of her term in office.
Two weeks before AFRAA’s 47th general assembly, which will be held November 8-10th at the sports complex of Kintele in Brazzaville (Republic of the Congo), and will address the theme “Open skies: Growth through competition and collaboration”, Fatima Beyina-Moussa took stock of her time at the head of the association. “It has been my great honour to be the spokesperson of my peers, directors of African airlines. I have been able to meet the leading figures in African and international aviation, such as Tony Tyler, director general and CEO of the International Air Transport Association, and political decision-makers, like Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, chairperson of the African Union, and to speak of the importance of cooperation and the liberalisation of African skies. I feel that things are moving forwards, that we are being heard. AFRAA does a lot for the development of the air sector in Africa. The secretary general of AFRAA, Dr Elijah Chingoshoet, and his team do remarkable work and it’s been a pleasure to be at their side and make my own contribution”.
The aviation market in Africa is on its way to becoming one of the most important in the world with over a billion inhabitants, a third of whom belong to the middle class, the class that travels. Air traffic in Africa is growing by 5.2 % per year while the weakest growth was recorded in North America (2.3%) and Europe (3.8%). The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which brings together 250 carriers accounting for 84% of traffic worldwide, is in line with AFRAA. In Nairobi, on IATA Aviation Day last June, the director, Tony Tyler, urged people to implement the Yamoussoukro decision, a declaration of common intent by African countries in favour of the liberalisation of the skies adopted 15years ago.
“To get from one African country to another, it’s sometimes easier to fly out of the continent and take a connection in Dubai or Paris, and then come back into Africa. This is something we want to avoid at all costs. Making travel within Africa easier can only be beneficial for airlines, and above all for passengers. Passengers will enjoy a much better journey than they can do today. Not only are connections between African countries insufficient, but they don’t have enough round trips, either, so passengers can’t get where they want in Africa. This is the battle AFRAA has to fight!” states Fatima Beyina-Moussa.
ECAir, which has already carried more than a million passengers, will welcome over 400 experts from African airlines from November 8-10th in Brazzaville.