Increased sustainability and economic growth in the spotlight at 49th AASA General Assembly

Challenges pertaining to the success of African carriers and the economies they support will take centre stage at the Airlines Association of Southern Africa’s (AASA) upcoming 49th Annual General Assembly from 10-13 October in Réunion. Over 200 delegates representing airlines, governments, regulators, airports, and various service providers will be in attendance at the assembly and AASA CEO, Chris Zweigenthal, said there was mammoth untapped potential in the African air sector.

“Airlines provide a safe and reliable transport system that seeks to be efficient, affordable, and environmentally responsible, which adds value to the economies and societies it serves.  Notwithstanding the vital contribution our sector already makes, there is untapped potential to create more jobs and additional GDP,” said Zweigenthal.  

Africa represents just two percent of global air transport, accounting for 98 million passenger journeys and about 970,000 tonnes of flown cargo. However, it is still a huge industry, supporting 6.2mn jobs and contributing over $50bn to Africa’s GDP, with Zweigenthal claiming there is a possibility to create another 40 000 jobs..

“Another 40,000 jobs and $515mn in additional GDP would be created if just three of the countries in our region – Angola, Namibia and South Africa – reformed regulations and placed air connectivity at the nexus of their economic growth and development strategies,” he said.

“Our assembly is a forum for stakeholders in governments and industry to jointly examine and robustly engage on the issues that impact the success of African airlines,” he concluded.

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