Africa urged to take advantage of aviation
Cape Town, June 3, 2013
African governments were urged to take full advantage of aviation as a catalyst for growth and development at a key meeting in Cape Town today.
The International Air Transport Association's (Iata) 69th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit opened with formal addresses from the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, Kgalema Motlanthe, and the Minister for Public Enterprise of the Republic of South Africa, Malusi Gigaba.
In the opening session, acting CEO of South African Airways, Nico Bezuidenhout was elected president of the AGM.
Aviation already has a significant footprint in Africa—supporting $67 billion in economic activity annually and 6.7 million jobs. In South Africa, aviation supports some 350,000 jobs and contributes approximately ZAR 74 billion ($7.4 billion) to South African GDP.
The meeting highlighted key issues related to the aviation sector in Africa, including high operating costs, expensive fuel, government policies that see it as an 'elite' product, heavy taxation, and the need for better connectivity among the African economies.
The AGM is attended by some 700 aviation leaders representing Iata's 240 member airlines, their partners and stakeholders. - TradeArabia News Service