The African aviation industry is in the spotlight with the forthcoming Route Africa 2016 forum.
The forum is dedicated to development of the African aviation industry and encourage launch of new air services to, from and within the African continent.
Routes Africa 2016 will help to improve African connectivity by bringing together airlines, airports and tourism authorities to discuss future air services. Around 250 route development professionals are expected to attend the forum.
African aviation currently supports 6.9 million jobs and generates more than US$80 billion in GDP. It is crucial to development of Africa’s economy but growth has been slow due to vastness of the continent and lack of infrastructure.
Progress has also been hampered by regulation and protectionism in some African markets. The Yamoussoukro Decision was reached in 1999 to deregulate air services and encourage transnational competition among 44 countries, but the agreement was not properly implemented and liberalisation failed to materialise. However, International Air Transport Association (IATA) figures show that the industry’s future is optimistic. IATA predicts that the African market will grow by 4.7% to 294 million passengers a year by 2034, and that seven of the ten fastest growing markets will be in Africa (Malawi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia).