Accelerate SAA restructuring so it can continue to play key role in Africa – Aviation official

For IATA, it does not matter who sits in the ownership of an airline - whether it is public or privately owned - as long as an airline is sound.

For IATA, it does not matter who sits in the ownership of an airline – whether it is publicly or privately owned – as long as an airline is sound.

  • The regional representative of the International Air Transport Association has called the S.A. Government to accelerate its contribution to assist the airline in restructuring.
  • He says that SAA and South Africa have played a major role in the growth of aviation in Africa.
  • For IATA, it does not matter whether the ownership of an airline is public or privately owned – if an airline is sound.

South African Airways and South Africa have played a major role in the growth of aviation in Africa, and there is no alternative but them to continue to play that role, according to Muhammad Ali Al-Bakri, Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East. International. Air Transport Association.

“We hope the SA government will speed up its contribution to SAA and that SAA will speed up its restructuring,” he told Fin24 on Wednesday during a briefing on aviation in Africa.

“For IATA, it does not matter who owns an airline – whether public or private – as long as an airline is healthy, supported by regulation and operated in a safer environment. We can not afford to lose airlines in Africa. “

IATA expects that African airlines will likely not see a return to 2019 numbers before 2023 or 2024. After growth in both the number of passengers and revenue since 2017-2019, IATA sees a drop of 72% passengers and 64% drop in revenues among Africans Airlines in 2020. The situation is expected to recover slightly in 2021 but remain in negative territory due to constant hurdles and roadblocks at the speed at which recovery is taking place.

The forecast is that African airlines will lose 2 billion dollars in 2020 and another 1.7 billion dollars in 2021. These numbers show the devastation that the sector has passed.

“Quarantines, closed borders and closed planes are jeopardizing 3.9 million jobs at the airport and related industries on the continent, due to the slow recovery of aviation on the continent. This represents a huge $ 32 billion of African GDP,” said Alba.

“This picture needs to change rapidly if we want to save jobs and GDP from Africa. Tourism and travel bring $ 65 billion to Africa and 7.7 million jobs. We need governments to reopen borders. We do not ask for the safety of populations compromised, but To apply a multi-layered approach by opening borders and allowing air traffic to resume, and for governments to prioritize relief for the aviation and tourism industries. “

Aviation support

IATA continues to ask African governments to provide financial relief for the aviation industry.

“This needs not only relief, but governments can, for example, review their tax policies. Every dollar they can save airlines will help them survive. Released to African airlines and African aviation sectors,” Al-Bakri said.

“Airlines in Africa have burned all their money reserves. Therefore, we need to continue to provide financial support and assistance and proper policies and regulations and also quickly open the borders and remove hurdles to leave the revenue created.”

The situation for the airline industry of Africa is like a house on fire.

“Let us put out the fire first, and then we will be able to consider what types of business models will be specifically tailored for African airlines. There are all kinds of models, and Africa will have to choose for itself what works best on the continent,” he said. .

“Now is not the time to talk about whether there should be mergers or acquisitions while airports are closed, planes are parked, and passengers are asked to be quarantined for 14 days.”

He also called on African governments, which are blocking the release of Earley Revenue, to be released as soon as possible.

“Every dollar will go into saving the airlines from sinking,” he asked.

There are about $ 516 million in blocked money in Africa for services already delivered by airlines, but the money cannot be repatriated by the airlines to their home countries.

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