- IATA Decries Excessive Charges On Airlines
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has decried the excessive charges on airlines, which it said accounted for 11.4 percent of their operating costs.
The Chief Executive Officer of the IATA, Alexander de Junaic said: “User charges are excessive. They account for 11.4 per cent of African airlines’ operating costs. That is double the industry average. And there is a plethora of taxes and charges, some unique.”
de Junaic who lamented that the airlines in the region were burdened by excessive charges, urged the government and aviation industry stakeholders to address the issue and also focus on the priority that will allow aviation to stimulate economic and social development on the continent.
The four priorities, according to the IATA boss, are safety, cost-competitiveness, opening the continent to travel and trade as well as gender diversity.
The IATA CEO further stated that the industry had supported with $55.8 billion in economic activity and provided 6.2 million jobs.
“As demand more than doubles over the next two decades, the critical role that aviation plays in Africa’s economic and social development will grow in equal proportion. With the right tax and regulatory framework, the opportunities aviation creates to improve people’s lives are tremendous,” he said.
He further urged the governments to follow treaty obligations and ensure the efficient repatriation of airline revenues at fair exchange rates, noting that currently funds were blocked in 19 African states.
de Junaic also called for liberalisation of intra-Africa access to markets and urgent implementation of three key agreements which, according to him, has the potential to transform the continent.
He gave the key agreements as; the African Continental Free Trade Area, the African Union Free Movement Protocol and the Single African Air Transport Market.
For the aviation industry to grow, as stated by the aviation CEO, stakeholders would have to do more to improve their gender diversity.
He added that airlines in the region would also have to support the recently launched 25 by 2025 campaign which commits to increasing female participation at senior levels to at least 25 percent or improve it by 25 per cent by the year 2025.