Wakanow backs Single Africa Air Transport Market

Obinna Ekezie

Towards reducing the cost of airfares in Africa, Wakanow has expressed its commitment to support the Single Africa Air Transport Market project, an Agenda 2063 flagship programme by the Africa Union.

The Single Africa Air Transport Market is an initiative of the African Union, which seeks to create a consolidated air transport market in Africa, increased access to global supply chains and liberalize civil aviation as a driver of Africa’s economic integration agenda.

According to a statement issued by the Managing Director of Wakanow, Obinna Ekezie, the project will further complement Wakanow’s drive to make airfares considerably affordable for Africans and open a new vista of opportunities for African economies.

Wakanow had earlier announced a historic transition from a two-week airline billing settlement cycle to pioneer a daily direct remittance and pre-paid card payment settlement which will significantly reduce the cost of travel for travelers.

Applauding the leadership of the African Union for the initiative, Ekezie argued that a single unified air transport market would inspire sustainable development of the air transport sector in Africa, foster job creation and revolutionize intra-African travel.

He said, “Globally, air transport has remained a catalyst for growth, contributing more than half (55%) of international tourist arrivals in 2016. We believe this initiative by the African Union will accelerate the development of the aviation sector in the continent, and we are committed to supporting airlines to de-risk the remittance process and reduce airfares for our customers.

“Already, a joint study by International Air Transport Association (IATA) and African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) has shown that, when the initiative is implemented in 12 major African countries, the enhanced connectivity can generate additional 300,000 direct jobs, 2 million indirect jobs and US$1.3 billion in annual GDP”.

Ekezie further argued, once the airfares is reduced; it will boost the Nation’s travel market and empower about 5 million more passengers to afford air travel as against the double-digit decline of 26.3 percent in passengers’ traffic recorded last year.

“As demonstrated in global markets where air transport liberalization has taken firm roots, the Single Africa Air Transport Market is forecast to stimulate turnaround time, improved frequency of travel and new routes and lower fares for the customer”.

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