Improving the state of airlines in Africa
By Motunrayo Shafa
The start of a new year is often accompanied by plans and strategies to ensure that there is a significant improvement over the previous year. Speaking of airlines in Africa, Ethiopian Airlines made history last year by having the first all-female flight crew – this was a great feat in terms of women empowerment and it stormed several social media platforms. The previous year has proved that certain national carriers set the pace for others in terms of improving the reach of their flights, having ambitious expansion strategies and the replacement of aging aircrafts thus improving environmentally-friendly travel with more fuel-efficient crafts.
As the second largest and second most populated continent, Africa ought to account for more than the 3% of the world’s air traffic which it approximately caters to due to its insufficiency thus most of its air traffic is being carried out by foreign airlines. It is important to reiterate that the aviation industry in Africa is a vital catalyst for Africa’s economic growth and social advancement hence there is an increasing need to meet the demands of air travel on the continent in order to facilitate business, trade, tourism and social interaction within and outside the African continent.
A reliable aviation industry in Africa would help bring the continent closer to its aims of creating greater wealth and promoting sustainable development. Travel experts in Jovago.com reveal important aspects that require attention to ensure the progress of airline companies in Africa.
Boosting innovation and technological know-how
Ethiopia’s flag carrier has been a pacesetter of sorts in the sphere of African airlines, it was the first to introduce the Boeing 787 in Africa and this has had a tremendous effect on their functionality as an airline and also on the ecological footprint made by the airline. Compared to the other notable airlines such as the SAA and KQ, this is one of the fastest-growing companies in the industry and rates among the largest on the African continent. Boosting innovation would also affect the quality of pilots which will in turn affect the frequency of plane crashes.
Learning from past experience
Many African national carriers did not survived due to several reasons, countries such as Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana and Cameroun amongst others have made decade-long decisions to ditch their national carriers for private ones. The experiences of these countries could be put to use by the present national carriers to encourage progress for their airlines. Lessons could be learnt on a myriad of issues ranging from strategies to adopt for expansion to policies to build upon to avoid losses.
Forming useful mergers
In support of the previous points, mergers amongst African airlines would help improve the coverage of the African airspace better. It could also cater to the increasing demand of flights as the stronger and weaker national carriers could unite to achieve more realistic goals. There is also room within these possible mergers for private airlines.
What could be done to gear up Africa’s aviation industry? What are your ideas on this raging African issue?