Creation of a Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) will go a long way to unlocking the potential for regional air travel on the continent. The original concept for commercial aviation liberalization was established under the 1999 Yamassoukro Decision. It advocated less restrictive traffic rights and frequencies, capacity controls and ticket pricing in order to promote new routes and better integrate air travel across the continent.
Europe had a similar initiative in 1993 when it established the Single European Aviation Market. The results were immediate. Between 1995 and 2004, the rate of traffic growth was nearly double the rate between 1990 and 1994. Some 1.4 million new jobs were created.
Aviation is an engine for economic growth and development. It creates jobs and has a halo-effect on associated industries. Increased network connectivity would enhance African access to faster supply-chains, improve productivity, and enable investment and innovation in a virtuous cycle of social benefits and wealth generation.
Ten African countries are ready to participate in SAATM. We’ve analyzed each of them in our Benefits and Future Fleet Requirements analysis. The economic growth prospects are impressive as is the estimated need for a fleet of 555 aircraft in the up-to-150 seat category over the next 20 years.
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