The African Airlines Association [AFRAA] and the African Export-Import Bank [Afreximbank] recently formed a partnership to enhance air transport in Africa. This alliance, formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding [MoU], aims to create a safe, efficient, and eco-friendly aviation system on the continent. Abderahmane Berthé, Secretary General of AFRAA, and Kanayo Awani, Executive Vice President of Afreximbank, officiated the agreement.
The collaboration focuses on various critical areas, including aviation safety, environmental sustainability, liberalization of air transport, cost reduction in aviation, airline consolidation, human capital development, trade facilitation, and sharing data and best practices. This partnership will accelerate projects benefiting African airlines, reflecting a shared vision for bolstering Africa’s socio-economic growth, trade, and integration.
A significant achievement under this collaboration was the trial of free routing flights, which began on November 2, 2023. Funded by Afreximbank and supported by aviation experts, this initiative marked a first in Africa, with flights ET935 and KQ 508 successfully deviating from established routes. The implementation of Free Route Airspace [FRA] is expected to reduce costs, shorten travel times, and decrease CO2 emissions. These trials provide crucial data to advance FRA across Africa, enhancing air navigation efficiency.
Ms. Awani, representing Afreximbank, echoed the commitment to advancing a sustainable aviation sector in Africa. She lauded the MoU and the success of the free routing trials, emphasizing the role of efficient aviation in bolstering intra-African trade and tourism, crucial for realizing the goals of the African Continental Free Trade Area [AfCFTA].