AFRICAN Airlines Association (AFRAA), Director of Government, Legal and Industry Affairs, Aaron Munetsi has challenged states in Africa to adopt a policy where the airports owned the airlines or vice versa and are both working in tandem as airlines were not making any money.
He made this known at Day Three of the Akwaaba Travel Market, where he stated that airlines all over the continent were hardly making any profit as they were busy paying for landing and parking charges, enroute charges, Jet A1 and most critical the cost of aircraft lease.
Munetsi who was a member of the Panel of discussants at the Akwaaba Aviation Day, said the two most important components of aviation were the airlines and the airports and those were the elements to be brought to bear for success of the entire gamut.
The Director of Government, Legal and Industry Affairs however said for these critical element to be brought together it would take three major steps.
He said,” It brings together the two most important components of what is the aviation industry, that is the airlines and the airports, everything else is peripheral to this two that is why when we had a discussion on the importance and impact of airlines in airports remain lies there are three things that we needed to highlight. The first one is a need for a critical planning process and the planning process must be all-inclusive, every element of the planning process must address the objectives and the strategies. What are the objectives? what do you want to achieve?
“As an airline and as an airport, in relation to your geographical location? The Geographical location states because you are in Africa, how many markets do you want to operate to? Even in Africa does not say an Airport for example in Calabar, we are only catering for the traffic in Calabar. It can’t be like that, there has to be traffic into Calabar and out of Calabar. So they must understand, there is no such thing as a stand-alone airport or a stand-alone airline, so that is the one element.
Munetsi further explained that airlines prospects needed to know where the airlines and airports finances are coming from so they can plan into the future.
“The second element is to say, where are the financials coming from, that is where is the finances for the airport and airlines coming from? And the third element is now that you have a plan and an understanding of the finances what is the futuristic approach? That’s why I spoke about the journey of having started as an airline with an airport operating together, how are you going to end up with a merged process where the mergers and acquisitions are going to take place, it’s not only the physical merger and acquisition, but it’s a merger of ideas, it’s a merger of processes, policies and procedures,” he said.
Responding earlier to which comes first in the process, creating the airline or the airport? Chief Operating Officer of African World Airline (AWA), Mr. Sean Mendis said neither, emphasizing that what must come first should be the policies and processes before any of those.