News & Industry Affairs
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Aligned government policies needed for economic growth
November 3, 2014. African Pilot magazine. Aviation news. Economic growth in the SADC region and within its member states could be stimulated if governments and airlines were able to ensure that trade, immigration, tax and other policies fostered air transport connectivity and promoted competition, according to the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA).
The industry body, which represents most of the airlines registered in the SADC and Indian Ocean region, proposed the establishment of a forum, or forums, where regional governments and the air transport industry could engage constructively on policies that impact on commercial air transport and eliminate impediments to trade, tourism and economic growth and close gaps that exist between Government policy and commercial air transport industry strategies.
Addressing AASA’s 2014 Annual General Assembly currently underway in Mauritius, the association’s CEO, Chris Zweigenthal described how well-intentioned but sometimes conflicting policies on transport, trade, immigration, tourism, taxation, and environmental affairs, among others, diminish the region’s competitiveness and attraction as a destination for business.
The confusion and mixed signals transmitted by governments also compound the many other challenges which the industry faces, including high costs of jet fuel, infrastructure, safety, security and the environmental costs, constraints on ownership, control and market access, all of which impact the region’s airlines’ sustainability and growth. As a result, they blunt the region’s ability to stimulate trade, tourism and economic growth, both nationally and regionally.
Chris Zweigenthal, AASA CEO, addressing AASA’s 2014 AGA in Mauritius