News & Industry Affairs/IATA news
Implementation key to Africa open skies agreement
23 African countries sign Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) agreement
February 1, 2018. IATA/Regulations & Taxation/Middle East & Africa news. IATA has hailed the “momentous” launch of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) by the African Union (AU) to open up the continent’s skies — but says successful implementation is vital.
The SAATM is a deregulated airspace, which allows aircraft to fly freely between the 23 AU member states that have agreed to the initiative.
Raphael Kuuchi, IATA’s Vice President for Africa, said the agreement represented a decisive move towards greater intra-African connectivity, but warned the continent will only realize the full benefits aviation provides if implementation is efficient and more countries commit to SAATM.
Every open air service agreement has boosted traffic, lifted economies and created jobs. And we expect no less from Africa on the back of the SAATM agreement.
Raphael Kuuchi, IATA’s Vice President for Africa
“But the benefits of a connected continent will only be realized through effective implementation of SAATM—firstly by the countries already committed and also by the remaining 32 AU member nations still to come on board.”
Countries who have committed to SAATM include:
Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Cape Verde; Congo; Cote d'Ivoire; Egypt; Ethiopia; Gabon; Ghana; Guinea; Kenya; Liberia; Mali; Mozambique; Niger; Nigeria; Rwanda; Sierra Leone; South Africa; Swaziland; Togo and Zimbabwe.