JOHANNESBURG - Airline industry officials participating at a regional conference have urged southern African governments to remove policy obstacles they say are hurting the sector.
More than 200 delegates are participating in the Airlines Association of Southern Africa’s (AASA) annual general assembly in Zambia against the backdrop of global, regional and local political uncertainty and market turbulence while rising costs are also taking a toll.
Although the global air transport sector is on track to return a US$33.8 billion profit in 2018, AASA predicts airlines across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will report a collective $300 million loss for the year, with individual carriers experiencing fluctuating fortunes.
“Tourism, along with trade, is a powerful lever of growth. But they are being stunted by uncertainties," AASA CEO Chris Zweigenthal said.
"As one of the most capital-intensive sectors and a vital enabler of economic activity, the airline industry needs southern African governments to clarify their local economic reform policies so they do not spoil the appetite for much needed trade and investment in the region."