IATA logo is seen at the International Tourism Trade Fair ITB in Berlin

JOHANNESBURG - The International Air Transport Association said at the weekend it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the African Airlines Association to exchange information, expertise and capabilities as well as work jointly to enhance safety.

Under the agreement, signed on the sidelines of the 74th IATA Annual General Meeting in Sydney,  Australia,  IATA and AFRAA will also seek to promote regional air connectivity by working with governments to support the implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market.

The parties will also work towards liberating airline funds blocked by governments from repatriation by advising them on best practices to clear backlogs and to achieve reasonable levels of taxes and charges.

"Africa is full of potential. Unlocking the economic and social benefits of aviation is a critical element of the continent’s development," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.

"Achieving Africa’s potential, however, will not happen by chance. Continuous improvement in safety, an effective regulatory framework, and fit-for-purpose infrastructure are essential. To achieve that; strong partnerships are key."

The memorandum paves the way for further development in African aviation, with air transport already supporting 6.8 million jobs and generating $72.5 billion of economic activity on the continent.

"We count on IATA to provide the requisite technical support across a number of areas such as improving aviation infrastructure and capacity building with national regulators," said AFRAA’s secretary general Abderahmane Berthé.

- African News Agency (ANA)