Africa offers a huge potential for the world’s airlines due to its current limited connectivity, but for a long time restrictive legislation and protectionism have restricted it from developing to meet demand. South Africa is one country that has embraced aviation and opened it home domestic market to private entities, although it has retained more control over international access in and out of the country in support of its national entity, South African Airways (SAA).
Speaking at the World Routes Strategy Summit in Durban, South Africa, the country’s Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, highlighted the strong potential for aviation development across the Continent and urged nations to come together to support the African agenda for sustainable growth, which will be achieved partly through improved air connectivity.
“Air transportation is an essential catalyst for global tourism and trade, due to its speed, efficiency and capacity to transcend geographical barriers and air transportation has become an indispensible part of the integration of the global economy,” he acknowledged.
The Minister highlighted how open skies policies had facilitated trade on a global scale, and despite a healthy growing African market, noted that achieving such liberalisation across the Continent remained a challenge. “We still have quite a long way to go on the African continent,” he said.
“While growth in African aviation might offer us some hope, and it indeed does, the hard truth is that our Continent still lags far behind our international counterparts in the aviation stakes,” he added.
You can see more from the address of South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom, during the World Routes Strategy Summit, below:
WORLD ROUTES 2015 - South Africa's Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom speaks in Durban, South Africa at the World Routes Strategy Summit.