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Africa: Ethiopian boss calls for air transport liberalization

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by: Simona Salvi | February 28, 2024

The African continent should liberalize air transport, thus promoting competition and reducing costs for travelers in the face of growing demand for flights. This is what Mesfin Tasew, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, the largest African airline which, like “almost all African airlines”, is unable to expand its services, told the Financial Times.

The liberalization of African aviation “would pave the way for a rapid development of the air transport service in Africa”, remarked Mesfin. The City newspaper recalls that in 2018 an African initiative to liberalize airspace was launched, to which 37 countries joined, however the single African air transport market has not yet been fully implemented, partly due to countries that they protect the national airlines.

Meanwhile, the demand for flights is increasing on the African continent, thanks to economic growth and an increasingly robust middle class. Africa, which has about 18% of the world‘s population, now accounts for only about 2% of global air traffic.

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