AFRAA Pledges Better Leadership for African Airlines

 - March 25, 2011, 10:00 AM
Egyptair Holdings chairman and CEO Hussein Massoud heads a committee of nine African operators that approved a plan to reduce costs and foster inter-airline cooperation.

The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) has launched a three-year plan to realign activities with member carriers’ business imperatives. Developed by new AFRAA secretary-general Elijah Chingosho, the plan aims to transform the association into “a pulsating airline association” for Africa.

“AFRAA needs to enhance its relevance to members to deliver the leadership that [they] expect,” said Chingosho. To “achieve critical goals within set timelines,” he proposes “a new vision and strategic direction, including key performance indicators.” An executive committee of nine operators meeting under the leadership of Egyptair chairman and CEO Hussein Massoud has approved the plan, to involve “value-added projects aimed at reducing costs and facilitating airlines’ cooperation.”

The plan introduces “project-specific and time-bound” task teams to ensure “that quantifiable deliverables are achieved.” A “rebranding” includes redevelopment and updating of AFRAA’s website and a new logo, while the group plans to subcontract production and distribution of its Africa Wings magazine.

Chingosho listed priority issues needing support from the African Union Commission as the sustainable development of African air transport, including safety, environment, airline financing at competitive rates and acceleration of the airline deregulation agreed by more than 40 African states in 1999.

Ahead of AFRAA’s November annual general assembly in Morocco, the executive committee plans to meet incoming International Air Transport Association (IATA) director-general Tony Tyler at IATA’s annual general meeting in Singapore in June. The event, which typically attracts up to 200 chief executives from airlines, airliner manufacturers, airports and other IATA industry partners, has moved from Cairo, Egypt, following the political upheaval there.

Last month, IATA signed a memorandum of understanding with the Singapore government to facilitate further development of the airline lobby group’s Asia/Pacific regional office, which employs 80 staff in the city-state.