IATA has hailed the “momentous” launch of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) by the African Union (AU) to open up the continent’s skies—but says successful implementation is vital.
The SAATM is a deregulated airspace, which allows aircraft to fly freely between the 23 AU member states that have agreed to the initiative.
Every open air service agreement has boosted traffic, lifted economies and created jobs
Raphael Kuuchi, IATA’s Vice President for Africa, said the agreement represented a decisive move towards greater intra-African connectivity, but warned the continent will only realize the full benefits aviation provides if implementation is efficient and more countries commit to SAATM.
“Every open air service agreement has boosted traffic, lifted economies and created jobs,” Kuuchi added. “And we expect no less from Africa on the back of the SAATM agreement.
“But the benefits of a connected continent will only be realized through effective implementation of SAATM—firstly by the countries already committed and also by the remaining 32 AU member nations still to come on board.”
Countries who have committed to SAATM