Aviation holds promise of 88 000 local jobs

Johannesburg - South African Airways will be hosting the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Annual General Meeting in Cape Town in June and plans to highlight how aviation can benefit the African continent and the pan African economy as a whole.

The national carrier said in a press release that it expects the economic benefit of its group operations to total close to R1 trillion over the next 20-years.

South African Airways is part of the Star Alliance and has just signed a code share agreement with United Arab Emirates and Etihad Airways to increase its flight route reach by 26 new destinations.

 “This estimated economic benefit is based on direct and indirect growth and a forecast employment creation of 88 000 South African jobs across all sectors including tourism, foreign direct investments, goods and services,” Acting Chairperson Ms Dudu Myeni said in the release.

“Overall growth within Africa’s aviation industry is expected to exceed 6% in the next twelve months and the continent’s GDP forecast at 5% growth indicates a robust aviation sector, “said Myeni

 “With growing world interest in Africa’s rich mineral and agricultural resources as well as increased stability in the region, the stage is set for a giant leap forward in development and upliftment of the continent. Aviation will play an integral role as a socio-economic enabler during this process. ”

Led by the Shareholder Minister, the Honourable Minister Malusi Gigaba and supported by SAA’s Acting CEO, Nico Bezuidenhout, the SAA delegation at the IATA AGM will lead a conversation on the continental airlift and the Yamoussoukro declaration – the declaration aims to liberate African skies through enabling policy that allows African airlines to better work together and maximise flight routes across the continent.

"Now more than ever, the opportunities for air transport to drive social and economic development in Africa, and indeed for airlines to make money in that part of the world, will be more sharply brought into focus. So our discussions will strike a balance between both the challenges and opportunities," said Tony Tyler, IATA
Director General & CEO.

SAA will host the 69th IATA AGM between 2-4 June in Cape Town at the Cape Town Convention Centre. The event sees the attendance of all spheres within the air transport industry and includes airlines, governments, regulators, regional airlines associations, airports, ANSPs, manufacturers, IT providers, major media outlets and key industry stakeholders.

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