By Mohamed Attia
Egypt’s Ministry of Civil Aviation made a positive and distinguished participation at the 2023 African Aviation Summit, which was held in the Nigerian capital of Abuja, In the presence of ministers from African countries and other top officials.
A group of experts in the air transport industry in the world, representatives of international and regional organisations, aviation ministers, and heads of civil aviation authorities in some African countries were attending.
The summit sessions addressed some important topics and common issues in the African civil aviation industry, including sustainability and the global trend of African participation in the global aviation industry, solving the shortage of sustainable aviation fuel in Africa.
The summit also reviewed plans and strategies of African airlines, as well as how the African aviation industry faces the challenges of open skies in order to modernise the airspace as well as air freight within the African continent.
Minister of Civil Aviation Mohamed Abbas stressed during his speech at the summit that the air transport industry is one of the basic pillars of the global economy.
The world is taking rapid steps towards developing the global civil aviation system, while Africa is slowing down despite its vast potential in the global catch-up matrix, as the continent of Africa hosts 18 per cent of the world’s population. Despite this, its share represents 2.1 per cent of the total activities of the global air transport sector.
Abbas said that growth opportunities in the African aviation sector cannot be ignored, as statistics issued by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) indicate that African airlines witnessed a remarkable recovery and growth of 87.1 per cent during the first quarter of 2023, and in the second quarter of 2023.
In 2023, African airlines witnessed the second highest annual growth rate in passenger traffic and excelled in performance in terms of total international passenger traffic.
With all this development and successive growth, the region faces several enormous challenges at the safety and operational levels, in addition to some deficiencies in airports and in-flight navigation, which highlights the importance of developing aviation infrastructure programmes and plans at the national and regional levels, and the need for those plans to be compatible with each country’s national safety programmes (SSP), in accordance with ICAO’s global plans, whether for safety or air navigation.
He also pointed to the environmental challenge, climate change issues, and the importance of preserving the environment, which is represented by zero carbon emissions in the year 2050, which entails the necessity of turning to the use of alternative fuels despite the high costs of purchasing them to 3 times that of biofuels.
The minister also appreciated the pivotal role that AFCAC plays in enhancing air safety, as well as ICAO, the European Union, and the United States for their assistance, capacity building and training programmes regarding alternative fuels (ACT-SAF) that were provided to the countries of our African continent.
Abbas pointed to the efforts made by AFRA and IATA and their initiative. The latter focuses on Africa.
The minister stressed that the Egyptian civil aviation sector seeks to achieve African integration under the umbrella of a unified market for African air transport, ensuring the ease and freedom of air, commercial and tourist movement among the people of the African continent to link the countries of the continent to each other and achieve the levels of air security and safety and a sustainable environment for future generations.
On the sidelines of the African Summit, Minister Abbas met with the Nigerian Minister of Aviation and Space Development to discuss many common topics in the field of the air transport industry, including a study of increasing flights between Egypt and Nigeria to stimulate air traffic, tourism and air freight between the two countries, in addition to exchanging experiences in various fields of civil aviation activities, especially training, maintenance, air navigation and airport management.
Nile Air launches air route between Cairo, Cologne-Bonn next October
Nile Air obtained the approval of the Civil Aviation Authority to operate a new direct route between Cairo and the city of Cologne-Bonn in Germany, starting next October, within the framework of the company’s expansion plan and increasing its air network.
The company intends to operate the new line with two flights per week, on Sunday and Tuesday in the summer and Sunday and Thursday in the winter.
Mohamed El-Sherif, head of the commercial sector, said that Nile Air is working to provide all available solutions to satisfy its customers, provide distinguished services, and ensure a comfortable travel experience for passengers. The company is also committeed to the highest standards of safety and quality.
He added that Nile Air is maintaining its continued success by opening new routes that serve its passengers and strengthen its position as a leading airline in the region.