Aviation Stakeholder’s Convention moves from Kigali to Hammamet
February 7, 2017 by Aviation, Travel and Conservation News
HOST NEXT AFRAA CONVENTION
07th February 2017
AFRAA’s next Aviation Stakeholders Convention, a key calendar
event for African aviation and suppliers, manufacturers,
airports, aviation authorities and related institutions and
companies, will for 2017 move to Hammamet in Tunisia where
TunisAir will be the host airline.
This follows a hugely successful ASC 2016 in Kigali / Rwanda
which recorded record attendances across all days.This sixth
such convention will take place between the 07th and 09th of
The main objective of this event is to bring together the
suppliers of the whole range of airline products and services
and the potential customers of these products and services at
one venue annually for purposes of networking, knowledge
exchange and business negotiations. The programme is structured
to incorporate conference sessions, scheduled one-to-one
appointments, master classes and social events.
AFRAA Secretariat team travelled to Tunisia in January 2017
for preliminary meetings towards the staging of the event.
The team met Tunisair CEO, Mr. Ilyes Mnakbi and key
representatives of Tunisair Management, Tunisair Technics
and the Poulina Group Holding who will be involved in the
hosting of the event. The teams kicked off the preparations
activities together to be ready when Africa’s who is who in
the aviation world will come to the North African country.
The team also met the Director General of Civil Aviation and
Airports of Tunisia and the Director General of Civil
Aviation Authority who pledged their full support in the
staging of the event and took full ownership noting the
importance of the event to the country and the host airline.
For more info about the event and opportunities available,
please contact: Ms. Maureen Kahonge <mkahonge> or visit the
event website: http://asc.afraa.org/
AFRAA Promotes Route Network Cooperation
Traveling in Africa today is much easier and convenient
than it was a few years ago thanks to the intra-African
spread of some of the continent's carriers. But the
frequency of flights is still limited and the daily
spread concentrated at peak times only. Many of the
airlines do not align their schedules with each other,
resulting in mis-connections, long lay-overs at airports
and sometimes extra costs incurred in accommodating
passengers in hotels.
The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) has launched an
African Route Network Cooperation project with the
objective of increasing intra-African flight frequencies
and offering flexibility to travelers while increasing
airlines revenue at minimum cost. According to AFRAA,
many African carriers currently optimize their own
network but have limited coordination with other African
carriers. Changing this trend to a more cooperative
results driven approach through schedule optimization
and code-share will deliver significant incremental
revenue and benefits for airline by:
• Growing flights connectivity between African cities
and between Africa and other regions by coordinating
each carrier frequencies, day of operation, and
• Developing the airline schedule on markets where the
carriers have small or limited exposure
• Adding new destinations under the airline own code
without operating the route
• Improving aircraft utilization and use aircraft
resources in new markets
• Enhancing elapse time on beyond markets to increase
carriers market share
• Analyzing new market opportunities by specific carrier
and potential partners
• Reviewing opportunities to seasonally reduce schedules
between two or more carriers in common markets
Tapping into the expertise of Sabre Airline Solutions,
one of the world's leading providers of high-performance
solutions for the airline industry, AFRAA hopes to
ensure that the African airlines route networks are
integrated and aligned to allow operators to generate
both incremental traffic and revenue at minimal costs.
Sabre Airline Solutions will act as the independent
third party consultant for the airlines, ensuring that
the project is fully implemented and the benefit
Schedule cooperation will ensure that all participating
airlines system-wide benefits from any adjustment to
their network. There may be instances of a trade-off
where airlines losing revenue on specific route will
more than recover such loss from revenue generated on
other routes in cooperation with another partner
A key driver to the success of this project however is
schedule stability in any specified season or period.
For any given season, airlines have to stick to their
schedule and avoid any commercial changes, unless
drastic changes to the market condition occur. However,
in circumstances where two airlines cooperate on
multiple routes, they may agree to adjust their overall
network to optimize the traffic.
To realize optimum benefits for each airline and ensure
sustainability, the network cooperation will involve a
systematic approach to analyzing individual operations
and merging the outcome with the view to arriving at
synergistic benefits unattainable by any one airline on
its own. The process will involve:
• Optimizing the schedule of each individual airline
with the objective of ensuring that the airline is fully
capturing its market potential on the routes it
operates, and also to develop the revenue baseline to be
used in measuring future performance after any
• This phase will be followed by merging the optimized
schedule of the participating carriers and proposing to
o Schedule changes to enhance connectivity
o Slot adjustments
o Routes for code-share and special pro-rate
o Incremental revenue and traffic on each route or
Each carrier will compare the proposed cooperative
schedule to its optimized stand-alone schedule and make
decisions for additional improvements.
• Sabre Airline Solutions will assist airlines who want
to code-share to timely do so from a scheduling,
commercial, technical and legal standpoint.
Specifically, Sabre will assist during the negotiation
of both airlines to ensure equity, fairness and
longevity of the agreement.
• Following implementation, Sabre will on a monthly
basis measure the performance and benefits of the
cooperation for each airline and each route, and
recommend ad-hoc changes should the results be lower
than initially expected.
In addition, Sabre will provide support and guidance to
each airline to ensure that participating airlines
minimum requirements are all met and also ensures
consistency within passenger service needs.
The first meeting of interested airlines in this project
which include Kenya Airways, TAAG Angola Airlines, South
African Airways, RwandAir Air Malawi and Air Zimbabwe,
took place at the AFRAA Head office in Nairobi on 23
July 2012. A three-man team from Sabre Airlines
Solutions facilitated the discussions and offered
technical assistance throughout the meeting and will
continue doing so afterwards. Sabre has experience in
implementing similar network cooperation projects for
airlines in the Middle East, Latin America and the
The Nairobi based
African Airlines Association has recently met with several
member airlines to discuss a greater alignment of the respective
schedules, aimed at improving connectivity for passengers
travelling across the African continent.
Working in partnership with international service provider Sabre,
AFRAA brought amongst others Kenya Airways, RwandAir and South
African Airways together, to start a process of optimizing
schedules in the future for the benefit of travelers in need of
faster connectivity and avoiding costly layovers.
AFRAA and Sabre have reportedly signed a Memorandum of
Understanding to implement an African route network development
vision, some of which appears to have been discussed amongst
member airlines also at the recently concluded
meeting in the Seychelles.
Like with the joint
fuel purchasing programme, AFRAA is banking on member airlines
seeing the benefit of cooperating in such areas while continuing
to compete, promoting a change of mindset amongst top airline
executives to look beyond their own carrier and find benefits
and synergies by cooperating where possible.
posted a team to Nairobi to consult towards that end for AFRAA
and participating airlines, using the experience Sabre has as a
major CRS for global airlines.
Amongst some of
the proposals floated at the
meeting are suggestions that suitable partners team up with code
shared flights, under which one airline would operate the
service but still giving the partner the opportunity for sales
and revenues by booking passengers on code shared flights.
special fare agreements and MoU’s between suitable partner
airlines too will be looked upon and the next session on the
topic is expected to bring more AFRAA members on board, once the
potential benefits have been quantified and the commercial
advantages for participating carriers can be demonstrated with
financial projections. Watch this space for regular and breaking
aviation news from the vibrant African airline industry
Airlines Association (AFRAA)
MISSION & OBJECTIVES
THE BATTLE BETWEEN THE GLOBAL ALLIANCES
AIRLINE ALLIANCES FOCUS ON AFRICA WHILE
AFRICA FOCUSES ON ITSELF AT LAST
remains on the map of all three major global networks - Star,
SkyTeam, and OneWorld.
Aviation on the continent remains fragmented, often caused by
national egos, prepared to give foreign airlines greater access to
their skies than airlines from neighboring countries or from across
the continent. This has led to a sharply-increased market share by
the Gulf giants like Emirates, Qatar Airways, and increasingly
Etihad, too, with Turkish Airlines playing successful catch up,
eyeing 40 African destinations by the end of 2013.
European legacy carriers like Lufthansa – combined with Brussels
Airlines and Swiss, Air France, and British Airways have also
cemented their positions of routing traffic into and out of Africa.
But while intercontinental connectivity from and to Africa can only
be described as between good and excellent, the bulk of the
travelers use foreign airlines, leaving the main African airlines to
struggle for market share.
In addition to this battle for the skies between airlines, unfolds
the battle between the global alliances.
Star Alliance has three key African airlines in their stable - Egypt
Air, Ethiopian, and South African - effectively covering the
continent directly and indirectly, as Ethiopian, through their stake
in ASKY, also offers a foothold in West Africa. Ethiopian remains
the biggest asset for Star in Africa, presently being the largest
airline on the continent, the first to fly the B787 Dreamliner and
the one with the largest network from their Addis Ababa hub.
In contrast, South African Airways appears in crisis after most of
the board and key management figures resigned in recent months and
no clear strategy is evident about such crucial issues as
destination roll out on the continent or the overdue fleet renewal.
Star Alliance is reportedly seeking ways and means to assist
government-owned South African to resolve their challenges and
continue to play a key role to serve Africa from the southern end of
Egypt Air, after a turbulent 2011 when the fallout of the country’s
political crisis took its toll, has left the worst behind them, but
worries remain over the latest political unrest, which could bring
back crisis mode to North Africa’s largest airline.
SkyTeam’s African member, Kenya Airways, offers their alliance
partners access across the continent, and plans are afoot to connect
every African political and commercial capital with flights to
Nairobi by the end of next year. KLM’s shareholding in Kenya Airways
and two seats on the board are considered immensely valuable to
shape the future strategy for Kenya Airways and align it with AF/KLM’s
own objectives of how to remain a major player on the continent.
At least one source close to SkyTeam has indicated that the world’s
second largest alliance is looking for another foothold in Africa,
with carriers in North and West Africa being courted, but nothing
concrete has emerged as yet and as long as Kenya Airways continues
to increase its own footprint on the continent, SkyTeam’s interests
remain looked after, for now.
This leaves OneWorld, already in the unenviable third spot of the
global alliances, completely unrepresented in Africa by any partner
from among the leading African airlines, an omission which might
prove costly in the longer term as the continent increasingly stands
taller with a rising economic clout after the discovery of more and
more gas and oil deposits in particular along the Eastern African
coastline. African connectivity for OneWorld will greatly improve
when Qatar Airways will formally join next year but still leave the
alliance trailing in terms of flights, destinations, and passengers.
But while the alliances are vying for superiority in Africa, Kenya
Airways’ CEO, Dr. Titus Naikuni, has, at the recently-concluded
AFRAA General Assembly, done the unthinkable, or hitherto
unthinkable, when he urged fellow aviation leaders Ethiopian and
South African to consider an African airline partnership, if not
outright merger between the three. While still small in global
terms, the three would nevertheless be able to spur an airline
renaissance for Africa and build critical mass, urgently needed to
stand any chance over the coming decade to survive the onslaught of
the likes of Emirates, Turkish, and others spreading their wings
Time to think big, time to bring NEPAD’s vision for the continent
into African aviation?
A source close to AFRAA in Nairobi let it on that such an African
alliance would get their fullest support, and in spite of a
different alliance parentage, ET and SAA being in the Star camp and
Kenya Airways being in the SkyTeam camp, perhaps for once Africa’s
strategic interest could supersede foreign interests and in the
process create a continental aviation force able to hold its own and
become a pioneer for Africa’s march towards becoming this century’s
global economic powerhouse.