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AFRAA’s Aviation Stakeholder’s Convention moves from Kigali to Hammamet

February 7, 2017 by Aviation, Travel and Conservation News

TUNISAIR TO 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 May.

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 departure time
• 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 realized.

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 airline.

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 alignments.

• This phase will be followed by merging the optimized schedule of the participating carriers and proposing to each airline:
   o Schedule changes to enhance connectivity
   o Slot adjustments
   o Routes for code-share and special pro-rate agreement
   o Incremental revenue and traffic on each route or sector

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 Caribbean.

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
Routes Africa 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.
Sabre reportedly 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 Routes Africa 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.
 
Cooperation through 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

African Airlines Association (AFRAA)

MISSION & OBJECTIVES


Vision :
"To be the leader and catalyst for the growth of a globally competitive and integrated African airline industry"

Mission :

"To serve African airlines, promote and protect their common interests"

Objectives :

The recast AFRAA objectives are as follows :

  • To facilitate the establishment of industry best practices in safety and security
  • To be the repository of data and its analysis focusing on key issues in the aviation sector.
  • To provide a platform for consensus building among member carriers.
  • To facilitate joint projects between member airlines aimed at reducing their costs and increasing their revenues.
  • To actively contribute in human capital development.
  • To interact with the regulatory bodies to support and protect the common interests of all African airlines.
  • To provide forums for members and industry partners to enhance their knowledge base and enhance mutual cooperation.
  • To facilitate the development of environmental policies in keeping with industry best practices
  • To reflect the positive image of the African airlines worldwide.

THE BATTLE BETWEEN THE GLOBAL ALLIANCES

AIRLINE ALLIANCES FOCUS ON AFRICA WHILE AFRICA FOCUSES ON ITSELF AT LAST

BY DR. WOLFGANG H. THOME, 

Africa 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 the continent.

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 into Africa.

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.