The Aviation industry is facing the biggest challenge of its history; restarting an industry that has essentially ceased
to operate across borders while ensuring it does not become a vector for the spread of COVID-19. All while taking
an unprecedent economic hit with the African airlines and airports standing to lose respectively USD 6-8 billion
and USD 2-3 billion in revenues this year – and facing considerable uncertainty about their future.
To cope with the challenges, IATA and ACI jointly proposed a roadmap for restarting aviation (link), aimed at
providing the confidence that governments are looking for to enable the lifting of travel restrictions and border
controls while restoring the trust that travelers need to return to flying.
In the same spirit, the airlines and airports welcomed the new guidelines from the ICAO Council Aviation Restart
Task force (CART) for the safe restart of air transport – calling all States to apply these guidelines in a harmonized,
efficient, and mutually recognized way. The joint IATA ACI roadmap form part of the ICAO CART Takeoff guidelines.
The industry is thus actively supporting African States to achieve this goal and it is working intensely on
implementing health safety protocols that, on a layered, and risk-based approach, will contribute to minimizing
the risk of spreading the virus while restoring the confidence to travelers. Along this path, airlines and airports are
fully committed to achieve an outcome-focused approach based on self-compliance declaration as opposed to a
patchwork of individual State regulations which could eventually trigger a lack of consistency and coherence across
the region – as well as potential distortions of competition.
In this context, we firmly believe that a fully consistent and harmonized implementation of ICAO (link)
recommended measures, together with a favorable epidemiological evolution of the pandemic, should lead to a
safe lifting of travel restrictions and re-opening of borders.
IATA and ACI Africa are therefore hereby jointly calling upon all African States to work together to fully adhere
to the above mentioned recommended measures and take the actions necessary to identify every opportunity
where travel restrictions could be lifted, through bilateral or multilateral arrangements amongst countries – as
soon as the epidemiological situations allows for it. The aviation community is ready for and fully committed to
a safe restart, and we need all relevant authorities to act now so operations can be resumed in line with
COVID-19 is a global health crisis that has led to an economic downturn and aviation is paramount for the recovery
of African economies. If we are successful and the restart is effective, aviation will play a key role in contributing
to the global economic recovery and bringing the society back to the “new normality”.
Muhammad Ali Albakri Ali Tounsi
Regional Vice President Secretary General
IATA Africa & Middle East ACI Africa