Friday, May 21, 2010

AFRAA Embarks on Restructuring Strategy

The African Airlines Association (AFRAA) has embarked upon a restructuring and revitalisation strategy revolving around three ‘R’s, namely, relevance, reputation and revenue. At a meeting just concluded in Nairobi, Kenya, the Executive Committee of AFRAA endorsed a plan of action presented by the new Secretary General, Mr Nick Fadugba, aimed a transforming AFRAA into a more relevant and vibrant airline association for the continent.
The AFRAA Executive Committee comprises Chief Executive Officers from Afriqiyah Airways, Air Ivoire, Air Mali, EgyptAir, Air Seychelles, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, LAM-Mozambique Airlines, Nigerian Eagle Airlines, South African Express and Tunis Air, and is chaired by Mr David Tokoph, Executive Chairman of Interair South Africa. Also in attendance was Mrs Siza Mzimela, the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of South African Airways.

Explaining the ‘Three Rs’ turnaround strategy, Mr Fadugba said: “AFRAA has lost relevance in the eyes of some of its members, has seemed to lack the international stature, authority and prestige needed to command global attention on key issues, and currently faces financial challenges. By improving the Association’s relevance to its members and enhancing its international reputation, it will be in a stronger position to generate increased revenues through the growth in airline membership and the expansion of its industry Partnership Programme, etc.”

The Executive Committee also mandated Mr Fadugba to voice the concern of African airlines on key industry issues to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and to seek its intervention through the Director General, Mr Giovanni Bisignani. The issues include:

• The harmful impact of the EU ‘Blacklist’ on the global reputation of the African airline industry;

• Unilateral aviation regulations, such as the EU’s proposed carbon Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS);

• Global liberalisation and its damaging impact on African airlines;

• More active collaboration in collecting and analysing African airlines traffic data;

• The need for IATA to ensure African airlines are included in its Working Groups and activities such as the IATA Annual General Assembly (AGM); and

• Europe’s new policy of Block negotiations on air transport market access which unfairly pitches the EU against individual African states.

The Committee agreed to recommend the appointment of the Group Chairman of EgyptAir, Eng. Hussein Massoud, to the IATA Board of Governors as the joint representative of AFRAA and the Arab Air Carriers Organisation (AACO). In addition, Mrs Siza Mzimela, CEO of South African Airways, was unanimously nominated to fill the other upcoming vacancy for Africa on the IATA Board.

The Committee further agreed with the Secretary General’s recommendation to reposition the AFRAA brand by redesigning its logo and modernising its website consistent with the planned new image of the Association.

The meeting concluded with a pledge by members to support the Secretary General and his team in the implementation of the restructuring plan so as to make the Association more responsive to the needs of its member airlines.

In a symbolic departure from the past, the meeting took place at AFRAA’s headquarters rather than in a hotel conference room. This enabled Committee members to familiarise themselves with AFRAA’s offices and facilities, which some were visiting for the first time.

Source: African Aviation

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