Foreign airlines benefit more by controlling 80 pct traffic in Africa

Managing Director, Ethiopian Airlines International Operations, Mr. Esayas Woldemariam Hailu, has decried the lack of cooperation among government’s of African countries noting that the trend had created a loophole for foreign carriers to continuously exploit the continents aviation sector to the detriment of local airlines.

Hailu spoke in an interview with some Nigerian journalists at Addis Ababa, Ethiopian, recently, where he lamented that despite the agreement between the continent’s governments on open sky policy with other foreign countries, its implementation had been skewed in favour of foreign carriers.

He said the open sky policy had only ended up allowing western and middle east carriers to benefit more by airlifting over 80 per cent of air travellers out of Africa, leaving local airline operators with the abysmal 20 per cent.

“Some of the African countries grant free sky to other airlines that are operating from out of the continent, but unfortunately, such rights are not given to their fellow African carriers,” he said.

“As a result of that, more than 80 per cent of African air traffic is operated by non-African airlines while the totality of African airlines only has 20 per cent of market share in Africa. This is very unfortunate

“So, our aim is to ensure that African traffic is defended and distributed to African airlines. That is why we are establishing regional carriers like Asky in West Africa and other parts of the continent,” he added.