African airlines having issues regarding taxes, charges and fees have to join the African Airlines Association to get their problems solved.
This was the submission of the AFRAA Director, Legal and Industry Affairs, Mr. Aaron Munetsi while fielding questions from journalists at the Akwaaba African Travel Market on the complaints by some African airlines on high charges by some African countries airports.
Munetsi explained that if airline business was to strive in Africa, all operators must be willing and ready to tell and bring before AFRAA and the African Civil Aviation Commission, AFCAC the challenges their grapple with.
“So if you have a situation let us know, the most important thing is that African airlines must subscribe and become members of AFRAA for us to be able to take up their issues with the respective authorities”.
He also noted that with a strong relationship with AFCAC, airline problem can be solved as they meet on a regular basis where issues affecting airlines were discussed with a view to giving the needed solutions.
He added, “The airlines need to be members of AFRAA, we have various task forces in FRAA, we have the aero political task force that task about fees, charges and taxes, we have held two meetings, one in West Africa and East Africa where we have specifically address the issues of taxes and charges, any airline that brought complains to say we are being over charged or we are being tax too much, we have addressed that issue with the respective airports and some of them have been resolved”.
Munetsi stressed that if the problem was beyond the two bodies, it was referred to the Africa Union to deal with.
“Those airlines that are experiencing any challenges whatsoever, number one, they must come to AFRAA , they must come and tell us what their problems are, once we get to know the problem we then are able to go through our relationship with AFCAC we have a very strong relationship with AFCAC, our Secretary General and that of AFCAC meet on a regular basis and whatever issues are pertinent, if anybody has a challenge they go to FRAA and AFRAA then takes this to AFCAC and if we do not have a solution for the particular airport, we then escalate it to the AU. For us as AFRAA our doors are opened 24/7”.
The AFRAA Director however explained that whether airlines were members of AFRAA or not, when issues were addressed, they were addressed for all airlines.
“We never, ever segregate that this solution is only for AFRAA members, any airline operating to the Africa environment would have access to whatever solution come through. All we are saying is, when you join AFRAA, you are joining established, effective mechanism that is already in place, you can decide to stay out of AFRAA, we will feel sad because we already have more than 40 airlines that are members of AFRAA and they enjoy these benefits”.