The long-awaited Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) has finally been launched. The SAATM’s most important benefit is free air travel between the 23 countries that supported the initiative by the African Union.
Thirty years after the initial idea was launched, the SAATM is a de-regulated and harmonised air space, allowing planes to fly freely between AU member states who have agreed to the initiative. The market will enhance interconnectivity, reduce costs and make it easier to integrate our economies, trade and tourism. 23-member states signed the agreement, including Ethiopia, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
With the SAATM, African nations are building on the idea of single aviation markets in places like Europe and Latin America. The AU also hopes to encourage cross-border investment and innovation, improve business operations and efficiency, increased route competition resulting in lower fares, create more jobs, help airlines grow, and allow for the free mobility of people and goods. African Business Magazine reports that a study in 2015 by the African Civil Aviation Commission and the International Air Transport Association found that full liberalisation of the air sector in 12 of the continent’s biggest economies would add $1.3bn to their output.
Further reading on Africanbusinessmagazine.com