By Nile Explorer

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged governments to urgently address the infrastructure challenges airlines face to secure the industry’s future. Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO, said there are worrying infrastructure gaps, which are increasing operational costs and, thus affecting the profitability of the sector.

The official also advised governments against privatisation of airport infrastructure, saying such a move would “eat into” the sector’s profitability.

“We have not found the correct regulatory framework to balance the interests of investors to get profits with the public interest for the airport to be a catalyst for economic growth,” he said.

In a statement, De Juniac highlighted the need to build infrastructure “robust enough to meet the high standards of airline operations and passenger convenience”.

The global aviation body has been encouraging government and airlines to embrace and adhere to standards to enhance efficiency and promote safety across the industry.

“I would therefore like to imagine a future where global standards continue to be strengthened by the cooperation of airlines and government through institutions such as the International Civil Aviation Organisation and IATA,” said de Juniac.

Establishing right funding model

Aviation experts have called for the “right funding model” to avoid burdening the industry with extra costs.

“Ensuring sufficient and cost-efficient infrastructure should remain the industry’s top priority going forward, said Bekele Kaleyesus, a senior aviation and air transport analyst at AIN Limited.

About a week ago, the African Union launched the much-anticipated single African air transport market (SAATM), which is expected to boost air transport business across the continent when it is fully implemented by all African Union member countries.

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