Liberalization of East African Air Transport Generates 46,320 More Jobs, EABC Study Reveals.

Entry Date May 11 2017 // News, Events, Key Documents, Publications, Reports

Liberalization of Air Transport in the EAC Contributes US$ 202 Million per annum in GDP.

Nairobi, Kenya: 12th May, 2017, One of the factors contributing to the slow take-up of Yamoussoukro Decision (YD) principles is a lack of clear and specific information regarding the impacts of enacting Air Transport liberalization hence, the East African Business Council (EABC) and the EAC Secretariat commissioned a study on the Costs and Benefits of Open Skies in the East African Community understand the impact of implementing the YD in East Africa.

The study estimates that liberalization between the five EAC countries could result in an additional 46,320 jobs and US$ 202.1 Million per annum in GDP. Study analysis reveal compelling evidence that full liberalization of restricted routes leads to 9% lower average fares and a 41% increase in frequencies, which in turn stimulate passenger demand.

“The study economic analysis demonstrates that increased air service and traffic resulted in positive benefits for the total EAC economy” said Lilian Awinja, EABC CEO.

According to the study, liberalization of Air Transport contributes to greater trade and tourism, inward investment, productivity growth, increased employment and economic development; and is supported by a range of regional stakeholders.

The study notes that liberalization offers a means to restructure national carriers and increase profitability by expanding into new markets, accessing a wider pool of investment and through consolidation.

“The EAC should harmonize air transport regulations specifically taxes across the region and finalize the EAC Liberalization of Air Transport Regulations also fully implement Yamoussoukro Decision.” said Ms. Lilian Awinja EABC CEO.

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- Notes to Editors

EABC meeting to validate the findings of the Study on “The Costs and Benefits of Open Skies in the East African Community” took place on Wednesday 10th May, 2017 at Hilton Hotel, in Nairobi, Kenya. The study on “The Costs and Benefits of Open Skies in the East African Community” was undertaken by East African Business Council (EABC) and the EAC Secretariat in collaboration with DFID and the East African Research Fund (EARF). In attendance was Robert Mwesigwa Executive Director CASSOA, Eric Ntagengerwa, EAC Senior Transport Manager, Dr. Kato Kimbugwe, Team Leader Economic Growth Department for International Development (DFID), Ministries responsible for Transport, Civil Aviation Authorities, Airport Authorities, EABC Members,  Air Transport Operators such as Kenya Airways, Rwanda Airways and Ethiopian Airlines, Tourism Associations, Tourism Operators, Hotel Associations and Cargo representatives from the EAC Partner States.

Yamoussoukro Decision. The Decision, adopted in 1999, not only commits 44 signatory countries in Africa to liberalization air transport, but also acts as a platform to attract private sector investment.  As per the open skies international concept, broadly the Decision calls for ‘full liberalization,’ to remove all restrictions on access, price, frequency and capacity in intra-African Air Transport market; free exercise of the first five freedom rights in the air transport and promote fair competition.

EAC Partner States have committed to fully implement the Yamoussoukro Decision as part of the Common Market Protocol and in line with the ongoing efforts by the African Union Commission (AUC) and Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) to establish a single African Air Transport market. However, the domestic Air Transport within the EAC region remains un-harmonized until the work on EAC air transport regulations on Liberalization of Air Transport are adopted.

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