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Single African air market will reduce airfares for customers –Wakanow

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As the newly introduced Single Africa Transport Market by the African Union (AU) gains ground, Wakanow has thrown its weight behind the project, describing it as a commendable initiative that would reduce the customer of airfares and offer other benefits to the market.

The agenda 2063 project of AU, seeks among others to: Create a consolidated air transport market in Africa, increased access to global supply chains and liberalise civil aviation as a driver of Africa’s economic integration agenda. Speaking in this initiative, the Managing Director of Wakanow, Mr. Obinna Ekezie, said the project will further complement Wakanow’s drive to make airfares considerably affordable for Africans and open a new vista of opportunities for African economies.

This is coming in the heels of the recent adoption of a daily direct remittance and pre-paid card payment settlement model by Wakanow, which it believes will significantly reduce the cost of travel for customers. While commending the leadership of the African Union for the initiative, Ekezie noted that a single unified air transport market would inspire sustainable development of the air transport sector in Africa, foster job creation and revolutionise intra-African travel.

“Globally, air transport has remained a catalyst for growth, contributing more than half (55%) of international tourist arrivals in 2016. We believe this initiative by the African Union will accelerate the development of the aviation sector in the continent, and we are committed to supporting airlines to de-risk the remittance process and reduce airfares for our customers,” he stated. Already, a joint study by IATA and AFCAC has shown that when implemented in 12 major African countries, enhanced connectivity can generate additional 300,000 direct jobs, two million indirect jobs and US$1.3 billion in annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Following the double-digit decline of 26.3% in passengers’ traffic recorded in 2017, reduced airfares will grow the Nigerian travel market and empower about five million more passengers to afford air travel. As demonstrated in global markets where air transport liberalisation has taken firm roots, the Single Africa Air Transport Market is forecast to stimulate turnaround time, improve frequency of travel and new routes and lower fares for the customer.

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