Nam to review unified African air transport market

28 February 2018 | Transport

The Government will host a workshop next month to review the Single African Air Transport Marketing (SAATM) agreement.

Namibia is one of the AU member states that has not yet signed the commitment despite showing interest in having a unified African air transport market.

Botswana, Mali, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Zimbabwe are among the 23 African countries that have signed the agreement.

The spokesperson of the ministry of works and transport, Julius Ngweda, said Namibia could not commit to the SAATM agreement until a number of issues are discussed with the relevant stakeholders in the aviation sector.

The issues include capacity, aviation safety and security, frequencies, tariffs and mechanisms for fair competition.

So far, the ministry held its first consultative meeting on 15 February 2015 with the Namibia Civil Aviation Authority, Namibia Central Intelligence Service, Air Namibia and the ministries of defence, safety and security, home affairs and immigration, and public enterprises.

Air Namibia’s spokesperson, Twaku Kayofa, said if the government signs the agreement, the airline would participate as it would have easy access to new markets.

“Namibia is a small market with only one million worldwide passengers travelling per year, of which Air Namibia carries 50%,” he said.

Opportunities in other markets are much bigger and as an established airline, Air Namibia would use its existing capacity to tap into them.

“It will enhance interconnectivity, smooth facilitation of trade and a tourism revenue increase,” said Kayofa. - Nampa