Ethiopian Airlines Group, CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam, urges African governments to cut taxes to help the development of aviation industry of the continent.
Speaking at the opening of the 5th Aviation Africa conference opened this morning in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Mr. Tewolde mention tax as one of the major challenge African aviation industry is facing. “The attitude of our governments towards aviation is source of all our challenges,” he said, indicating that African governments consider the aviation sector as luxury and tax more than tobacco and alcoholic drinks.
As a result, the cost of flying for Africans has become expensive and hindered mobility of Africans as well as the development of the aviation industry of the continent, which negatively impacts African integration and economic development of the continent, according to the CEO.
“Aviation is not getting the attention it deserves by African governments…This has to stop. Taxes on fuel has to be reduced…African governments have to support the development of the aviation sector,” he said Mr. Tewolde indicated that on average cost of flying in Africa is 30 percent higher than the rest of the world.
Over the coming two days the Africa Aviation Conference in Addis Ababa is expected to focus on how airlines in Africa can be drivers of a bright economic future for the continent. international aviation companies with latest technologies that can boost communications connectivity in the industry are also expected to present their products.
Strategies that can reduce carbon emissions from the aviation industry is also expected to be discussed, according to the program. Access to finance, shortage of skilled professionals in the aviation industry of Africa as well as emerging challenges such as Coronavirus will also be the topics to be covered during the conference.