The International Air Transport Association (IATA) unveiled a new study highlighting the importance of the aviation industry to the economy of South Africa. IATA urged a new partnership between government and the aviation industry to maximize the social and economic benefits that a safe, secure, efficient and environmentally responsible aviation industry can deliver.
“Last year 21 million people and 240,000 tonnes of freight travelled to, from and within South Africa. Aviation is a critical strategic component of the South African economy and indeed the economies of all states in Southern Africa. But this cannot be taken for granted. Positive policies are needed to drive aviation’s significant economic benefits,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Conference of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA).
IATA partnered with Oxford Economics to assess the benefits of aviation with a goal of informing policy-makers what can be achieved in the broader economy with policies that support aviation’s critical mission to deliver global connectivity. Aviation directly contributes 2.1% to South Africa’s GDP (ZAR 51 billion) and 227,000 high productivity jobs. Including the benefits of tourism into the calculation adds a further ZAR 21 billion in economic activity and 116,000 jobs.
IATA’s outlook for aviation in Africa is aligned with a global outlook showing declining profitability.
“Global airline profits will fall to $4.9 billion in 2012 which is a margin of just 0.8%. African airlines will be the only region in the red, with a loss of $100 million. A strong partnership between government and industry across Southern Africa is needed to provide a solid foundation for success. Making the world a better place for airlines to do business drives economic growth and enriches nations with prosperity—both material and of the human spirit,” said Tyler.
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