As part of efforts to significantly reduce the cost of airfares in Africa, Wakanow has affirmed its commitment to support the Single Africa Air Transport Market project, an Agenda 2063 flagship programme by the Africa Union.
The SAATM is an initiative of the African Union which seeks to create a consolidated air transport market in Africa, increased access to global supply chains and liberalize civil aviation as a driver of Africa’s economic integration agenda.
In a statement, 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.
While commending the leadership of the African Union for the initiative, Mr. Ekezie noted that a single unified air transport market would inspire sustainable development of the air transport sector in Africa, foster job creation and revolutionize 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 GDP.
However, 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.
Wakanow had earlier announced a historic transition from a two-week airline billing settlement cycle to pioneer a daily direct remittance and pre-paid card payment settlement which will significantly reduce the cost of travel for customers.
Wakanow, which has commercial operations in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and the UK, is currently undertaking a large expansion project which will result in stronger footprint across Africa, the UK and USA. It currently processes about 15,000 bookings in Nigeria monthly as the demand for African travel continues to grow.