The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on African states, especially the government of Mauritius to continue to focus on aviation as a strategic enabler of the country’s economic and social development.
“The leaders of Mauritius have always understood that air connectivity is vital. As we celebrate the first half-century of the country’s success, let’s keep in mind the critical role that aviation plays as a pillar of the economy. And let’s look to the next 50 years with a comprehensive strategic focus on maximising the benefits of aviation for this island nation,” said IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.
He spoke at the Aviation Day Mauritius which was used to mark the 50th year of Mauritian independence.
He said:”The key elements of any aviation strategy are safety, global standards, competitiveness and cooperation. But Mauritius and other small island states have a critical competitive advantage in implementing an aviation strategy—and that is size. The country is small enough to rally the aviation universe—the airlines, the airport, the tourism infrastructure—to agree a strategy and to get it implemented quickly and
De Juniac said the goal of a comprehensive aviation strategy is to enable aviation to drive economic and social development, which would mean a successful future for Air Mauritius—the home-town carrier that serves the market as a lifeline, which would create opportunities for other carriers to augment the prosperity that aviation brings with robust competition.
On the issue of safety, IATA said it encouraged Mauritius to take a leadership role in fulfilling its Abuja Declaration commitment to recognize the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) in its safety oversight regulatory framework.
IOSA, de Juniac said, is mandatory for all IATA member airlines and the 34 African carriers on the IOSA registry are delivering world-class safety levels—three times better than African carriers not on the IOSA registry.
“We are already working with Zimbabwe and Rwanda on IOSA recognition. I encourage Mauritius to join them in taking a leadership role,” said de Juniac.