• Open skies

    Open skies

    If just 12 African countries lifted their flight restrictions and opened their airspace to each other, not only would travelling time be greatly reduced but an extra 5 million Africans would be able to afford air travel. That’s because it would see fares drop by up to 35%, according to research by the International Air Transport Association.

    Instead of long, roundabout routes with various stops along the way, direct flights between African countries could also create 155 000 new jobs and add US$1.3 billion to the continent’s GDP.

    South Africa tested the waters not too long ago, says the WEF, with convincing results. When the country opened its market to Kenyan airlines, the number of passengers increased by 70%. And after granting traffic rights to Zambian airlines, fares were reduced by 40% while passenger numbers rose by just as much.

    24 May 2016
    Image: Gallo/Getty Images