ASC16: Mirenge calls for more action less words on liberalisation
Rwandair chief executive John Mirenge called on his government's minister of infrastructure, James Musoni, to make a special point of pushing the case for liberalisation when the African Union meets in Kigali next month.
“I know there has been some movement but it is not enough,” Mirenge said at the opening of the AFRAA 5th Aviation Stakeholders Convention in the Rwandan capital this morning. “We need more action and less promises and words” he said.
Mirenge said it was unbelievable that African countries were happy to devolve economically to non-African operators while at the same time prohibiting African operators.
He added that African airlines faced a major problem. “Everyone else in aviation makes money except for the airlines,” he said.
His message echoed that of the AFRAA secretary general Dr Elijah Chingosho who used his opening message to criticise African governments for their misguided approach on aviation fuel taxation.
“We have some of the most expensive aviation fuel in the world,” he said. “While the price of a barrel of oil has fallen to around $30-$40 a barrel, we are still paying virtually the same for a gallon of Jet A1 that we were paying at the height of the fuel prices.”
Replying to Mirenge, Musoni said there was a responisibility on airlines to advise their governments that there are advantages in liberalisation.
"Governments can be constrained by the advice they receive," he said. If airlines want change they should "encourage partnership" If the airlines steer away " from protectionism then the process of change will be smooth," he said.
The AFRAA stakeholder convention is taking place in Kigali until tomorrow.
Pictured above: John Mirenge, Rwandair CEO addresses the opening session of the AFRAA Aviation Stakeholders Convention in Kigali today