South African Airways (SAA) expects the downstream economic enablement benefit of its Group operations to total close on N20 trillion over the next 20-years, Dudu Myeni , Acting Chairperson of the airline has said.
SAA operates daily flights between Lagos and Johannesburg. The estimate, according to the airline, is based on direct and indirect growth in direct and downstream employment creation with a forecast of 88 000 South African jobs across on aggregate through all sectors including tourism, foreign direct investments, goods and services.
Also, SAA, as host of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Cape Town in June this year, plans to highlight the growing importance of aviation within the developmental state milieu.
“The outlook for growth in continental aviation is pegged at just over 6 percent for the next twelve months”, she said.
And with Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) forecast at 5 percent growth, she indicated that a robust aviation sector will drive growth substantially.
“With growing world interest in Africa’s rich mineral and agricultural resources as well as increased stability in the region, the stage is set for a giant leap forward in development and upliftment of the continent. Aviation will play an integral role as a socio-economic enabler during this process. ”
Led by the Shareholder Minister, the Minister Malusi Gigaba and supported by SAA’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Nico Bezuidenhout, the SAA delegation at the IATA AGM will lead a conversation on the continental airlift and the Yamoussoukro declaration.
“South African Airways next year, celebrates 80 years in aviation, is a member of large global aviation grouping Star Alliance and as recently as last week signed a significant commercial partnership with the UAE’s (United Arab Emirates) national airline, Etihad Airways”, she added.
According to an International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) model, the multiplier effect or catalytic demand of commercial aviation output triggers additional economic demand of $325 and 610 jobs in other industries for every $100 of output produced and every 100 jobs generated within aviation.
“Imagine the potential Africa holds and the immense impact of growing network alliances and commercial partnerships between airlines.”
Myeni added that SAA, inspired by its current strategic direction, plans to up the ante on its asset utilisation while simultaneously growing its non-asset based codeshare partnerships.