Posted on: 01 September 2015 by Mark Howells
The President of the Gabonese Republic, Ali Bongo Ondimba, has announced the rollout of flyafrica.com to Gabon after its successful establishment in Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe 13 months ago.
The announcement was made on the second day of the New York Forum Africa, one of the largest gatherings of Africa's politicians, investors, entrepreneurs and NGOs, hosted under the patronage of president Bongo.
It outlines a strategic partnership between the Government of Gabon and African industrialist, venture capitalist and philanthropist, Ivor Ichikowitz, confirming that the second phase of the airline’s rollout will also include other countries in East and West Africa.
Bongo stated, “My vision for Africa has always been that of an integrated continent; an Africa where every citizen has the opportunity to afford air travel and take advantage of the benefits of being economically mobile. The launch of Gabon flyafrica.com, a pan-African airline, is an important step in implementing this vision.
“One of the biggest obstacles to Africa’s growth and development is the cost of doing business in Africa. Moving goods and people between African states are still too complicated and expensive and remain a major obstacle to the prosperity of the continent. One of the biggest contributions that we as Africans can make to Africa’s development is to open the skies for direct affordable travel between African states.
“Aviation is the next infrastructure growth frontier for Africa. Enhancing air connectivity can help raise productivity and create jobs by encouraging investment and innovation, improving business operations and efficiency. Air transport is indispensable for tourism, where convenient air service facilitates the arrival of larger numbers of tourists,” Bongo concluded.
He is urging African countries to implement the Yamoussoukro Declaration (YD), which is the basis for creating a single airspace market for Africa.
“One of Africa’s huge resources is its ability for innovation which continues to generate new products, ideas and services that places Africa at the forefront of emerging technologies and solutions,” Ichikowitz explained. “The launch of flyafrica.com is such an innovation and will be the game-changer for Africa’s aviation industry.
“I have been truly inspired by President Bongo’s vision for the transformation of the economic prospects of Africa by creating better linkages between African countries and their people. I too believe that this continent’s future lies in the hands of Africans who by working together will ultimately succeed in our common on-going struggle against poverty. By coming together and investing in each other’s economies we will create jobs and in so doing eliminate poverty.
“We are very privileged to be part of this vision. The aim of flyafrica.com is to break down the barriers and costs that currently exist to travel across Africa. Prohibitively high fares and poor or non-existent services are playing their role in slowing down the development of this continent. flyafrica.com is designed to change that. flyafrica.com will lead the charge for unlocking Africa’s business and tourism potential by delivering world-class standards and low fares traditionally associated with airlines in Europe and Asia.”