AFRICA: Open Skies Africa - Assessing the Barriers Towards a Single Air Market

The air transport market in Africa is not fully developed despite the need to connect vast territories within and outside the region. Several Continental initiatives have been launched: (i) Yamoussoukro Declaration - 1988, (ii) Yamoussoukro Decision – 1999, and (iii) Single African Air Transport Market -2018 to improve the West African aviation liberalization. However, little implementation has been made mainly due to: (i) Bilateral implementation, (ii) Weak institutions- executive body, competition policy, and (iii) Limited knowledge of its economic effects. 
 This PPIAF technical assistance aims to fill the gap in econometric effects by assessing the barriers toward a single air market in Africa region and the impact of national carriers on this agenda. Through a quantitative approach, a series of key hypotheses on the constraints to the liberalization of the air market in the region were tested and assessed. No evidence that market competition, as measured by the number of operating airlines, increases following liberalization. After quantifying all the channels through which the policy environment can affect air transport markets in Africa, the study finds that aviation liberalization generates consumer benefits that are equivalent to a 50-54 percent drop in air fares, i.e., the price equivalent effect of air liberalization. PIAF also helped in the production of another policy paper that explores policy and operational strategies to build back a safe and competitive air transport sector in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis in Africa.  

Approved date2020-05-07

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Toward a Competitive Air Transport Market in Africa : The Role of Bilateral Air