Speaking to Engineering News Online on the sidelines of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa’s forty-seventh annual general assembly, in KwaZulu-Natal, he noted that, in South Africa, there were major problems with the national carrier, but that private carriers, such as FlySafair, were doing well.
“For many years, Africa was perceived as the dumping ground for old aeroplanes; however, over the last few years, airlines have purchased brand new aircraft from the assembly lines at Boeing and Bombardier,” he said.
Santos further stated that although there were 54 countries in Africa, it was not feasible for each country to have its own national carrier.
“There has to be some harmonisation of these airlines. There are nine airlines in Africa that ‘count’, and SAA is one of them.”
He stated that market forces should determine which airlines succeed and which do not.
Santos said Africa’s carriers are expected to grow by about 5.9% a year over the next 20, driven by overall improved economic growth and increasing numbers of travellers to, from and within the region.