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Aeropolitical News


A Warm We​​lcome to our Newest IATA Member Airlines in AME

From 57 founding members in 1945, IATA members now represent 84% of global air traffic. Each year, IATA welcomes a number of new members and we are constantly working to broaden ourmembership base to ensure that we remain representative of the world’s ​airlines.

In AME, Overland Airways, FlyEgypt, Mauritania Airlines International and Allied Air recently joined IATA bringing the total number of IATA members to 268 airlines globally and in Africa and Middle East to 58 (figures are as at 25 Sept 2016).    

  • Overland Airways, registered in Nigeria, became an IATA member on 13 September 2016
  • FlyEgypt, based in Cairo, became an IATA member on 31 August 2016
  • Mauritania Airlines International (MAI), based in Nouakchott, became an IATA member, on 25 July 2016
  • Allied Air, registered in Nigeria, became an IATA member on 20 May 2016
Members benefit from IATA membership in several ways. Most importantly, IATA provides a powerful, unified and experienced voice that supports and promotes the interests of its members through maintaining an international perspective and lobbying, targeting key industry priorities such as safety, security and environment, driving industry change, reducing costs, increasing communication through participation in member conferences, committees and groups, providing trainings and other services.

Ratification of Montreal Protocol 1999 (MC99)

The global ratification of The Montreal Convention 1999 (MC99) is an industry priority. It establishes airline liability in the case of death, injury or delay to passengers or in cases of damage or loss of baggage and cargo. It modernizes and unifies all of the different international treaty regimes covering airline liability that have developed haphazardly since 1929. In short, it was designed to be a single, universal treaty to govern airline liability around the world.
Following the global ratification of MC99, The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in its 38th Assembly in 2013 recognized the significant benefits that the convention offers and adopted a Resolution that urges all States that have not ratified MC99 to do so as soon as possible (Res. A38-20).

IATA is supporting this Resolution and is working with governments to promote the benefits of MC99 and urge ratification. Today, almost 13 years after it came into force on 4 November 2003, only 120 of the 191 ICAO Contracting States have ratified it although the vast majority of total scheduled air traffic is covered by those 120 States however, there are a number of fast growing aviation States that have yet to ratify MC99.

We are delighted that the Senegalese President recently (July 2016) signed the final ratification document for MC99. Many other countries in the Africa and Middle East are in the process of completing the ratification. We hope for more African nations to do so in the near future and encourage countries who have not yet done so to prioritize the ratification of MC99.

For more information, please visit The Montreal Convention 1999 (MC99)

ICAO Assembly 39th

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) 39th triennial assembly was held from 27 September until 7 October at ICAO Headquarters in Montreal. ICAO's 191 Member States and a large number of international organizations attended the Assembly to establish the worldwide policy of the Organization for the upcoming triennium.

This key event takes place every 3 years and gives an opportunity to agree on regulations that have an impact on the international aviation industry in the technical, economic, legal fields. ICAO reviews its complete work programme in detail and the assembly outcomes are then provided to the other bodies of ICAO and to its member states in order to guide their future work. IATA has a significant and active role in these meetings.

There were a number of crucial issues at this year’s assembly where IATA submitted working papers on different issues – 22 were presented. In terms of Aeropolitical issues, papers on Taxation, Smarter Regulations, Blocked Funds, Environment and Promotion of International Treaties were presented. Here are some highlights on the main asks included in these papers:
Global Market Based Measures (GMBM): topped the agenda. Agreeing a GMBM was the final building block of IATA’s four pillar strategy on climate change which also includes Technology, Infrastructure and Operations to help the industry achieve its stated target of Carbon Neutral Growth in 2020.

A global carbon offsetting and reduction scheme for international aviation - Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) - was submitted and agreed upon by the 191 governments meeting at ICAO. The historic agreement will put in place the world’s first carbon offsetting scheme for any global sector.
- Environmental issues: recognizing the importance of ICAO’s policies related to environmental protection a number of papers were presented on environmental issues urging States to ensure environmental policy implementation at a national level, in particular in the areas of aircraft noise management and environmental levies;
- Smarter Regulations: IATA asked the Assembly to consider incorporating Smarter Regulations initiatives into ICAO’s “No Country Left Behind (NCLB)” work, and governments to consider applying Smarter Regulation principles to the air transport sector in order to remove barriers to sustainable growth;
- The proliferation of unjustified and excessive taxation: IATA urged Member States to adhere to ICAO’s policies on taxation and ensure that its recommendations are followed by all relevant taxing authorities to limit the negative impact and challenges related to excessive charges and taxation;
- Blocked Funds: IATA urged Member States to recognize the social and economic value of aviation and air transport activity, and to prioritize the aviation sector when allocating scarce foreign exchange;
- Montreal Convention of 1999 (MC99): IATA urged states to prioritize ratification of certain rules for international carriage by air -  Montreal Convention of 1999;
- Montreal Protocol 2014 (MP14): IATA urged states to speed up the ratification of the protocol to amend the convention on offenses and certain other acts committed on board aircraft  - Montreal Protocol 2014.

Aeropolitical Forum, 23 November, 2016​ 

We're looking forward to seeing you at the IATA/AFRAA/AFCAC/ICAO Aeropolitical Forum!
Where? Victoria Falls, Republic of Zimbabwe
When? Wednesday, 23 November, 2016

ICAO, IATA, AFRAA, AFCAC and are pleased to invite you to participate in the 2016 edition of the Aero Political Forum scheduled to take place on Wednesday, 23 November, 2016 at 9.00am at the Elephant Hills Hotel, Victoria Falls, Republic of Zimbabwe.

The Forum will be held under the theme: “Africa’s Aviation Journey: Consolidating Present Gains for Future Benefits”.

Event Agenda

The forum will review the latest developments on issues including the environment (covering current developments from the 39th ICAO Assembly), air transport connectivity in Africa, the proliferation of taxes and charges across Africa, human capital development and much more.

The forum will also discuss the key events from 2016 (e.g. Brexit and its implications on African airlines) and will address the regional and global prospects for air transport in 2017. More information and link to register will be available soon.

How to register

To register, please email: peterst@iata.org; tayyahr@iata.org and bmuyanda@afraa.org.

See you there!

Repatriation of Airlines’ overseas Funds

Due to a drop in oil and other commodity prices, and a general slowdown in the global economy, some governments around the world are experiencing a reduction in foreign exchange inflows. This makes it difficult for airlines that price and sell tickets, in the local currency of the country they are being sold, to convert those local currency revenues into their main operating currencies for repatriation.

Furthermore, local airlines with international routes and/or foreign currency operational obligations are finding it increasingly difficult to satisfy their US$ requirements for payments for aircraft financing, spare parts purchase, IT systems and other critical elements of their operations.

When these airlines are unable to source the foreign exchange they need to convert these local currency revenues for repatriation to their home country for more than two months, their funds become ‘blocked’ overseas. IATA monitors blocked funds globally, the sum of which exceeds $5 billion and has called on the governments of affected countries to respect international agreements obliging them to ensure airlines are able to repatriate their revenues.

In addition to its intense advocacy work around the globe, particularly in Africa and South America, at the recently concluded ICAO Assembly, IATA submitted a Working Paper which urgently called on Member States to: 

i. recognize the social and economic value of aviation and air transport activity;

ii. prioritize the aviation sector when allocating scarce foreign exchange and to work collaboratively with airlines to find innovative solutions to ‘blocked funds’ problems when they occur; and;

iii. carefully observe existing provisions in Air Service Agreements that promote the repatriation of overseas balances and include such provisions in new Air Service Agreements. 

For the full text of the Working Paper

In Africa, progress remains mixed with varying degrees of success recorded infrequently. Most recent of which is the payment on 26th September of $205million out of the circa $600million funds formerly blocked in Nigeria. Following a shift in foreign exchange policy, the tightly managed exchange rate was replaced by new foreign exchange forwards and futures products. As a result, the IATA Currency Clearance Service (“ICCS”) blocked funds of $205million that were placed on 3-month deliverable forward on June 20th 2016 and matured on September 20, 2016 was paid by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

IATA will continue to engage with the authorities of countries affected by Blocked Funds and together with the industry, will continue seeking possible measures to make the funds available to airlines involved.

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