15 African countries set for launch of Single African Air Transport Market

DAKAR (Senegal)— After minimal progress since its launch in January 2018, the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) appeared to reach a decision this week with 15 of the 35 signatory states launching a cluster to pilot the scheme in real life.

The announcement is a major boost to the proposed joint airline by Kenya Airways and South African Airways, which will have immediate and unlimited access to key markets on the continent as both countries will be participating in the trial runs.

It is also a signature achievement for the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which has been working behind the scenes to get SAATM off the ground in 2023.

Dubbed the SAATM Pilot Implementation Project, the landmark decision – which bands together some of Africa’s more significant air transport markets – was announced on Nov 14 by the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC).

Meeting in Dakar, Senegal, to mark the 23rd anniversary of the Yamoussoukro Decision, ministers from Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, South Africa, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Ghana, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo and Zambia, agreed to launch SAATM flights between their territories.