SA Express chief says airlines must spearhead pan-African collaboration

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Cooperation between airlines in Africa will be driven by the airlines themselves rather than their respective governments, according to SA Express chief executive Inati Ntshanga.

Speaking at Embraer's Airline Business Seminar in Maputo he called for an alliance of African airlines to assist each other by pooling resources, codesharing and

interlining. "We survive by partnering...If we don't head to this we're heading for stormy skies," he said.

Ntshanga added that the Yamoussoukro Declaration - long cited as the blueprint for liberalising African airspace - will not by itself bring about the required changes without the proactive involvement of carriers. He added that while ministers are "good at creating policies", the execution must be spearheaded by airlines.

"We have the capacity to influence what goes into the policies and strategies of countries," he said. "Yamoussoukro not is going to solve anything. Like-minded executives sitting together can make this happen."

Ntshanga said that Africa's airlines should share certain strategies with each other at meetings, ensuring that "when we talk to Embraer [or other manufacturers] its from a position of power".