Global ground-handling company Menzies Aviation has become an official partner for the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Focus Africa initiative as it commits to helping develop the continent’s aviation industry.

The company is already the largest aviation services provider on the continent and will now use its knowledge of the industry to support solutions to address challenges faced by airlines and airports in Africa.

Menzies Aviation’s head of Africa Abdoulaye Cisse said: “The potential for air travel in Africa is huge. It has 17% of the world’s population yet only contributes about 2% of total global travel.

“While there are hurdles to overcome, joining the IATA Focus Africa initiative is a testament to our long-term commitment to the continent and our desire to collaborate with industry leaders to improve aviation safety, facilitate growth and contribute to Africa’s development journey.”

Menzies’ partnership with Focus Africa, the first ground-handling company to join, continues the strengthening of the initiative that also recently welcomed the African Airlines Association, which also committed to continuing a number of joint programmes with IATA.

The collective of industry players is led by IATA and has an aim of working towards six key areas covering safety, infrastructure, connectivity, sustainability, future skills and finance and distribution. 

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IATA’s regional vice-president for Africa and the Middle East Kamil Al Awadhi said: “Strong partnerships are critical to the success of Focus Africa and its ability to support the development of a resilient African air transport industry that will foster economic growth, drive skills development and support job creation. 

“Menzies Aviation joining Focus Africa strengthens the coalition and builds even more momentum for the initiative.”

Menzies Aviation already operates in 40 airports across 19 countries in Africa, including in Kenya, where it recently expanded its licence at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.