Goodwill Message by TIACA SG Vladimir Zubkov to AFRAA 50th Annual General Assembly

Below follows the Goodwill Message and address by TIACA Secretary General, Vladimir Zubkov, to the AFRAA 50th Annual General Assembly in Rabat, Morocco, last week:

Vladimir Zubkov, Secretary General, TIACA


It is my pleasure and honor to take part in the 50th Annual General Assembly of the African Airlines Association. For 50 years AFRAA brings together more airline Chairmen, CEOs, top executives and principal decision-makers in the aviation industry than any aviation event in Africa.

Salutations to the host – the Kingdom of Morocco and Royal Air Maroc; special greetings to our newly established partner – the African Airlines Association.

Last year, at the Assembly in Kigali, Rwanda we signed with the outgoing Secretary General of AFRAA Elijah Chingosho a memorandum which set up the principles of our collaboration. Being a participant in this act and succeeding as Secretary General almost right away, Abderahmane Berthé firmly took the helm, and we started turning the MoU intentions into real actions.

TIACA and AFRAA have many commonalities in the objectives, amongst which:

  • to facilitate the establishment of industry best practices in safety and security,
  • provide a platform for consensus building among members,
  • actively contribute in human capital development,
  • interact with the regulatory bodies to support and protect the common interests of members,
  • provide forums for members and industry partners to enhance their knowledge base and mutual cooperation and several others.

It’s a significant change in the attention the Assembly will be paying to the air cargo issues this year. TIACA is invited to actively participate with the member of the Board, Sanjeev Gadhia and myself being on the panels – again – thank you for this.

I am looking forward to the review of the air cargo issues which is anticipated at the panel #6 titled “What strategies can airlines and airports adopt to enhance the passenger experience and cargo operations?”. The customers’ expectations, the industry solutions, the specifics and constraints of markets in Africa, the human factor and the growing role of digitalization will be among many important issues.

Generally, the theme of this distinguished 50th Assembly, “Strengthening African aviation in a liberalized environment” is very timely and will help to build up on several decisions and plans by the African political entities and ICAO. One of the meetings which came up with an important Action plan was the Second ICAO Meeting on Air Cargo Development in Africa held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in June 2017. It reviewed the progress in the implementation of the Lomé Declaration of 2014 and updated the Action Plan on the Development of Air Cargo in Africa. Both TIACA and AFRAA contributed to this Action Plan.

The key is the implementation of this Plan. And AFRAA consisting of 32 airlines spread across the entire continent and representing more than 80% of total international traffic carried by all African airlines quite naturally becomes the major partner in the Plan’s implementation. Hence the importance of this Assembly and the deliberations which are going to take place.

But the airlines alone, be it in Africa or anywhere in the world, cannot achieve success without two important factors: it’s the political support and the financial backing. It can tell us a lot that I’m speaking between the goodwill messages of Mr. Papa Atoumane Fall, Ag. Secretary General African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) and Mr. Romain Ekoto, Chief Aviation Officer – African Development Bank.

These are two most important partners in making our plans complete reality.

Many people still ask of the role TIACA has been playing in the global civil aviation. Let me invite you to imagine several known associations, like ACI, IATA, Shippers, Freight Forwarders, Logistics and Ground handlers; add to this Boeing and Airbus, as well as IT companies and training institutions, and concentrate on their air cargo related functions – this is the platform where TIACA stands.

TIACA is the organization dedicated to representing all sectors of the air cargo supply chain. With the several-hundred-strong membership, we welcome companies of all sizes from across the globe.

TIACA has been very active in working together not only within the industry, but also with the regulators like ICAO and WCO. We recently held two major air cargo conferences in close collaboration with ICAO – in Ethiopia and China and more are on the way. We are working on common positions with WCO on e-commerce and air cargo security within the framework of the conferences and specialized working groups. Cooperation between the regulators and the industry has been solidifying over the recent years.

We have developed a new product which should be useful to the airlines and airports striving for improvement of the customer services. It’s called Cargo Service Quality (CSQ) tool which is capable of defining the Service Quality parameters; creating Uniform Cargo Service Quality Benchmarks; development of a Measurement Framework for the Service Quality level and facilitating the Customer & Service Provider relationships.

Let me express my confidence that working together with the AFRAA members, with other African partners, with the AFRAA Secretariat and personally with Abderahmane Berthé, we will contribute to the success of African Civil Aviation and further development of trade and national economies in Africa!

Wish success to the Assembly!

Vladimir Zubkov

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