Italy to rethink COVID-19 vaccine roll out if supply problems persist    Aswan halt Zamalek's winning run with 0-0 draw in Egyptian league    Sudan celebrates World Day for African and Afro-descendant Culture    BREAKING: Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87    Sudan reiterates concerns over planned 2nd GERD filling without binding deal    Africa is the world's next business frontier, says AfDB's President    Britain to discuss tighter travel restrictions: BBC    Egypt's Sisi will inaugurate fish farming project in Port Said Saturday    Moscow police start detaining people before rally in support of Kremlin critic Navalny: Reuters Reporter    Saudi TV says missile or drone intercepted over Riyadh    Egypt, China agree to complete work at business district in New Capital    N.Korea sees talks as way to advance nuclear program, says US intel official    IMF urges deficit control in Tunisia even as protesters demand jobs    Swimming Australia eyes Plan B in case of Tokyo cancellation    Arsenal fan Mat Ryan delighted with loan switch to London side    Egypt reports 748 new coronavirus cases, 52 deaths on Friday    Egypt, China sign agreement to complete work at business district in New Administrative Capital    In Photos: Egypt's Sisi tours Police Academy on Friday    Egypt's parliament approves re-extending state of emergency for three months    Donald Trump says goodbye to the White House    BREAKING: Egypt resumes diplomatic relations with Qatar ending 4-year boycott    Egypt reports 899 new coronavirus cases, 58 deaths on Tuesday    Egypt's newly elected parliament reviews the government reform plan    Happy New Year Bel Araby show at The Marquee Theatre is a must go    Egypt sends medical supplies to help Jordan battle coronavirus    Egypt supports tourism, aviation sectors with EGP 5bn during COVID19 crisis    Egypt government allocates $1.6 billion to buy COVID-19 vaccines – FinMin    Egypt eyes gradual return for tourism after revenues fall to $4 bln in 2020    Seasoned Egyptian screenwriter Wahid Hamed dies at 76    Coronavirus strikes Egypt's youth team as 17 players, coach test positive    Nassef Sawiris plans to up his stake in owner of New York Knicks, Rangers    Cairo International Book Fair suspended for five months over coronavirus concerns    Egypt unveils largest archaeological discovery in 2020 with over 100 intact sarcophagi    Trump says won't blame Egypt for being ‘upset' over GERD dispute with Ethiopia    Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan to resume Nile dam talks today    Global Finance: Egypt's Tarek Amer among the world's top 20 central bank governors    The Facebook Preacher's Search for Fame, and Egypt's Economy    Egypt calls on UNSC to address oil spill risks off Yemen coast    Egypt economically strong in face of COVID-19, reforms ongoing: International Cooperation Minister    Arafa Holding reports $144,000 COVID-19-related losses in April    Egypt's efforts in Libya to activate free will of Libyan people: Al-Sisi    Hyksos campaigns were internal takeover, not foreign invaders: study    COVID-19 affects Egypt sporting clubs    COVID-19 will soon turn to seasonal like swine flu: Presidential Health Advisor    ‘Egypt's Support' coalition convenes to discuss its Senate election list    Robbery attempt leads to discovery of Ptolemaic monuments in Qena    Flouting international guidance, Ethiopia unilaterally starts filling its Nile dam    Zaha speaks out after online racial abuse    

Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.

Bringing East and West Africa together
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 05 - 04 - 2012

Egypt and Liberia have signed an agreement to bring their skies closer than ever. Amirah Ibrahim reports
After two months of negotiations, Egyptian and Liberian civil aviation authorities have come to an agreement to apply open skies policy permitting unlimited capacity of air traffic between both countries.
The agreement was signed on Tuesday at the Civil Aviation Ministry Headquarter in Cairo with Aviation Minister Hussein Massoud attending. Head of Egypt's Civil Aviation Authority Captian Alaa Ashour and his Liberian counterpart Racilio Wiliams signed the agreement in attendance of diplomatic representatives, Liberia ambassador to Egypt Alexander Wallace and Egyptian ambassador to Liberia Maher Al-Adawy.
Egypt Ambassador to Liberia Maher El-Adway told Al-Ahram Weekly that both governments of Liberia and Egypt have come to a friendship formula two months ago in Monrovia. "We have agreed on a friendship forum in January where Liberians and Egyptians gathered to discuss a way forward in the two countries' relationship."
Under the agreement, both governments agreed to open their skies for bilateral operation of air transport services, for both passengers and cargo.
Aviation Minister Hussein Massoud explained the agreement was part of a large scale project to develop an Egyptian hub in West Africa where Egyptian carriers enjoy more traffic rights.
"We have been negotiating for the past two years with 16 governments in West Africa to establish a new hub where Egyptian carriers can obtain more rights and operate flights under the fifth freedom," Massoud told the Weekly. "Fortunately we have received a final approve from the Ghanian government to establish our base in Accra. This allows our carriers and teams to put more investments in West Africa which we believe have strong potential for a profitable air transport business, particularly in the near future," he added.
Thus, the coming step, according to Massoud, will be to push more teams to finalise the procedure to put the agreement into effective.
"Out of 54 African countries, we have signed 44 bilateral agreements on air transport including this one with Liberia. Our teams, including government officials will join their counterparts in Liberia soon to finalise the agreement."
Ambassador of Liberia Alexander Wallace, acknowledged that the action of Egypt signifies the true nature of the friendly relationship that has long existed between the two countries. "Egypt has always shown love to Liberia since it gained independence in 1954. Through the tough times Liberia passed over during the past twenty years, Egypt maintained its friendly position beside the Liberian people," explained Wallace to the Weekly. "Egypt was one of three countries that had never severed relations with Liberia during the 14-year civil war. It maintained its embassy open in Monrovia and offered help to our country. As such, we are so happy now to close ranks with Egyptian business and enhance economic relations in different fields," commented Wallace.
The recent agreement is one of very few Egypt has reached with other governments over the right of air traffic. According to Ashour, the new agreement is an important step to enable Egyptian air transport investments to move and activate in West Africa.
"Under the agreement, both countries are permitted unlimited number of flights and open capacity of seats offered on the air route between both countries. Carriers of both countries will be permitted to operate regular and charter flights with no limits, either for passengers or freight," Ashour explained.
Ashour explained that Egyptian carriers would benefit from the agreement to operate within African destinations from the hub in Accra. Meanwhile, the Liberian aviation sector would benefit out from attracting more airlines to its airspace, after being isolated due to unrest followed the civil war.
"EgyptAir, the national carrier, has been assigned as the accredited airline from the Egyptian government, while Liberian authorities will assign their carriers later. Yet, as for our part, the Egyptian government permits any private airlines to operate on the Cairo-Monrovia route once it is open, but in coordination with the already operating carriers," Ashour indicated.
However, operating a new route between both countries would not be expected before a year, in accordance to Ashour.
Head of the Liberian Civil Aviation Authority Racilio Williams, for his part, said his department had sought to improve cordial relations with its Egyptian counterpart. "We have been working on this agreement for long. We had extensive meetings with Egyptian officials over the past two months to positively complete negotiations."
Williams indicated that his department was expanding air transport agreements, signing similar agreements with a number of governments in the middle east including the UAE and Kuwait.
"Due to the tough periods of civil war in Liberia, our air transport business has been affected in a bad way. We have adopted open skies policies to encourage all friendly governments and those who are ready to bring traffic to our nation to boost the aviation sector in Liberia. So far there are nine international carriers operating regular flights to Monrovia including Delta airlines which operates three flights weekly, Royal Morocco and a number of African airlines."
Williams explained that due to the civil war, Liberia now does not posses its own flag carrier, nor is there any Liberian airlines operating from Monrovia.
"Apart from airlines, all other facilities and infrastructure to promote successful air transport business are well provided, such as air navigation equipment, airports and assisting services. We count as well on the technical and training help our friends like EgyptAir would be ready to offer to provide an encouraging atmosphere for aviation business in Liberia," Wallace added.

Clic here to read the story from its source.