Air travel in Africa is expensive. This is caused by many factors including high taxes and stringent government regulations.

On Monday, at the African Union meetings of Heads of States, a single aviation market was launched to combat these challenges and revolutionise the aviation industry in Africa.

Here are 5 quick facts about the single aviation market

1. The Single African Air Transport Market would facilitate the free movement of flights between African countries by liberalizing frequencies, fares and capacities, breaking down barriers that have in the past increased costs.

2. It is an updated version of the Yamoussoukro Decision that was signed in 1999 to open up intra-African aviation routes.

That agreement failed and compared to other continents air travel in Africa is expensive, restricted and dependent on bilateral deals.

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3. On Monday, Rwanda’s President and African Union Chairperson Paul Kagame and his Togolese counterpart Faure Gnassinbge unveiled the open skies scheme, with Ethiopia, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria among the signatories. A total of 23 African states signed the agreement.

4. “Airlines will be able to match demand. For customers, they will have more benefits because they will get as much services at a time they want, where they want,” said Ethiopian Airlines’ Chief Executive Tewolde GebreMariam after the deal was announced.

“Prices will also go down. Signatory countries will benefit with more tourism and trade - this means faster economic growth,” GebreMariam added.

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