TIACA’s Secretary General states that decisive factor for the airlines is flexibility

The overall success of the air cargo industry depends on many aspects; however the decisive factor is the flexibility of the airlines in offering cargo capacity, frequency of operations and the range of destinations which they can serve.

We know that before an airline can operate international services to another country, the government must negotiate a treaty level agreement with the destination country’s government. These treaties are known as bilateral air services agreements.

Airlines need open skies agreements

It’s useful to recall that the bilateral air services agreements allow designated airlines of those countries to operate commercial flight that cover the transport of passengers and cargos between those two countries. Also they normally regulate frequency and capacity of air services between countries, pricing and other commercial aspects.

Bilateral air service agreements expanded into multilateral air service agreements. A multilateral air services agreement is the same as bilateral air service agreement, the only difference is that it involves more than two contracting states. These agreements later led to another form of agreement known as open skies agreement.

Africa growing their air transport liberalisation

For those who like history I included a brief reference to the evolution of the bilateral system agreements at the end, but my main point here is that the eventual objective of such agreements, when it comes to air cargo, is to support international trade. It’s proven that liberalization of air services leads to significant economic benefits. I am using only one study as an example; however even a simple search on the web will lead you to many more in different regions.

One of the regions which has been intensifying efforts in liberalizing air transport is Africa. A key enabler of liberalization there is the Yamoussoukro Decision, signed by 44 African countries in 1999. To support economic growth, the agreement committed the countries to aviation deregulation and the promotion of transnational competition in regional markets.