Somalia: Inflight Passenger Safety Lost in Translation

Aden Adde International Airport provides a snapshot of the progress made in the last five to ten years in Somalia’s air travel. Any given day thousands of people from all walks of life change flights in this airport going and coming from neighbouring countries and cities all over the country, some of which would have been considered unreachable had it not been for these flights. Particularly, it is worth noting the diversity of the flyer in terms of age, gender and socioeconomics, arguably more women, children and older people fly today than any other time in Somalia’s history. Somalia has had a well-established commercial airline industry that goes back to the establishment of Somali Airline in 1964 and beyond. Somali Airline used to provide both domestic (main cities) and international flights to many countries in Africa, Middle East and Europe. However, the current domestic air transportation is unprecedented.

The aforementioned success can be contributed to multiple factors such as formation and strengthening of the Central Somalia Government and local administrations, improved security in many parts of the country, improved airports, poor conditions and insecurity of roads and so forth. However, the biggest factor of all is the foresight, entrepreneurial spirit and the courage of the Somali businessmen and women, who took the chance to provide air transport in an uncertain environment at a critical time. Air transport access has tremendously improved businesses, delivery of humanitarian and development aid and health and wellbeing of the Somali people.

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