Currently, there are 731 airports and 419 airlines on the African continent, with the aviation sector supporting around 7 million jobs and generating $80 billion in economic activity. In terms of passenger numbers, 47 million passengers departed from Africa’s top five airports, which included Cairo, Addis Ababa and Marrakesh in 2018, according to the latest ANKER report.
“Emirates and Saudia were only responsible for 8 million of those passengers, highlighting the potential for new routes throughout the continent and between the Middle East and Africa. Furthermore, IATA reckons if just 12 key Africa countries opened their markets and increased connectivity, an extra 155,000 jobs and US$1.3 billion in annual GDP would be created in those countries,” said Nick Pilbeam, Divisional Director, Reed Travel Exhibitions.
The international aviation industry has been monitoring developments in Africa closely, especially since the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) agreement was drawn up in January 2018. The aim of SAATM is to open up Africa’s skies, allowing airlines to fly between any two African cities without having to do so via their home hub airport, boosting intra-Africa trade and tourism as a result. To date, 28 countries out of 55 member states have signed up to SAATM representing over 80% of the existing aviation market in Africa.
However, despite its rosy outlook, the sector still faces significant challenges, indeed, protectionist trends have resulted in a rather lacklustre response from many members, concerning competition rules, ownership and control, consumer rights, taxes and commercial viability.
“These mechanics are integral to an open sky treaty and necessary to resolve existing differences between airlines and provide an equitable way forward. Sixteen countries in Africa are landlocked, so the pent-up demand for affordable air transport must be considerable,” said Karin Butot, CEO, The Airport Agency
“These, as well as other salient issues, will no doubt be discussed at length between senior network planning teams and high-level executives representing the aviation and tourism industries, in Africa’s as well as the Middle East & Asia, through unlimited one-to-one pre-scheduled networking appointments,” added Butot.
Participants include, Emirates, Etihad, China Southern Airlines, Jordan Aviation, Air Asia, flydubai, Gulf Air and Oman Air, EgyptAir, Royal Air Maroc, Air Senegal, AfriJet (Gabon), and Arik Air (Nigeria) amongst others which are already registered for the event.
With a focus on the African aviation market, a panel titled ‘Regional Focus: Analysing the opportunities and threats for the African Market’ will take place between 11.30am – 12.30pm on Wednesday 1st May. This panel will look at the growth potential of Africa’s aviation industry, while discussing strategies in place for the development of airports and airlines within the region as well as evaluating business development opportunities between the Middle East and Africa.
Another highlight will be a session titled ‘How do airports and their regions work together to attract new airline services and open up new markets: what can be learned from engaging case studies?’. This panel will discuss the fundamental cooperation of an airport and its region to successfully grow passenger throughput – while ensuring the success of both new and existing routes.
CONNECT’s online meeting system is also open, so that delegates can now start planning and booking their onsite appointments in advance. Please log on to: www.connect-aviation.com/2019-meia/ for more details.
CONNECT Middle East, India & Africa will form part of the newly launched Arabian Travel Week, an umbrella brand comprising four co-located shows including ATM 2019; ILTM Arabia and new consumer-led event – ATM Holiday Shopper. Arabian Travel Week will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre from 27 April – 1 May 2019.
About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events business, enhancing the power of face to face through data and digital tools at over 500 events a year, in more than 30 countries, attracting more than seven million participants.
About Arabian Travel Week
Arabian Travel Week is an umbrella brand comprising four co-located shows including Arabian Travel Market and ILTM Arabia as well as CONNECT Middle East, India and Africa – a new route development forum launching this year and ATM’s first ever consumer event – ATM Holiday Shopper. Providing a renewed focus for the Middle East’s travel and tourism sector – under one roof over the course of one week – the inaugural Arabian Travel Week will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre from Saturday 27th April – Wednesday 1st May 2019. For more information visit: arabiantravelweek.com
CONNECT Route Development Forum delivers a total networking experience, bringing together airports, airlines and aviation suppliers in a format that offers formal one-to-one pre-arranged meetings, engaging industry seminars together with social opportunities to cement relationships with existing clients and engage with new ones. Created and organised by The Airport Agency-France, CONNECT is now in its 16th year and set to attract over 650 participants in June 2019 at its flagship event taking place in Cagliari, Sardinia. For more information, visit: www.connect-aviation.com
The inaugural CONNECT Middle East, India & Africa event will be the first and only networking forum in the Middle East. Ideally located in Dubai to address the booming aviation market of the Middle East, it will bring together the aviation and the tourism industry which are the backbone and catalyst to economic development. For more information, visit: www.connect-aviation.com/2019-meia/
Arabian Travel Market is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2018 attracted almost 40,000 industry professionals, with representation from 141 countries over the four days. The 25th edition of ATM showcased over 2,500 exhibiting companies across 12 halls at Dubai World Trade Centre. Arabian Travel Market 2019 will take place in Dubai from Sunday, 28th April to Wednesday, 1st May 2019. To find out more, please visit: arabiantravelmarket.wtm.com
About Reed Travel Exhibitions
Reed Travel Exhibitions is the world’s leading travel and tourism event’s organiser with a growing portfolio of more than 22 international travel and tourism trade events in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Our events are market leaders in their sectors, whether it is global and regional leisure travel trade events, or specialist events for meetings, incentives, conference, events (MICE) industry, business travel, luxury travel, travel technology as well as golf, spa and ski travel. We have over 35 years’ experience in organising world-leading travel exhibitions.
Arjaan Office Tower, Dubai Media City
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 4 365 2711 | Mobile: +971 50 457 6525
Event Programme & Marketing
Tel: +(33) 4 72 59 20 80 - Mob: +(33) 786 48 43 33 - Fax: +(33) 4 94 91 15 95
© Press Release 2019