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Africa aviation in spotlight at new summit

May 04 2015 05:00

Dubai - The great potential of Africa's aviation market will be in the spotlight during the inaugural Aviation Africa summit set to take place in Dubai on May 10 and 11, under the patronage of HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum, president of Dubai’s Department of Civil Aviation and chair of Emirates Airline.

According to the organisers of Aviation Africa, 2015 has been launched to change the perception of aviation on the continent and is designed to be a meeting place for African aviation business and Middle East business.

It is set to bring together government and civil aviation authorities, senior airline management, business aviation operators and specialists, financial and industry consultants and leasing companies, airport management and service company management and leaders from maintenance, training and flight support.

READ: Africa's tourism will only grow with a stable aviation sector

"The panel sessions will deal with the opportunities and issues challenging the growth of the African aviation market, tackling liberalisation, training, safety, human factors, finance and business aviation," the organisers said in a statement on Monday.

"Aviation Africa 2015 has been established to forge a crucial dialogue among the aviation industry’s leading stakeholders on the social, economic and political benefits to be gained from wide-ranging improvements to the infrastructure in Africa."

Aviation in Africa currently supports more than 6.9 million jobs and over $800bn in gross domestic product (GDP) across African nations, but according to the International Air Transport Association (Iata) it has the potential to add a further 155 000 jobs and $1.3bn in GDP annually through the effective liberalisation of just 12 key markets.

These markets include Ghana, Kenya and South Africa.

READ: Economic benefits of liberal African aviation

“If you look at the sheer potential of just a handful of African airlines, routes and airports, you realise just how enormous an impact Africa can have on the future of aviation, and moreover you can clearly see just how beneficial a progressive aviation industry can be for the socio-economic future of the continent,” said Alan Peaford MBE, event organiser and summit chair.

“Geographically, it’s ideally located right next to well-established hubs in the Gulf, and is able to capitalise on the passenger and cargo traffic already streaming through the region."

In Peaford's view there are many striking similarities between the Middle Eastern aviation market of 20 years ago and the African market of today.

Among the participants in the summit will be Ed Winter, CEO of Fastjet – Tanzania’s low cost carrier.

“It’s really exciting to see some of the new and smaller carriers represented at the event. There is a great hunger for the knowledge that will get this growth challenge right,” said Peaford.

The event also features an exhibition with over 40 companies including Boeing, Jeppesen, African Open Sky, Ethiopian Airlines and Astral Aviation.

ALSO READ: Debilitating skills shortage in SA aviation


fastjet  |  africa  |  dubai  |  industrial  |  aviation
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