The 7th Routes Africa event will open with a record attendance this weekend in Victoria, the capital of the stunning Seychelles. The event, which will take place at the Kempinski Seychelles Hotel, is hosted by the Seychelles Tourism Board in partnership with the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority supported by the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA), AFRAA (African Airlines Association), and ACI Africa.
There are 281 delegates currently registered to attend the event as two other significant industry meetings will take place in the Seychelles alongside this year’s Routes Africa: RETOSA and ICTP. This figure also includes over 50 airline delegates representing over 30 airlines from within Africa and beyond, a figure which surpasses all previous Routes Africa events. Airlines represented include Etihad, Mango, Kenya Airways, Comair, Iberia, Turkish Airlines Cargo, Air Mauritius, United Airlines, and Vueling.
The latest addition is Egyptair who recently registered 3 delegates which, according to IATA data, means that the top 6 domestic operators (South African Airways, Arik Air, Egyptair, Kenya Airways, Kulula.com, and Comair) and the top 4 international operators (Egyptair, Kenya Airways, SAA, and Ethiopian) in Africa will all be in attendance.
The Routes Africa Strategy Forum will provide an impactful opening to the event on Sunday, July 8, as high-level industry leaders take part in the program of presentations, workshops, and panel discussion sessions. The forum will be opened by Minister Joel Morgan, Minister of Home Affairs & Transport, and there will be keynote addresses from Minister Marthinus Van Schalkuyk, Minister for Tourism, Republic of South Africa; Mr. Cramer Ball, Chief Executive Officer, Air Seychelles; Mr. Gebremaraim Tewolde, Chief Executive Officer, Ethiopian Airlines; and Mr. Ali Tounsi, Secretary General, ACI Africa.
“We have experienced unprecedented growth for this year’s Routes Africa event with more airlines represented than in previous years and an exceptional speaker program lined up for the Strategy Forum,” commented David Stroud, Executive Vice President Airports, Routes for UBM Aviation continuing: “We are delighted that this year’s event has received such interest from the aviation community, and we are looking forward to, what we expect to be, the most successful Routes Africa to date.”
Elsia Grandcourt, CEO of Seychelles Tourism Board, supported this comment stating: “We are all delighted that there has been such high interest in the Routes Africa forum that Seychelles will be hosting between July 8-10, 2012, and we are proud that this is the most popular Routes Africa forum to date.
“As we enter the final phase of the organization of the event, we feel that all the hard work that has been put in will produce a unique opportunity for networking and strategizing against the backdrop of the great natural beauty of our islands.”
A panel of leading industry experts will take part in a number of moderator-led discussions during the Strategy Forum, which will address issues affecting aviation and route development across the region. Sessions will cover liberalization vs. competition; source market diversification; and safety, security, and standards. High-level delegates involved in the panel sessions include, among many others, Mr. Joachim von Winning, Chief Commercial Officer of Cairo Airport Company; Mr. Fernando Estrada, Director of Strategy and Alliances for Vueling; Mr. Vivendra Lochan, COO of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA); and Mr. Vijay Poonoosamy, Vice President International & Public Affairs, Etihad Airways & Chair – IATA Industry Affairs Committee.
In addition to the one-to-one meetings taking place at the event, this year’s Route Exchange program will see 4 carriers deliver an overview of their route development opportunities and how airports can be part of their airline expansion. The carriers delivering briefings, which are open to all attending airports, are RwandAir, South African Airways, Air Seychelles, and Arik Air.
ETN is a media partner for Routes Africa.