IATA Regional Aviation Forum comes to NairobiAn example of a Kenya Airways B777
The international air transport community is set to gather in Nairobi on September 17, for a one day IATA regional aviation forum that will be hosted by Kenya Airways.
Running under the theme of ‘Aviation Connecting and Enriching Africa,’ the Nairobi forum will discuss the economics and sustainability of Africa’s air transport industry. IATA which has 290 member airlines that together account for 82 percent of global commercial air transport, will also use the one day meeting to launch its Value of Aviation Report for Kenya.
A think tank at the forum will explore the opportunity cost of constrained air connectivity in Africa and try to sell to both governments and airlines the value of aviation’s impact on economies.
It will also map strategies for getting off the ground, the single African air transport market SAATM, which has been stuck in the docks since its inception twenty months ago.
Twenty eight of the African Union’s 55 member states had signed up to the pact by June but only 18 had acceded to the implementation MoU. Analysts say the slow adoption is reflective of a deep routed culture of protectionism and a misunderstanding by states of how they can extract value from their aviation sectors that are often seen as crown jewels rather than economic enablers.
Muhammad Ali Albakri, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East observes that while the pace of Africa’s aviation industry has experienced strong growth, obstructions to its growth are hindering prospects. “Africa is set to become one of the fastest growing aviation regions over the next 20 years, with the industry set to expand by nearly 5 percent annually. This creates significant opportunities for aviation to fuel sustainable economic growth, and social development.
“However, the continent’s economy cannot take off while its runway is obstructed,” Albakri said in remarks ahead of the forum.
He adds that the forum will provide a platform for industry captains to discuss the main challenges that the industry and government partners need to address to free the full potential of Africa’s economy.
Besides Albakri, who will deliver keynote speech, Kenya Airways’ Chairman, Michael Joseph, and Chief Executive Officer, Sebastian Mikosz will be among the day’s speakers.
Among topics to be discussed and are likely to resonate with KQ’s current challenges will be a session on critical issues that keep airline chief executives awake at night. The other topics are digital transformation of the airline industry, new trends in flight safety and operations as well as developing regulatory mechanisms that support sustainable growth while delivering quality infrastructure.