Abu Dhabi has witnessed the opening of the Annual General Meeting of the Arab Air Carriers Organisation at Emirates Palace – the leading hotel in the region.
The event was hosted by kind invitation of Etihad Airways, with the carrier represented by its chief executive James Hogan (pictured), who will take the position of chairman during the event.
In his opening remarks Hogan welcomed guests, saying Middle Eastern carriers were now “the talk of the industry”.
“In 1983 – when the Arab Air Carriers Organisation last came to Abu Dhabi – there was no Etihad and no Emirates.
“There was no threat to Europe!” he added.
“This event is an opportunity to talk openly among ourselves; it is vital we present a unified stance.”
Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, United Arab Emirates minister of economy, addressed the industry audience at Emirates Palace
The meeting brings together more than three hundred of the leaders of civil aviation in the United Arab Emirates, the Arab world and the world at large.
Working sessions are being held on November 29th 2011 in Saker Ballroom at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr hotel.
Etihad chief executive James Hogan, centre, greets guests, including Emirates Group president Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum
The working sessions will receive a report by AACO secretary general, Abdul Wahab Teffaha, about the state of the industry and a speech by International Air Transport Association (IATA) director general Tony Tyler.
AACO members will be convening a closed working session to discuss and decide upon internal AACO matters and joint issues related to AACO strategic path within the scope of its mission to serve the Arab airlines, represent their common interests and be the catalyst for their cooperation.
The annual event brings together the leaders of the 25 AACO members
A third working session will address the strategic issue of ‘Europe and the Arab World: Competition within Cooperation’.
To help the discussions, there will be a high level panel of speakers at the session, which is to be moderated by John McCulloch, senior principal at Seabury aviation.
Participants include Khalid Al Molhem, director general of Saudi Arabian Airlines, Filip Cornelis, Head of Unit, European Commission, Akbar Al Baker, chief executive Qatar Airways, Philip Good, policy advisor for DG Climate Action, European Commission and Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus, secretary general of the Association of European Airlines.
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Emirates Group, left, was among the guests of honour, along with Graham Cooke, founder of World Travel Awards
The annual general meeting will conclude its business the same day with a press conference to be held at Saker Ballroom at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr hotel.
World Travel Awards
Industry ‘Oscars’ the World Travel Awards were also be well represented during the event.