Integrating Africa by air

New Route Africa opened its doors last week in Casablanca, with over 45 airlines among the 200-plus delegates in attendance.The meeting was a first for the region, with “Integrating Africa by Air” as its theme and mission. The event highlighted the importance of air services in promoting economic growth, tourism and social development in Africa and the meeting of the region’s top air service experts was a great success.

New Route Africa was held at the city’s Hyatt Regency and provided a valued forum for the region’s airlines and other international carriers to meet with airports to discuss air service opportunities in a unique structured programme.

In excess of 800 meetings in the airline hall were pre-booked over the two days where airlines met airports every 20 minutes.

“The event was a huge success,” said Karin Holden, Routes Managing Director. “Africais on the crest of an aviation wave with strong growth, new airlines and a new-found confidence about its air transport industry.

On that basis and with the calibre of the airlines, airports and suppliers that attended, the eventwas enthusiastically received. Infact, Routes had a number of approaches to bid to become the event’s host again next year!”

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New Route Africa was supported by a high level speaker programme, with welcome addresses and opening speeches from Karim Ghellab, Minister of Transport, Casablancaand George Muholo, Managing Director and CEO, Kenya Airport Authority.

Routes Africa delegates also heard from Air Arabia’s CEO Adel Ali on his experience running a low cost business model, while Geoffrey Lipman from the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) spoke on ‘An aviation and tourism revolution for African Development.’

Topics debated on included—‘Air Traffic Forecasts for the Region from 2006 to 2020,’ by Chaouki Mustapha, Economist, Forecasting and Planning at ICAO and ‘The air transport challenges in Africa and the way forward,’ by Christian Folly Kossi, Secretary General, African Airlines Association.

New Route Africa was supported by ONDA, the operator of Moroccan Airports; the World Tourism Organisation; Airports Council International; African Airlines Association; Airlines Association of Southern Africa; AFCAC/CAFAC.Routes also thanks its sponsors, OAG; Eurocontrol; ASM; global travel retailer Dufry; Houston Airport System and Shell, plus official airline partner Royal Air Maroc.

The Routes management team was represented in Africaby Karin Holden, Managing Director, Katie Bland, Deputy Sales Director, Mark Mulligan, Events and Scheduling Manager, Carolyn Williams, Airline Director and Alexander Strahl, President.
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