The International Air Transport Association has confirmed South African Airways will host the 69th Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit in 2013.
The event will draw the top leadership of the air transport industry to the International Convention Centre in Cape Town from June 2nd-4th 2013.
“South Africa will be a great location for the annual general meeting and World Air Transport Summit in 2013,” said IATA director general Tony Tyler.
“Air connectivity is key to South Africa’s economic success, contributing 2.1 per cent to the country’s GDP.
“Along with supporting South Africa’s strong tourism sector, air connectivity plays a critical role in maximising growth opportunities arising from South Africa’s BRICS membership and the burgeoning African economy.”
The aviation and aerospace sectors contribute about US$6.1 billion to the South African economy each year which is equal to 2.1 per cent South Africa’s GDP.
This activity supports over 227,000 South African jobs.
Along with shining a spotlight on Africa’s opportunities, the annual general meeting and World Air Transport Summit will provide a forum for discussing its challenges.
“Growth in Africa is impeded by regulatory burdens and a poor safety record compounded by the high fuel prices in many parts of the continent,” added Tyler.
“IATA is working across the continent with governments, regulators and airlines to improve safety, sustainability and competitiveness.
“Holding the AGM and WATS in Cape Town will provide a prominent platform to address these issues and challenges.”
This year’s annual general meting and World Air Transport Summit in Beijing attracted some 750 airline industry leaders representing IATA’s 242 member airlines.
It drew a further 350 journalists representing major media outlets from around the world.
“The IATA annual general meeting and World Air Transport Summit is a unique marketing and publicity opportunity for our industry, for Cape Town and for South Africa,” explained Siza Mzimela, South African Airways chief executive.
“Significantly, it takes place at the same time as our country is rolling out a new national infrastructure development programme.
“This will position South Africa to play a vital role driving trade, business and tourism on the continent together with current and developing markets in Brazil, Russia, India & China.
“In turn this promises to create jobs and tackle poverty and inequality in South Africa.”
This will be third time that the IATA annual general meeting is held in Africa, wit Cairo, Egypt hosting 1946 and in Nairobi, Kenya 1991.