Routes Africa, now in its 7th year, is the annual gathering of air service decision makers for the African region, and the 2012 event will take place on July 8-10, 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.
The event will take place in the Seychelles capital, Victoria, and is expected to attract up to 150 delegates.
This will be the first time that the event has been held in the Indian Ocean region and will raise awareness of the need to increase connectivity between Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian Ocean region. It will also provide an ideal opportunity for the host to showcase their destination and celebrate the airport’s 40th anniversary.
Routes Africa attracts key decision-makers from a wide variety of airlines with a growing presence from charter carriers and airlines based outside of the region wishing to learn more about the existing opportunities. Early registrations have already been received from, among others, Arik Air, Etihad Airways, Air Seychelles, Emirates, Turkish Airlines, Mega Maldives, and South African Airways - the largest airline in the African region.
The event will open with the Routes Africa Strategy Forum, which will take place on the afternoon of Sunday, July 8, and the morning of Monday, July 9. Minister of Tourism for the Seychelles, Alain St Ange, will open the forum, followed by a keynote address from Mr. Cramer Ball, CEO of Air Seychelles. A panel of leading industry experts will then take part in moderator-led discussions addressing aviation and route development issues across the region including:
Unlocking the Market – Liberalization vs. Competition
The Road to Recovery – Rebuilding&Looking to the Future
“Air service development to, from, and within Africa is vital for the tourism and economic development of the African continent,” said International Tourism Director for Routes, Ged Brown, explaining, “This is especially true of the many and varied islands off the coast of Africa whose economies rely heavily on sustainable air services. For these reasons, the Seychelles provides the perfect backdrop to this 7th Routes Africa event.”
Ten international carriers from a number of international hubs in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East provide connections to Seychelles International Airport (SEZ). Continuous growth over the last few years, consistent with the increase in air services, has resulted in almost 250,000 passengers using the airport in 2011. The airport is also a hub for inter-island travel and provides quick and convenient domestic flights, operated by Air Seychelles, throughout the day to Praslin Island.
SEZ is currently celebrating 40 years since the first commercial aircraft landed, which also marks the beginning of aviation and tourism development in the Seychelles, and moving forward, it plans to develop and grow to become a hub in the Indian Ocean.