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Aviators Africa Conference: Delegates preach urgency in resetting Africa aviation industry

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Stakeholders in the Africa aviation industry have been called upon to work towards resetting the African aviation industry with a view to harnessing the benefits of sustainable energy and technology-driven operations. 

The call was made at the just concluded 4th Aviators Africa Conference and awards with the theme: “Sustainability in African Aviation”, which featured three engaging and brainstorming panel sessions, all of which x-rayed the various challenges bedevilling the aviation and tourism industry in Africa, as well as recommended possible recovery paths.

In an expository keynote address, Mr. Aaron Munesti, the Chief Executive Officer of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) highlighted the imperative and the urgency of resetting the African aviation industry post the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than restarting it.

The first panel, moderated by Derek Nseko, took a look at “Assets Finance & Airline Sustainability in Africa”, the panelists who included Sean Mendis, an airline executive and Monica Rubombora, Uganda Airlines Country Director for South Africa, critically appraised airline operations in Africa with respect access to credit facilities, funding and sustainability.

Mr. Sean Mendis, who moderated the second panel discussed “Sustainability in African Aviation”, Akie Chhabra, Embraer Sales Director for Africa, Yvonne Winter, Co-Founder Fly Now, and James O’Shea, CEO of Seefin Aviation, took a cursory look at current and future technologies helping the global aviation industry to achieve green approach to zero CO2.

The third panel focused on hospitality and tourism experts, including Professor Marina Novelli, Didier Bayeye, and Ifeanyi Ogochukwu, examined the”Impact of Airlines on Sustainability of Tourism Destinations, a session moderated by Kojo Bentum Williams, Senior Expert on Communication in Africa at the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

The three-day event which took place from the 20th to 22nd October at the Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Wanderers in South Africa, kicked off on Thursday, 20th October, with an outreach program in partnership with the Girl Fly Program Africa (GFPA) Foundation, Walk for Love Africa, and South African Tourism.

Welcoming delegates to the event, the Founder and the CEO of Aviators Africa Conference and Tower Awards, Toni Ukachukwu said the conference’s core mandate was to carve a niche and continue to pioneer sustainability initiatives in the African aviation eco-system whilst connecting it with tourism.

“I would like to welcome everyone to the 4th Aviators Africa Conference with the theme: ‘Sustainability in African Aviation.’ This year saw us being true to our objective as a pan-African organization by bringing the event to South Africa, having hosted it in Nigeria for three straight years”.

“We intend to look at sustainability in the broader sense of the word covering diverse areas with inclusively from the stakeholders and academia to explore not only aviation but it’s allied industries for a more sustainability development of Africa.”

The highlight of the Tower Awards was the induction of Ato Girma Wake, Board Chairman of Ethiopian Airlines and Irene Koki Mutungi who is a Captain on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Kenya Airways, into the Aviators Africa Hall of fame for their meritorious and trailblazing services to the development of African Aviation.

The international conference was attended by delegates and airline executives from across the world, and provided the excellent business-to-business (B2B) opportunities for aviation and tourism players to network on a global platform for sustainable business impacts.

About Aviators Africa Conference and Tower Awards.

It is a hybrid aviation and tourism event designed to bring together aviators and travel professionals. The event seeks to discuss and find solutions to the challenges of the aviation industry in Africa as well as recognise outstanding players in the travel and tourism industry.

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