All set  for IATA’S 79th AGM and World Air Transport Summit to be held in Istanbul Turkey

By Our Aviation Reporter

All is set for the 79th International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit (WATS) that’s is slated to take place from 4-6 June 2023 in Istanbul, Turkey .

The summit that will be hosted by Pegasus Airlines and co-hosted by AnadoluJet is significant for Africa since Ms. Yvonne Makolo the CEO of RwandaAir will become the first female Chair of the IATA Board of Governors (2023-2024).

The summit also comes at a time when the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has just  launched an ambitious “Focus Africa” initiative – to strengthen aviation’s contribution to Africa’s economic and social development and improve connectivity, safety and reliability for passengers and shippers.

Mr.Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General

The initiative will align private and public stakeholders to deliver measurable progress in six areas- safety , infrastructure , connectivity , finance and distribution, sustainability and future skills.

“Africa accounts for 18% of the global population, but just 2.1% of air transport activities (combined cargo and passenger). Closing that gap, so that Africa can benefit from the connectivity, jobs and growth that aviation enables, is what Focus Africa is all about,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

Infrastructure constraints, high costs, lack of connectivity, regulatory impediments, slow adoption of global standards and skills shortages affect the customer experience and are all contributory factors to African airlines’ viability and sustainability. The continent’s carriers suffered cumulative losses of $3.5 billion for 2020-2022.  Moreover, IATA estimates further losses of $213 million in 2023. 

“Africa stands out as the region with the greatest potential and opportunity for aviation. The Focus Africa initiative renews IATA’s commitment to supporting aviation on the continent.

As the incoming Chair of the IATA Board of Governors, and the first from Africa since 1993, I look forward to ensuring that this initiative gets off to a great start and delivers benefits that are measurable,” said Yvonne Makolo, CEO of RwandAir and first female Chair of the IATA Board of Governors (2023-2024).

Kamil Al Awadhi, IATA Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East

 Program Highlights:
 During this global meet, there will be a CEO Insights Panel  and  panel discussions on crucial industry topics that will include industry economic outlook; sustainability, including achieving a zero-waste cabin, financing Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF), and addressing non-CO2 impacts on climate change.

Participants will also discuss the challenges and opportunities with data, aviation’s role in natural disaster relief efforts  and lessons learned from 2022 operations.

Other highlights include the presentation of the 2023 IATA Diversity and Inclusion Awards.

The AGM will also feature two formal press conferences and an extensive program of specialized media briefings. IATA subject matter experts will be available for interviews throughout the event.


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