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Forum urges stakeholders to reset Africa Aviation Industry

By Maria Diamond
05 November 2022   |   4:09 am
Stakeholders have been urged to work towards resetting the African aviation industry with a view to harnessing the benefits of sustainable energy and technology-driven operations.

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

This call was made at the just concluded fourth Aviators Africa Conference and Tower Awards, which took place at the Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Wanderers in South Africa with the theme: ‘Sustainability in African Aviation’.
The Aviators Africa Conference and Tower Awards, which is a hybrid aviation and tourism event designed to bring together aviators and travel professionals, was attended by delegates and airline executives from across the world.

The event provided excellent business-to-business (B2B) opportunities for aviation and tourism players to network on a global platform for sustainable business impact. It sought 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.
The 3-day conference with the core mandate to carve a niche and pioneer sustainability initiatives in the African aviation eco-system whilst connecting it with tourism, commenced with an outreach programme in partnership with the Girl Fly Program Africa (GFPA) Foundation, Walk for Love Africa, and South African Tourism.

Day-2 of the conference began with an expository keynote address by the Chief Executive Officer of the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA), Aaron Munesti, which highlighted the imperative and the urgency of resetting the African aviation industry after the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than restarting it.
Welcoming delegates to the event, the Founder and CEO of Aviators Africa Conference and Tower Awards, Toni Ukachukwu said: “This year saw us being true to our objective as a pan-African organisation by bringing the event to South Africa, having hosted it in Nigeria for three straight years.

Based on our thematic preoccupation, the idea is to look at sustainability in the broader sense of the word, covering diverse areas with inclusivity from the stakeholders and academia to explore not only aviation but its allied industries for a more sustainable development of Africa.”
The conference featured three engaging and brainstorming panel sessions, all of which x-rayed the various challenges bedeviling the aviation and tourism industry in Africa, as well as recommend possible recovery paths.
The first panel, which was moderated by Derek Nseko, addressed ‘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 to access to credit facilities, funding and sustainability.
Moderated by Sean Mendis, the second panel critically discussed ‘Sustainability in African Aviation’ where the insightful session featured Embraer Sales Director for Africa, Akie Chhabra; Co-Founder of Fly Now, Yvonne Winter and CEO of Seefin Aviation, James O’Shea.
The panel discussed current and future technologies, helping the global aviation industry to achieve a green approach to zero CO2.

The third panel of the day, which featured hospitality and tourism experts, including Professor Marina Novelli, Didier Bayeye, and Ifeanyi Ogochukwu, examined the ‘Impact of Airlines on Sustainability of Tourism Destinations’.

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Senior Expert on Communication in Africa, Kojo Bentum Williams, moderated this.
Day-3 commenced with a CEO Leadership Breakfast Meeting sponsored by Marriott International. The forum provided another opportunity for informal business-to-business as well as business-to-consumer meetings. The conference wound up in the evening with a well-attended gala night and the Tower Awards.
The highlight of the Tower Awards was the induction of the Board Chairman of Ethiopian Airlines, Ato Girma Wake, and Captain on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Kenya Airways, Irene Koki Mutungi, into the Aviators Africa Hall of fame for their meritorious and trailblazing services to the development of African Aviation.