Tenerife welcomes aviation industry for Routes Africa 2016
The international aviation industry will gather in Tenerife this weekend for the 11th annual Routes Africa air service development forum (26-28 June).
Routes Africa is dedicated to improving air connectivity across the African continent. It stimulates the African aviation industry by bringing together airlines, airports and tourism authorities to discuss new air services.
Tenerife Tourism Corporation is hosting the event with support from the Canary Islands Government. Closer to the African continent than the European mainland, Tenerife aims to become a connecting aviation hub or 'logistical stepping stone' between Africa and the Americas and Europe.
Nearly six million tourists a year travel to the largest Canary Island for its beautiful beaches, national park, historical towns and warm climate. Routes Africa will provide Tenerife with a unique opportunity to showcase these attractions and make the case for introducing new air services.
Investment in Tenerife's infrastructure will support further growth in the tourist sector. A new cruise terminal will open at Santa Cruz Port in September, five new five-star hotels will open over the next two years and there are plans to invest €120 million in a new terminal at Tenerife South Airport.
The African aviation market also presents significant development opportunities. International Air Transport Association (IATA) figures predict that it will grow by 4.7% to 294 million passengers a year by 2034, and that seven of the world's ten fastest growing markets will be in Africa (Malawi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia).
Some of the most senior network planners in the industry will attend Routes Africa to capitalise on the predicted growth of the market, including representatives from South African Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Malawian Airlines, Fastjet and major European carriers such as Iberia, Norwegian and Alitalia. Around 200 professionals are expected to attend the event.
Delegates will also get the chance to hear industry leaders discussing the latest issues and trends at the 'Strategy Summit' conference. The speakers include Richard Bodin, chief commercial officer at Fastjet; Elijah Chingosho, secretary general at African Airlines Association (AFRAA) and Fernando Estrada, chief strategy officer at Vueling.
Adrian Newton, group director at UBM EMEA (the organiser of Routes events) said: "Routes Africa has an important role to play in the development of the African aviation market. As the host of this year's event, Tenerife is in a great position to demonstrate the key role it can play in the development of air connectivity within the region."
The president of theTenerife Government, Carlos Alonso, said: "Tenerife is very keen to improve its air connectivity with Africa and serve as an Atlantic platform for three continents, so holding Routes Africa on the island will be a unique opportunity for us to demonstrate the island's potential to senior representatives of the world's major airlines."