The 10th Aviation Stakeholders Convention hosted by the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) and Kenya Airways held in Nairobi, Kenya at the Emara Ole-Sereni hotel. The two-day convention provided a platform for showcasing new developments and innovations in aviation, discussing industry business trends, networking and forging new partnerships.
The Convention, under the theme: “Beyond the crisis”, brought together over 500 delegates from 47 countries across the globe attending physically and virtually. The Convention is one of Africa’s major forums for air transport industry stakeholders to dialogue, exchange knowledge and experiences for the development of the travel ecosystem. A total of 34 African airlines are represented at the event, with 12 airline CEOs in attendance.
Speaking at the convention on the importance of establishing lasting relationships and partnerships between aviation stakeholders for the benefit of African Aviation, Mr. Abdérahmane Berthé emphasized the need to draw out-of-the box solutions and regional initiatives for Africa: “AFRAA, in coordination with African Union Commission (AUC), African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), and African Aviation Industry Group (AAIG), will convene the first lab meeting to be held from 27 June to 01 July 2022. I call upon stakeholders to join this noble initiative which will bring experts from various sectors to craft solutions to transform business in the region and ensure the efficient development of intra-Africa air transport.”
Dr. Eng. Joseph K. Njoroge, CBS, the Principal Secretary, State Department for Transport Government of Kenya, commended the various actions taken by aviation industry players such as ICAO, AFRAA, IATA and the AUC to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on civil aviation as a whole and the strategies crafted to sustainably recover. He called for continued cooperation for a resilient recovery and growth of the industry noting: “Among the industry actions for recovery by airlines is the enhanced cooperation and collaboration. This will establish stronger and more efficient airlines with business models that will allow them compete internationally and improve Africa’s air traffic market share which is currently very low.”
Mr. Allan Kilavuka, CEO, Kenya Airways, emphasized on the importance of exchanging knowledge and experiences to inspire a sustainable and resilient aviation: “COVID-19 posed the greatest risk to the aviation sector but we remained resilient as an industry and carried on. Planes continued to fly, delivering tonnes of freight, bringing our people home from overseas, and keeping people connected with their families across the continent. As we fly towards a better future, sustainability will be a key priority for Africa’s aviation sector. Our current ecosystem provides us with the necessary ingredients to maximise our efficiencies and productivity by evaluating strategic areas of synergies that can demonstrate effective ways of doing business and this can only be achieved through shared experiences and learnings that will ensure business continuity as we are doing today.”
Aviation ecosystem stakeholders at the Convention will deliberate between 09th – 10th May 2022 on the various on-going and expected actions towards the revamping of the air transport industry in the context of the African continent. The Convention marks the return to AFRAA’s in-person events after a two year period of lockdowns and travel restrictions. The presence of several African airline CEOs is a true testament of the leaders’ readiness and dedication to support aviation recovery and rebuild a sustainable resilient future.
CSR event for youth development in aviation
On 7th May, the Convention activities commenced with a CSR activity aimed at empowering the next generation of aviators at the Kenya Airways Pride Center. The event was sponsored by Collins Aerospace and staged in collaboration with AFRAA and Kenya Airways. Over 130 High School students from 7 schools in Kenya benefited from the session aimed at supporting youth development in aviation.
Over the 2-day Conference programme, delegates had the opportunity to network and discuss developments in the industry and forge business partnerships. In addition to the conference plenary sessions, the programme was structured to incorporate scheduled one-to-one appointments where delegates can have exclusive meetings with airlines, selected airports, CAAs, IATA, ICAO and AFRAA. There were also be master classes where cutting edge ideas, industry best practices, new opportunities and practical solutions will be presented and discussed, involving Aircraft configuration and fleeting decisions for recovery by Embraer; selected AFRAA Projects; and Regional Operators’ Opportunities for Route and Network Planning by De Havilland Aircraft of Canada.
There were 25 exhibitors at the Convention displaying their products and interacting with delegates at the conference including AFRAA, African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), AMREF Fying Doctors, AMST Aviation, Astral Aviation, AVIACO, Avmax Spares, Boeing, Collins Aerospace, DPO Group, Flightline Training, Global Load Control, Kenya Airports Authority, Kenya Airways, and Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, Lufthansa Systems, and National Aviation Services. Others were Pratt & Whitney, RwandAir, SatNav AFRICA JPO, SITA, South African Airways Technical, South African Airways Technical, Star Navigation Systems Group Ltd., and Swissport Kenya.
The Stakeholders Convention had sponsored including Collins Aerospace, Kenya Airports Authority, Kenya Airways, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, ASECNA, Airbus, Astral Aviation, Boeing, Kenya Tourism Board and NAS Servair.