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Posted 07/07/2011 - Viewed 5274 time(s)

 The 6th edition of Routes Africa, held earlier this week in Bamako , Mali, welcomed almost 200 aviation professionals from across the African region for a packed two day schedule including; a conference programme, one-to- one meetings and airline briefings. All addressed the future development of air services to, from and within the region.

 Aya Thiam Diallo, Président Directeur Général, Aeroports du Mali, Host of the event said:  “We are happy to welcome these route development professionals to Mali, a place of history, myths and legends.  We hope that these decision makers will be able to see, firsthand, the opportunities our destination presents and help us in our objective of developing intra-African links and enhancing travel options within the region."

David Stroud, Executive Vice President, Airports, UBM Aviation Routes Limited, organisers of the event said: “We are delighted that so many air service development decision makers from across Africa have joined us here in Bamako. I would like to thank our Host, Aeroports du Mali, for their professionalism and dedication to the success of the event. The building of their new terminal and with their passenger and freight traffic expected to grow dramatically, now is an exciting time for the Host team and the African region as a whole.”

Highlights of the event included:

  • Route Announcement:  Arik Air used the event as a platform to announce a new air service to the Host City, Bamako, stating: "We are delighted to be able to announce this expansion of our West African network and are pleased that we have been able to confirm this growth during Routes Africa. This will hopefully be the first of many new routes in the region and we are studying a number of other destinations." Bert van der Stege, VP of Planning, Marketing and Loyalty, Arik Air. The route will be Lagos - Cotonou - Bamako from August 26 this year.
  • Airline briefings: Arik Air, Air France and South African Airways all outlined their requirements to airports within the region.
  • Airport Marketing Awards: Kotoka International Airport was the winning airport in the Routes Africa Airport Marketing Awards at during the Gala Dinner in Bamako.  Doreen Owusu-Fianko, Managing Director of airport operator Ghana Airports Company Limited, said: “We feel so proud to win this prestigious award. We are a small but functional airport and it is our vision to be a hub and gateway for the West Africa sub-region, our marketing activities being recognised through such an award will help us achieve our aim.”
  • Strategy Forum: a packed Monday morning at the event saw discussions about; the New Africa: Growth, Opportunity and Internationalisation,  Barriers to Developing New Air Services in Africa and Air Travel Growth Opp said:“A tribute to Routes Africa for organising this important event.  This event offers an opportunity to share ideas on new market opportunities and how we can collaborate effectively.”
  • Route Development Workshops: delegates at the event were also able to have an insight into the complexities of forecasting where expert consultants from Airport Strategy & Marketing (ASM) explained how essential it is for airports to understand all the intricacies of the market and noted the concept that airlines expect a return on any investment into an airport. Mark Clarkson, Vice President of Consultancy Services for ASM also highlighted the importance for airports to understand the dynamics of their market.“International trade and commerce is of primary importance to airports throughout Africa and aviation plays a very natural and essential part in both maintaining connections and facilitating growth”. 

Routes Africa is the final regional Routes event this year following Routes Americas, Routes Tourism Mediterranean, Routes Asia and Routes Europe.

The Bamako forum allows airports and airlines to focus on the African market ahead of global discussion at World Routes, taking place from 2-4 October 2011 in Berlin, Germany. 


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