Routes Africa 2016 – one of the most important connectivity trade fairs and forums in the world – will take place in Tenerife for the first time next month. The event will be held between 26 and 28 June in the Gran Hotel Bahía del Duque, and will bring together over 250 professionals from the airline industry interested in the African continent, including senior executives and CEOs of the major airlines from the United States, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, with the aim of improving air connectivity to, from and within Africa and selling the low tax benefits offered in the Canaries, as well as harnessing the potential for growth.

Some of the leading airlines that have signed up for the event include South African Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, ASKY Airlines, Binter Canarias, Iberia and Norwegian. Katie Bland, director of Routes, said: “Routes Africa will help aviation professionals to capitalise on the predicted expansion of African markets. They can take the initiative by making the case for new services to their destinations.”

Tenerife won the right to host the event after a successful bid by Turismo Tenerife backed by the Canarian Government. Island president Carlos Alonso said: “Tenerife’s long-term aim is to become a logistical stepping stone to Africa, building on our strong historical ties with the continent. Routes Africa is an important part of our activities to strengthen our economic and transport links through new aviation services.”

International Air Transport Association (IATA) has predicted that seven of the ten fastest growing passenger markets over the next 20 years will be in Africa – Malawi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia – each is expected to grow by 7-8% a year, doubling in size each decade. The African market as a whole will grow 4.7% by 2034 to 294 million passengers a year.

The fair’s events revolve around pre-scheduled meetings and an exhibition and conference which are delivered in partnership with host stakeholders. Hosts tend to be a collaboration between airports, tourism authorities and investment partners (the bidding process takes place two to three years before the event takes place). Routes was founded in 1995 and is part of the EMEA division of UBM plc; its events are unique forums dedicated to the development of air services bringing together airlines, airports and destinations to meet, plan, discuss and negotiate new and existing flights.

There is more information on the official Routes website HERE.


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