CONNECT Middle East, India and Africa to feature over 40 airlines and 60 airports

CONNECT Middle East, India and Africa – co-located with Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2019 and taking place at Dubai World Trade Centre – is all set to receive over 40 airlines and over 60 represented airports from April 30 to May 1.

Featuring up to 300 delegates, the forum will include a diverse conference programme, including panel discussions, keynotes, Q&As and airline and industry briefings, as well as unlimited one-to-one meetings pre-scheduled for airlines, airports and suppliers.

Divisional director, Reed Travel Exhibitions, Nick Pilbeam remarked: “2018 was a busy year for flight routes both to and from the Middle East and as we look ahead, this trend is expected to continue, with IATA predicting an extra 290 million air passengers on routes to, from and within the region by 2037 – with the total market size increasing to 501 million passengers during the same period.

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“This projected growth underscores Dubai, and of course the Middle East, as the ideal location to bring together professionals from the aviation and tourism industry for the inaugural CONNECT Middle East, India and Africa forum,” he further noted.

In 2018, GCC airlines added 58 new flight routes focusing on areas of consistent and substantial growth, according to research by Colliers International, based on a sample of 10 airlines, including Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, flydubai, Salaam Air, Oman Air, Gulf Air, Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA), flyadeal, Air Arabia and IndiGo Airlines.

Looking at the UAE alone, approximately 50 per cent of new routes introduced in 2018 were to destinations across Europe, with the second largest share of new flights connecting the UAE with Russia.

CEO, The Airport Agency, Karin Butot commented: “With two thirds of the world’s population within an eight-hour flight from the GCC, it is an ideal base for exploring some of the world’s most interesting and previously inaccessible corners of the world. And GCC, as well as various Middle Eastern airlines, are making it even easier with the continuous addition of new and direct flight routes.”

Butot continued: “2019 is set to be an exciting year for new routes – particularly between the Middle East and Europe – with various new and direct flights announced by UAE airlines to destinations such as Budapest, Naples, Prague and Belgrade, as well as an increased number of flights to Barcelona and London.”

Other highlights from the two-day forum will include a training workshop on the ‘Simpson Paradox’, an Airbus briefing session that will provide an update on the current Airbus product line and a China Southern Airline briefing, which will discuss the airline’s dual-hub strategy between Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and Beijing Daxing International Airport, along with their cooperation strategy.