First CONNECT Middle East, India & Africa to feature 35 airlines

Co-located with Arabian Travel Market 2019, the event is set to run from 30 April to 1 May and will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre
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Despite rising fuel costs and unstable Rupee exchange rates, which has led to the Rupee losing around 14% of its value against the US dollar over the last 12 months, 2018 has been an exciting year for India’s aviation market, says Pilbeam.
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Despite rising fuel costs and unstable Rupee exchange rates, which has led to the Rupee losing around 14% of its value against the US dollar over the last 12 months, 2018 has been an exciting year for India’s aviation market, says Pilbeam.

Expecting to go big in its first outing, the upcoming CONNECT Middle East, India & Africa forum will reportedly feature at least 35 airlines from across the Middle East and Asia.

Representatives from a number of major and low-cost carriers are expected to be present, which will include Emirates, Etihad, Jordan Aviation, flydubai, Gulf Air, Oman Air, China Southern Airlines and Air India, to name a few.

The event is expected to be co-located with Arabian Travel Market 2019 and will run from 30 April to 1 May at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Airlines from India are expected to have a large presence at the event, representing one of the largest aviation industries in the world. More than 678,000 flights departed from its top five airports in 2018 in India, according to a report from ANKER. The same report noted that airports in the country today have the capacity to manage 118.07 million passengers, an increase of 12.32 million passengers when compared to 2017 figures.

Nick Pilbeam, divisional director at Reed Travel Exhibitions, said: “Despite rising fuel costs and unstable Rupee exchange rates, which has led to the Rupee losing around 14% of its value against the US dollar over the last 12 months, 2018 has been an exciting year for India’s aviation market.

“The country has recorded the world’s fastest growing domestic aviation market for the past three years, according to IATA, with domestic air passenger traffic registering a healthy 18.6% growth in 2018 underscoring the country’s vast market potential.”

Projected to draw up to 300 delegates, the inaugural CONNECT Middle East, India & Africa forum will feature a conference programme, along with a range of panel discussion and airline & industry briefings.

Additionally, a number of meetings have reportedly been pre-scheduled between airlines, airports and aviation suppliers ahead of the upcoming event.

One highlight of the event will be a keynote from John Strickland, CEO of JLS Consulting, who is expected to touch upon recent developments within the Indian, African and Gulf aviation markets, along with the impact of the latest aircraft models and evolving airline business models.

Karin Butot, CEO of The Airport Agency, said: “Amid new route developments, rapid airport expansions and rising middle-class income - air passenger numbers too, from and within India are set to more than triple over the next 20 years to over 500 million journeys a year.

“India’s aviation industry presents enormous potential on a global scale and CONNECT Middle East, India & Africa 2019 is the perfect forum to realise this potential. Bringing together high-level executives from the country’s aviation and tourism industry, the event will offer delegates unlimited opportunities for one-to-one pre-scheduled networking appointments.”

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