The eighth Arab Aviation Summit (AAS), the region’s leading aviation and tourism industry event, concluded on an optimistic note with industry stakeholders unanimous in their view of a faster recovery of the industry.
The Summit took place on 21-22 March at Al Hamra International Exhibition & Conference Centre in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The participants underlined the need to foster stronger collaboration to enhance confidence among the public and to work towards impactful strategies that will support the aviation sector’s revival.
Experts highlighted the role of the tourism sector as a catalyst for post-pandemic growth, and also called for leveraging the potential of digital technologies to transform the industry by helping achieve higher operational efficiencies. They urged on the need for unified travel guidelines to support the industry, and expressed optimism that with more vaccinations being administered, there will be greater confidence among the public to travel.
The 2021 Arab Aviation Summit was the first in-person aviation event to be held since the pandemic, and was organized by following all safety protocols, sending a strong message of confidence for the industry and the travel community. Under the theme, ‘Arab Aviation in the New Normal’, the eighth edition of the summit brought industry experts from around the world to discuss diverse topics covering the aviation sector.
The first day witnessed a series of workshops and forums focusing on airport sustainability, investment trends and the importance of disruptive models of starts-ups such as Intelak, an aviation and travel incubator. The second day of the summit featured several panel discussions, with experts expressing confidence on the aviation industry’s recovery from the current crisis following the pandemic.
More than 300 participants attended the insightful panel discussions and live presentations on topics such as airline strategies to navigate through the new normal, sustainability outlook, out-maneuvering uncertainty in a new era of travel, tourism as catalyst for a post-pandemic economic growth and job creation in the new reality.
Raki Phillips, CEO, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority stated that the theme of the summit, ‘Arab Aviation in the New Normal’, aptly describes the growing call for the resumption of travel across nations and how strong performance of the aviation sector is a significant driver of tourism.
Adel Al Ali, Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia, predicted a positive outcome in the months to come and highlighted the need for industry and regulators to work together on contingency plans to address the current challenges and develop recovery plans for the entire aviation industry.
Egypt Air’s Chairman & CEO, Rushdi Zakaria’s said that the summit fostered a platform for discussion on the current situation of the aviation sector and reiterated that health and safety remain the number one priority.
Kamil Al-Awadhi, Regional Vice President of Africa and the Middle East, IATA, was positive about the industry’s recovery especially given how countries are leading the way with vaccination programs. He said governments worldwide need to come together with a united front for a fast-track road to recovery.
Endorsed by Arab Governments and previously held in many Arab counties, the Arab Aviation Summit 2021 was hosted in collaboration with Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) and supported by global industry partners such as Airbus, CFM, Air Arabia, Alpha Aviation Academy, and others.
The summit will again be hosted in Ras Al Khaimah for the next two years.