Press Releases

Media Release

27th February 2019

Aviation Africa officially opens in Kigali

 

The Aviation Africa Summit and exhibition was opened this morning by Rwandan President, H.E. Paul Kagame with a strong message of support for the aviation industry along with a reaffirmed determination to see Africa progress with its ‘Open Skies’ actions.

President Kagame was chairperson of the African Union (AU) in 2018 when the agreement for the introduction of a Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) was signed by African nations.

 “Sixteen countries in Africa are landlocked, including Rwanda – that is almost one-third of Africa - but every country is air-linked. So, geography should not be seen as an excuse for underdevelopment. This highlights the importance of regional integration where there have been some notable achievements over the past year, chief among these is the Single African Air Transport Market,” said President Kagame.  “However, the full promise of this pact only becomes apparent in the wider context of the African Continental Free Trade Area, and the Protocol of the Free Movement of Persons which were also signed last year.

“It is therefore important to attract more countries to join the Single African Air Transport Market, and to fully implement its provisions.”

He added that Protectionism is a short-sighted policy, which only serves to keep the African market fragmented, inefficient, and expensive - thereby reducing opportunities for African firms.

“One industry analysis has calculated the requirement for new aircraft in Africa over the coming generation at more than 1000 aircraft with a value exceeding $150 billion dollars,” said President Kagame.  “That means there will be many more high-quality jobs for African pilots, engineers, and service personnel, to operate and maintain this equipment professionally, and above all, safely.”

The Minister of Infrastructure and Transport for Togo, whose president Faure Gnassingbé is the AU’s ‘Champion’ of the initiative, also called on African states who have signed the commitment to ‘implement without delay’.

 “There is no doubt about the benefits to our States from the full implementation of SAATM,” said Hon. Mme Zoureatou Tchakondo Kassa-Traore. “By integrating our air routes and opening up the African skies with the implementation of SAATM, we are broadening the paths of growth and development of our continent.”

The fourth edition of the Aviation Africa Summit & Exhibition saw more than 800 delegates from 71 countries converge on the Kigali Convention Center. The audience included government ministers, air chiefs of staff and directors general of civil aviation authorities with representatives from 35 African nations.

Industry is well supported in the exhibition hall with 100 exhibitors including Host Sponsors Nexus & Wyvern, Platinum Sponsor Gulfstream and Gold Sponsors Bestfly and Airbus. “The Aviation Africa summit has established itself as an important business event on the African calendar,” said Hadi Akoum, Vice President, Sales for Sub-Sahara Africa & the Indian Ocean Islands at Airbus. “With urbanisation, population growth and economic expansion, Africa’s air travel market is doubling in size every 15 years, making it one of the fastest expanding markets.  When one takes a broader view, aerospace in Africa also presents significant opportunities for industrial, social, knowledge-based and entrepreneurial partnerships that are essential to sustainable development.” 

Chairman of IATA, Akbar Al Baker – the CEO of Qatar Airways also spoke at the opening session.  “Africa is a promising land for aviation,” said Al Baker. “The list of distinguished guests here today is clear confirmation of Africa’s commitment to reach new heights in the coming years.

“The launch of SAATM in January 2018 and the African Continental Free-trade Area in March of 2018 are testament of Africa’s visionary leadership and long-term thinking in aviation.”

He added: “Going forward, we need to support the successful implementations of regional initiatives that aim to improve Africa’s position in the areas of igniting integration, trade, human capital, air connectivity, and tourism. I don’t think there is any continent in the world that has bigger tourism potential growth than Africa.”

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Photo: Presidental tour 2019


Media Release
21st February 2019


A STRATEGICALLY IMPORTANT AVIATION EVENT OPENS 27TH FEBRUARY IN RWANDA UNDER THE THEME -
FLYING FORWARD TOGETHER


The chairman of IATA - International Air Transport Association - H.E. Akbar Al Baker, the CEO of Gulf carrier Qatar Airways is planning a hard-hitting message about the future for aviation in the current highly politicised environment when he delivers a keynote address at next week's Aviation Africa.

One of the most strategically important aviation events in the 2019 calendar, Aviation Africa takes place in Kigali, Rwanda on 27-28 February.

Top level speakers from AFRAA, AFCAC and AASA will be addressing some of the most sensitive issues facing aviation across the continent. The audience includes civil aviation regulators, military air chiefs, airline CEOs and government ministers.

Under the theme 'Flying forward together - developing partnerships for Africa's future skies' the
2-day summit and exhibition brings together leaders across the civil and military aviation spectrum to discuss and debate the key issues that are driving change across the African continent.

With the single skies' agreement - SAATM now in place, this event will help leaders discuss the challenges and successes in implementing the agreement. Senior Heads and Directors from key associations and organisations including CANSO, ICAO, IATA, Rwanda CAA as well as airlines - Air Madagascar, RwandAir, Air Mauritius and Ethiopian Airlines will join the panel discussions. H.E Zoureutou Tchankouda Kassa Traore - Minister for Infrastructure & Transport, TOGO will present a Keynote on how governments can prepare for SAATM. Qatar's Al Baker - known for his strong words - will be calling for change as he outlines how Africa should be developing a hub structure.

Meanwhile Australian search and rescue (SAR) expert Brian Day who has been involved in developing SAR policies in Africa and the Middle East will share concerns about existing practices.

Africa is leading the way in drone usage, already operating drones to deliver vital medical supplies in Rwanda and Ghana. Zipline, the company behind this operation will share their story. To date, they have made over 10,000 vital deliveries, saving lives in Africa. There will also be a panel discussion looking at unmanned opportunities with Airbus, Dronamics, Rolls Royce and the FAA.

We are in a new era for Africa's air defences and Major General Charles Karamba, Air Forces Chief of Staff, Rwandan Defence Force will present a Keynote to discuss the challenges and successes. The former Chief of the South African Air Force & now executive board member of Paramount Group will present how collaboration, building capacity, strengthening the industrial capacity and establishing national defence industries will benefit African nations' capabilities to control the value chain.

The exhibition hall is now sold out and will host more than 100 global aviation companies.


Platinum sponsor Gulfstream will also be displaying 2 aircraft at the static park at the airport, a G500 and G280 for VIP guests to tour on board.

Sponsors for the 2019 edition of Aviation Africa include host sponsors Nexus & Wyvern. Gold sponsors Airbus and Bestfly, Silver Sponsors, Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Embraer, Bugesera Airport Company & SP Aviation, Bronze sponsors - Air BP, Skyplan, Aero MRO and ATNS.

Supporting Sponsors are Dassault Aviation, Akagera Aviation and Nedbank CIB.

Aviation Africa is supported by the Government of Rwanda, Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority, Rwanda Development Board, Rwanda Airport Company and the Rwanda Defence Force and the official airline is RwandAir.

Registration closes on Friday 22nd February with 800 attendees expected over the two days.

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Photos: Aviation Africa Kigali 2017


Media Release
1 February 2019

AVIATION AFRICA TO HOST CAA DIRECTOR GENERALS & AIRLINE HEADS IN KIGALI THIS MONTH


This year’s annual Aviation Africa summit and exhibition is hosting more Director Generals and airline heads than ever before. The event takes place in Kigali, Rwanda (27-28 Feb 2019).

Colonel Silas Udahemuka - Director General, Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority will be hosting VIP guests including the Director General of Togo Civil Aviation Authority, Latta Dokisime Gnama & Mr Simon Allotey, Director General of Ghana Civil Aviation Authority.

Joining the CAA delegates will also be FAA executive Director International Affairs Mr Chris Rochereau and FAA Director Africa Mr Grady Stone.

From Benin Civil Aviation Authority, Mr Karl Legba Director General and Nathalie Houndeton, Directrice, will also be attending.

Representing the defence industry Major General Charles Karamba, Chief of Staff, Rwandan Defence Force will host Général de Brigade Souleymane BAMBA and Colonel Siaka SOUNTOURA de from the Mali Air Force.

Speakers will take to the stage including those from the defence, MRO, Space and Airline industries across the two days.

Just some of the speakers include:

  • H.E. Faure Gnassingbe - President of the Tongolese Republic, Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States
  • Tefera Mekonnen Tefera, Secretary General, AFCAC
  • Abdullah Al-Sayed - President & CEO, NEXUS Group
  • Boni Dibate, Director Africa Affairs, CANSO
  • Barry Kashambo - Regional Director Eastern & Southern Africa, ICAO
  • Dr Adriana Marais - Head of Innovation SAP Africa, Director, South Africa Space Foundation
  • H.E. Akbar Al Baker - CEO Qatar Airways, Chairman IATA
  • Abderahmane Berthe - Secretary General, African Airlines Association
  • Sanjeev Gadhia - CEO, Astral Aviation
  • Rolland Besoa Razafimaharo - Directeur General, Air Madagascar
  • Ladislaus Matindi, CEO, Air Tanzania
  • Yvonne Manzi Makolo - CEO, RwandAir
  • Vincenzo De Laurentis - CEO & General Manager, EU Wings
  • Richard Haas - VP Africa, Lufthansa Technik
  • Rahul Shah - Senior VP - Strategic Growth & BD Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, AAR

The event - which is run by Times Aerospace - began in Dubai four years ago. The UAE was selected because of its hub status and ease of visa rulings. This is a philosophy shared by Rwanda, which offers a visa-free entry to African countries and entry on arrival to others, said Times Aerospace managing director Mark Brown. "The beauty of this means that we have visitors, speakers, exhibitors and key government delegations coming from all over Africa," he said.

Aviation Africa features an exhibition alongside the summit with 100 aerospace companies including OEMs Gulfstream, Boeing and Bombardier alongside African exhibitors such as SP Aviation and Bugasera Airport Company. The event’s host sponsors are Nexus & Wyvern. Over 800 delegates are expected to attend the 4th Aviation Africa.

Aviation Africa is supported by the Government of Rwanda, Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority, Rwanda Development Board and the Rwanda Defence Force and the official airline is Rwandair.

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Photo: Rolland Besoa Razafimaharo

Photo: Abderahmane Berthe


Media Release
29 November 2018


AFRICA IS LONG OVERDUE A SINGLE SEARCH & RESCUE SKY - AVIATION AFRICA KEYNOTE CALLS FOR ACTION

While heated debate continues over the commercial and political value of Africa’s Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), one global civil aviation expert will use the Aviation Africa Summit and Exhibition in Kigali on 27 & 28 February 2019 to outline essential plans for another single sky – one focusing on search and rescue (SAR).

Keynote speaker Brian Day will deliver a controversial presentation on Aspiring to a Single SAR Sky over Africa. The Australian former air traffic controller will be addressing African government ministers, directors-general of civil aviation authorities and vitally, assembled Air Chiefs from African defence forces when the summit takes place on 27 & 28 February 2019.

Day was Australia’s national manager for aviation search and rescue before becoming the ICAO HQ Technical Officer, SAR, for eight years where he facilitated the development of provisions for the delivery of global civil aviation SAR services, conducting many technical cooperation missions worldwide and assisting in the provision of emergency response to distressed States such as Kosovo, Sudan, Iraq and Lebanon. For five years he managed the ICAO/AFCAC SAR Project to Africa when he evaluated and provided advice to some 35 African states, and was a SAR advisor to the UAE’s Air Force and its civil aviation authority.

Day believes it is essential that African states and the international aviation community takes urgent action to develop a fit-for-purpose SAR network. "If a worthwhile project is to get airborne, it will need to be with support from IFATCA, IFALPA, CANSO, ACI, ICAO, IATA and, not least, the airlines," he said. The international bodies, along with airlines and CAAs will be at Aviation Africa in force. Day said that the African SAR scene is especially compelling, both in its long-continuing dysfunction and its scope for vast and rapid improvement.

"The maritime SAR community has shown we aviation-types the way to better organisation by consolidating its many state Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCCs), many of which were non-compliant, into five regional MRCCs. We in aviation could easily do the same if the industry’s will was to be so inclined," he said. "The time is now overdue for us to commit to an Africa-wide organisation of aviation RCCs that are seamlessly knit together into a single system of SAR excellence. "Just as a single sky gives prospect of improved commercial options, so a single SAR sky would provide a safety net able to ensure that when an airline catastrophe occurs over the continent, it will not be grossly magnified and ineffectually broadened by wholesale SAR incompetence," he said.

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Photo: Brian Day


Media Release
22 November 2018


AVIATION AFRICA TO FEATURE KEY SPEAKERS FROM QATAR AIRWAYS AND OUTER SPACE

Africa remains one of the greatest potential markets for air transport on the globe and this year's annual Aviation Africa summit and exhibition will explore even further afield with the show organisers promising speakers that are both down to earth and out of this world. The event takes place in Kigali, Rwanda (27-28 Feb 2019).

Headline presenters include one of the top names among airline CEOs, the current chairman of the International Air Transport Organisation (IATA) and the CEO of the successful Middle Eastern carrier Qatar Airways, H.E. Akbar Al Baker; and stretching destinations even further is globally recognised inspirational speaker Dr Adriana Marais, the South African set to become Africa's first extra-terrestrial when she completes her one-way mission to Mars.

The event - which is run by Times Aerospace- began in Dubai four years ago. The UAE was selected because of its hub status and ease of visa rulings. This is a philosophy shared by Rwanda, which offers a visa-free entry to African countries and entry on arrival to others, said Times Aerospace managing director Mark Brown. "The beauty of this means that we have visitors, speakers, exhibitors and key government delegations coming from all over Africa," he said.

Akbar Al Baker, will be centre stage for the air transport segment of the summit.
"Qatar is one of the airlines that has been expanding into Africa in recent years," Brown said. "There has often been concern expressed by African airlines about the growth of non-African airlines, but I think many of them may not have heard Mr Al Baker share his views. I know they are in for a treat." Mr Al Baker will be on stage for a one-on-one interview with summit chairman Alan Peaford MBE.

Airline leaders from across Africa - both from English-speaking and Francophone countries - will be also talking at or visiting the summit, which will be addressing issues such as protectionism, search and rescue, infrastructure, airline finance, aviation services, regulation and innovation.

Stepping into the unknown will be key to the presentation by Dr Marais - a quantum biologist, a theoretical physicist, the director of the South Africa Space Foundation and head of innovation for SAP Africa. She is part of the Mars One project which is currently going through its selection process to take 24 astronauts to move to the Red Planet and begin building a society there. "She is an incredible speaker and has been inspiring school children and adults to look up to the skies and think about the new horizons - and what value space exploration can bring to earth. She genuinely changes the way people think about our planet and it is fantastic that she will be sharing her incredible story here on her own continent."


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Photo: H.E. Akbar Al Baker, CEO, Qatar Airways

Photo:  Dr Adriana Marais, Director of the South Africa Space Foundation and Head of Innovation for SAP Africa

 

 


Note to editors:
Aviation Africa is organised by TIMES Aerospace Ltd in partnership with Aerocomm Ltd and Access Group. TIMES Aerospace Ltd has organised 3 previous editions of Aviation Africa in Dubai, Kigali & Cairo. The 2018 event attracted 850 delegates & 110 exhibitors.
For Press information please contact: Alison Weller, +44 7501 185255.

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