South African Airways To Host 69th IATA AGM
By Anuja Abraham
South African Airways will host the 69th IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit (WATS). The event will draw the top leadership of the air transport industry to Cape Town’s International Convention Centre from 2-4 June 2013.
“South Africa will be a great location for the 2013 AGM and WATS. Air connectivity is key to South Africa’s economic success, contributing 2.1% to the country’s GDP. Along with supporting South Africa’s strong tourism sector, air connectivity plays a critical role in maximizing growth opportunities arising from South Africa’s BRICS membership and the burgeoning African economy,” said Tony Tyler, Director General and CEO of IATA.
South African Airways accepted IATA members’ proposal to host its 2013 AGM. The announcement was made today at the close of this year’s meeting and WATS in Beijing, China.
“We look forward to hosting the global air transport community in South Africa. Holding the AGM and WATS on African soil will focus the global industry’s attention on the tremendous opportunities as trade and tourism links are being strengthened within the continent and to new and traditional markets beyond,” said Siza Mzimela, South African Airways CEO.
The aviation and aerospace sectors contribute about ZAR51 billion (approx USD 6,07 billion) which is equal to 2.1% South Africa’s GDP. This activity supports over 227,000 South African jobs. The bulk of this contribution is driven by commercial airline transport.
Along with shining a spotlight on Africa’s opportunities, the AGM and WATS will provide a forum for discussing its challenges.
This year’s AGM and WATS in Beijing attracted some 750 airline industry leaders representing IATA’s 242 member airlines. It drew a further 350 journalists representing major media outlets from around the world.