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Connecting Skies Bridging Continents


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced that the Wings of Change Focus Africa conference (WOCFA) will take place in Johannesburg in July.

The conference, which is being held for the second time in the city and is being hosted by South African Airways, will focus on the theme ‘Towards a More Resilient and Sustainable African Aviation’. The event runs from 2-3 July.

WOCFA will delve into priorities under IATA’s Focus Africa initiative to strengthen aviation’s contribution to the continent’s economic and social development, along with improving connectivity, safety and reliability for passengers and shippers.

IATA Regional Vice-President for Africa and the Middle East, Kamil Alawadhi, said Africa’s aviation market held immense untapped potential, with traffic expected to double in the next 15 years.

“The Focus Africa Initiative has identified key priorities that, if addressed collaboratively and effectively, will bolster Africa’s aviation industry and enhance its socio-economic impact,” Alawadhi said.

“A year into the Focus Africa Initiative, we have seen progress in areas such as safety, but there is still a long way to go. This year’s IATA’s Wings of Change Focus Africa conference builds on this progress by addressing critical areas such as safety, security, sustainability, economic development, and the overall resilience of the industry,” he said.

SAA CEO John Lamola will deliver the opening keynote address at the conference.

“We are delighted to host IATA’s Wings of Change Focus Africa conference and welcome the aviation industry to our home, Johannesburg. Advancing the air transport industry is critical for Africa’s economic growth. The conference will allow industry leaders to join forces and drive the agenda for a stronger, more resilient African aviation industry,” said Lamola.

Lamola and Alawadhi will be joined by industry leaders from across the aviation sector, who will focus on topics such as safety, security, boosting regional traffic; airport infrastructure; modern airline retailing; sustainability with a focus on Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF); air cargo and skills.

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