The 9th Routes Africa, the largest route development event in Africa, will open June 22-24 in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
The event will bring together the leading airports, airlines, tourism authorities, policy-makers and aviation stakeholders to develop new air services to, from and within Africa. Hosted by the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, Routes Africa 2014 will take place at the Elephant Hills Hotel and Resort.
“It is abundantly clear that Africa needs to gain mileage in the sphere of physical travel as well as administratively facilitating travel,” said Walter Mzembi, minister of tourism and hospitality, Zimbabwe. “Air connectivity is the umbilical cord that links tourism destinations and its source markets.
“It is not a coincidence that Routes Africa 2014 is focusing on air connectivity issues as one of the strategic gates in boosting tourism.”
More than 350 delegates are expected to attend the event representing 40 leading airlines, 50 airports and 15 tourism authorities. Africa’s three main airlines – Kenya Airways, South African Airways and Ethiopian Airlines – are joined by two of the big Gulf carriers (Emirates and Etihad Airways) and global carriers looking into expanding their network to the continent.
Low-cost carriers, which are increasingly shaping the face of aviation in Africa, will also be out with registrations received from pan-African, low-cost carrier Fastjet as well as Comair, Fly540 and start-up carrier FlyAfrica.com.
“We are extremely happy that this strategic conference has come to Zimbabwe at a time when the issue of the accessibility of regional destinations is topical,” said Karikoga Kaseke, chief executive, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority.
“As we continue to host more conferences in Zimbabwe, this one is unique in that it focuses on airline routes development in Africa, and we hope it will help address the access challenges that usually affect all destinations on our continent.”