Leading figures from the Arab region’s aviation and tourism sectors have called for “stronger collaboration” to boost public confidence as the post-pandemic recovery starts to take shape.
Speaking at the eighth Arab Aviation Summit (AAS), Sunil John, president, Middle East of Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW), and founder of ASDA’A BCW, called on the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and other organisations to lead a united response on Covid-19 safety issues.
He said: “Global organisations such as IATA must bring a commonality of approach and an industry-wide response regarding the safety and vaccine protocols to benefit the sector.”
John added that current challenges cannot be addressed by airlines, airports or tour operators alone.
Adel Al Ali, Air Arabia’s group chief executive officer, also called for regulators to work together on contingency plans to address the current challenges and develop recovery plans for the entire aviation industry.
Peter Morris, Chief Economist at Flight Ascend Consultancy, FlightGlobal’s consultancy arm, said: “Only business models that meet the needs of customers will be successful.
“You cannot force people to travel and there are different sets of parameters for business and leisure.”
Summit organisers confirmed a white paper report with all the recommendations made at the event at Al Hamra International Exhibition and Conference Centre in Ras Al Khaimah would be published soon.
More than 300 people attended the summit – the first in-person aviation event held since the pandemic started.
Experts were invited to discuss a range of topics covering the aviation sector at the event under the theme ‘Arab aviation in the new normal’.
Sessions ran 21 and 22 March and covered the issues of sustainability, overcoming uncertainty in a new era of travel, post-pandemic economic growth and job creation.
The summit will be held in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE, for the next two years.