BLOG: Live from Dubai – insights from the CAPA Middle East & Africa Aviation Summit

30 April, 2019

Welcome to live coverage from The Blue Swan Daily of the CAPA – Centre for Aviation Middle East & Africa Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

As the foremost authority on aviation in the world, CAPA – Centre for Aviation’s events provide cutting edge knowledge about strategic market trends and dynamics to help attendees make informed decisions, delivering the information and connections needed to inspire and improve business.

The CAPA Middle East & Africa Summit is designed to examine commercial and operational issues affecting airlines and airports in Africa and the Middle East, focusing on both domestic markets and growth prospects in key international markets.

What trends and opportunities await our industry? What strategic challenges and risks are we set to face in the year ahead? Discussions will cover the key hurdles to growth in the Middle East and Africa; LCC development and the lessons that can be learnt; distribution, digital transformation and selling changes; infrastructure on the ground and in the air; innovation in the aviation ecosystem; and what's driving travel and tourism demand in a digital era.

AGENDA – View the full CAPA Middle East & Africa Aviation Summit agenda.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION! Follow the CAPA Middle East & Africa Aviation Summit on Twitter and if you have any comments on the topics being explored at the Summit then join the debate: #CAPASummit.

Tuesday 30th April 2019

13:00 - CAPA Middle East & Africa Aviation Summit… DONE!

A big thank you from all of the CAPA – Centre for Aviation team to everyone who attend the CAPA Middle East & Africa Aviation Summit 2019 and all the sponsors and event partners that made the event possible. We hope you enjoyed all the insightful discussions whether in attendance in Dubai or from following the blog. Look out on CAPA TV in the coming weeks for our exclusive interviews from the event.

Tuesday 30th April 2019

12:45 -A big thank you to all our event partners

Tuesday 30th April 2019

12:30 - Originally built on seven hills, Amman now spreads over an area of 19 hills

You can find out for yourself and discover the Jordanian capital when it hosts the 2020 CAPA Middle East & Africa Aviation Summit next April.

Tuesday 30th April 2019

12:15 - Event insights - via #CAPASummit

Tuesday 30th April 2019

12:10 - London Stansted is working to reduce its minimum connecting time

New technology is allowing non-hub airports to also enjoy flight connection opportunities and particularly take advantage of strong LCC point-to-point networks across short-haul, and increasingly long-haul markets.

Aboudy Nasser, CCO, London Stansted Airport says it is all about "developing a seamless connection". He says "any airline can do self-connection. It is about taking time and getting it right". While many airports already offer some form of self-connection, Mr Nasser says the product and customer experience is not as good as it should be.

"Airports have to change the way they think," he says and be "willing to take the risk". London Stansted currently has a 90 minute minimum connection time, but hopes to reduce this to just 60 minutes.

Tuesday 30th April 2019

12:00 - UP NOW... Short-to-long-haul connectivity, particularly as LCC-long haul airlines expand

Our final session of the Dubai summit agenda.

  • How do long haul-short haul partnerships enable growth and scale? 
  • Are these new partnership arrangements set to disrupt network carriers’ long haul operations? 
  • How seamless are self connecting platforms and virtual interlining? What role can airports play in enabling connectivity?
  • In which markets do long haul-short haul LCC partnerships proliferate? 
  • Can long haul low cost carrier operate as stand alone entities without short haul partners?

Tuesday 30th April 2019

11:40 - We are enjoying a short refreshment break and cake!

There's a short break in the agenda for refreshments, networking and cake (which was delicious by the way). We have taken the opportunity to record more CAPA TV interviews, with great insights from Vuyanai Jarana, group CEO of South African Airways, and Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of flydubai. We also spoke to IBM's chief innovation officer emeritus, Dr Bernard Meyerson who shared some valuable technological insights. Look out for these videos online in the coming weeks.

Tuesday 30th April 2019

11:10 - UP NOW... Keynote: South African Airways

Once the pride of Africa, now in the midst of a life-saving restructuring. Vuyanai Jarana, group CEO of South African Airways, provides an update on the project and his views on the challenges for the African continent.

Tuesday 30th April 2019

10:45 - Regional highlights from the Middle East

This morning The Blue Swan Daily published the latest edition of its regular round-up of the latest key aviation and travel news stories from across the Middle East region. Alongside the latest fleet development and route updates it features...

  • Travelport: Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Morocco fastest growing regional markets for the UAE
  • Jazeera Airways records USD4.9m in net profit for 1Q2019; plans routes to India and London
  • Royal Jordanian Airlines to increase economy class seating, reduce business class
  • Etihad Airways launches economy class transformation programme
  • Oman Aviation Group planning dedicated logistics corridor in Oman
  • IATA and ACAO sign sustainable development agreement

You can view the full weekly report in the link below.

Tuesday 30th April 2019

10:30 - UP NOW... What’s driving travel and tourism demand in a digital era? The role of air services partnerships

  • What are the main source markets for Middle East and Africa inbound tourism?
  • What are the key source markets for international growth?
  • What digital strategies can be leveraged for both inbound and outbound travellers?
  • In a digital age, how can the region elevate its "hub" status to further attract key markets and drive growth?
  • How does the region lead and contribute to industry initiatives on the seamless journey of travellers? Including biometrics, cross-border processing, etc.
  • How do the superconnectors drive tourism growth from current transiting customers?
  • How can digital continue to transform and elevate aviation and travel/tourism?

Tuesday 30th April 2019

10:20 - Digital transformation in aviation, travel and tourism

“How do you humanise technology?” questions IBM’s global managing director, Dee Waddell. Organisations around the globe operate in a connected world, empowering workers and changing business models. To take advantage of the benefits that connectivity brings, businesses want to change and transform how they work. ”Integrating different solutions to empower your workforce is not simple,” says Mr Wadell. “You need to understand technology, industry, processes, and people.”

Tuesday 30th April 2019

10:10 - Technology innovation is accelerating digital transformation

In order to be on the right side of the disruption curve, executive leaders in the C-suite are taking action. IBM’s research shows that over 80% of CEOs are leveraging emerging technologies to adopt new business models and that majority of C-suites see technology primarily as a means of adding value rather than subtracting costs. Most C-Suites, regardless of role, believe mobile, cognitive AI and RPA, IoT, and Cloud technologies will predominate in the near term future, says IBM’s global managing director, Dee Waddell.

Tuesday 30th April 2019

10:00 - UP NOW... How do we change the way people work?

IBM’s global managing director, Dee Waddell, and its chief innovation officer emeritus, Dr Bernard Meyerson discuss how technology is changing the way people work.

Tuesday 30th April 2019

09:50 - Ghaith Al Ghaith: flydubai is 'changing lives'

Speaking on stage at the CAPA Middle East & Africa Aviation Summit, flydubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith highlights how the airline has boosted connectivity for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and onwards.

It may live in the shadows of Emirates Airline in the country, but it has added over 70 destinations that were not previously linked to Dubai International airport. “Some have become household names for travellers,” he says.

As an example he highlights Hargeisa, a city situated in the Woqooyi Galbeed region of the self-declared but internationally unrecognised Republic of Somaliland in the Horn of Africa which it now "connects to Dubai and then the world."

"We are changing lives," he adds.

Tuesday 30th April 2019

09:40 - MAX grounding highlights ‘how seriously aviation takes safety’

flydubai is among the airlines to be impacted by the global grounding of the Boeing 737MAX. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) carrier currently has 11 737MAX-8s and three 737MAX-9s from an order for 250 aircraft, which also includes the larger 737MAX-10 variant, according to the CAPA Fleet Database. The airline has substituted MAX flights with 737-800 equipment and Ghaith Al Ghaith says the grounding highlights “how seriously aviation takes safety”. From a business perspective he adds: “This creates uncertainties and it is not good in business to have uncertainties.”

Tuesday 30th April 2019

09:30 - flydubai is good example of the need to evolve in the airline sector

flydubai now relies heavily on network traffic, feeding its sister airline Emirates Airline. It offers a business class product (even providing lie-flat seats on some aircraft), a far cry from its debut as a point-to-point LCC. "Our evolution allowed us to be a better fit in the industry," explains CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith.

Connecting passengers now account for around 27% to 30% of flydubai’s traffic with around 10% connecting to or from Emirates Airline, explains Al Gaith. “We now have some flights into Terminal 3 at Dubai International airport to facilitate connections. We expect that volume to increase,” he says.

Tuesday 30th April 2019

09:20 - flydubai is celebrating its tenth anniversary year

The CAPA Middle East and Africa Aviation Summit comes at a timely juncture for flydubai as the airline is about to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Over the years flydubai has drifted away from the LCC model and adopted a network hybrid model. To mark the milestone CAPA presented the airline's CEO with a celebratory cake.

Tuesday 30th April 2019

09:10 - UP NOW... Fireside Chat with flydubai's CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith

Tuesday 30th April 2019

08:00 – We are prepared for another day of debate and discussion

Another morning of Dubai sunshine. After yesterday’s wide ranging discussions, we have another three hours of content this morning and into the early afternoon. This includes a look at what is driving travel and tourism demand in the digital era and the role of air services partnerships, short-to-long-haul connectivity, particularly as LCC-long haul airlines expand and keynote conversations with flydubai and South African Airways.

Monday 29th April 2019

20:00 – Key insights from the opening day of the CAPA event agenda

CAPA - Centre for Aviation senior research analyst Andrew Vincent has been working away at the side of all of today’s agenda producing News Briefs for CAPA Members. Here’s some of the stories now online to subscribers.

flyadeal success due to market gap, growth of digital economy: CEO
flyadeal CEO Con Korfiatis, speaking at the CAPA Middle East & Africa Aviation Summit, attributed (29-Apr-2019) the airline's success to the "white space" it was able to fill in the "true" low cost segment in Saudi Arabia. Mr Korfiatis also attributed flyadeal's achievements over the last 18 months to the development of the digital economy in the Middle East, which progressed "incredibly quickly" in recent years.

Embraer GM: SAATM 'the light at the end of the tunnel', but barriers to travel remain in Africa
Embraer GM special projects Africa and Middle East Hussein Dabbas, speaking at the CAPA Middle East & Africa Aviation Summit, described (29-Apr-2019) the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) as "the light at the end of the tunnel" but noted there are still many barriers of entry to African travellers. Mr Dabbas highlighted the lack of visa on arrival schemes for travel within Africa and said such restrictions are "a way of stifling the growth of Africa".

London Stansted Airport CEO: 'An airport and an airline have to work hand in hand'
London Stansted Airport CEO Ken O'Toole, speaking at the CAPA Middle East & Africa Aviation Summit, stated (29-Apr-2019) LCCs are going to drive aviation growth and the costs of operating at airports will help determine where that growth occurs. He also commented: "An airport and an airline have to work hand in hand".

fastjet CEO: 'The time is now' to improve aviation in Africa
fastjet Group CEO Nico Bezuidenhout, speaking at the CAPA Middle East & Africa Aviation Summit, called for (29-Apr-2019) action to improve the aviation sector in Africa, stating: "The time is now and something has to be done holistically". He added: "We need more connectivity, not more airlines".

African governments 'very active' in aviation, an issue for the industry: fastjet CEO
fastjet Group CEO Nico Bezuidenhout, speaking at the CAPA Middle East & Africa Aviation Summit, stated (29-Apr-2019) African governments are generally "very active" in aviation, which is an issue for the industry. Mr Bezuidenhout said some countries, such as Mozambique, have more "regulatory maturity" than others. He said governments moving from being airline operators to being providers of infrastructure would be a step in the right direction.

Jazeera CEO: Lack of secondary airports in Middle East a challenge for LCCs
Jazeera Airways CEO Rohit Ramachandran, speaking at the CAPA Middle East & Africa Aviation Summit, stated (29-Apr-2019) LCC operations in the Middle East are more difficult due to the lack of secondary airports, which are an important part of the LCC model in other regions.

Successful innovation depends on willingness to change: Sabre VP
Sabre VP travel solutions Middle East and Africa Dino Gelmetti, speaking at the CAPA Middle East & Africa Aviation Summit, stated (29-Apr-2019) achieving innovation comes down to a company's willingness to change. He said lessons in retailing are likely to mainly come from outside the aviation industry.

Etihad Airways VP: Airlines need to be innovative to maintain stable profit margins
Etihad Airways VP revenue management Dieter Westermann, speaking at the CAPA Middle East & Africa Aviation Summit, stated (29-Apr-2019) airlines need to be as innovative as they can to ensure profit margins are stable. He said innovation must come from within the organisation and there are a lot of opportunities. Mr Westermann said aviation as an industry is generally open minded about innovation, but is held back by legacy systems.

Monday 29th April 2019

17:45 – Today’s meeting agenda has closed. Now time for networking drinks

A lively day of debate comes to an end with the closure of today’s formal agenda. It was a day packed with discussion and debate, while chats on the sidelines have provided a few news stories (more on them next week). We also managed to grab some time with a number of senior airline and airport delegates. Look out for exclusive CAPA TV video interviews appearing on the CAPA - Centre for Aviation site in the next couple of weeks.

Monday 29th April 2019

16:50 - UP NOW... Innovation driving the entire aviation ecosystem

Technology within the aviation sector continues to evolve and develop leading to improved passenger experience, increased revenues and enhanced service. There are a range of tools available now which could assist in these areas from Customer Focused Platforms; Artificial Intelligence; digital technology; and many more.

These solutions are designed to enable revenue maximisation, reimagined retailing, and enhanced traveller experience through flexible, open, and intelligent technology.

  • What do airlines need to do to evolve into proper travel retailers?
  • What can they learn from other travel suppliers who excel in this arena?
  • What other/newer distribution technologies are required to enable further airline growth?
  • What technology is set to shape the way the future traveller interacts with airlines and airports?
  • How will travel retail evolve after basic merchandising?

Monday 29th April 2019

16:25 - It's not all about new infrastructure - enhanced airport efficiencies will also help drive growth

“Airports have pressure to monetise and get return on investment. Passenger growth will become better accommodated at airports by enhanced efficiencies.”
Samson Mengistu, COO, Los Angeles World Airports

Monday 29th April 2019

16:00 - UP NOW... Airport and airspace infrastructure dilemmas

Africa traditionally does not figure highly on airport construction but demand for air travel is growing amongst the 1.2 billion population and in some countries the middle class is swelling. Accordingly, the number of airport construction projects is growing and there is a level of ambition there to build airports that are modern, efficient, and which will cater for growth for several decades.

In the Middle East there are not quite as many projects one might expect although some large ones are scheduled to finish two years later, such as Kuwait Airport’s expansion project (2023) while additional infrastructure at Dubai World Central is being delivered in a piecemeal fashion through to the end of the next decade.

It is interesting to note the big three airline hub locations (Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi) are not alone by any means in being in receipt of capital expenditure on this scale. The largest project scheduled to conclude in the next few years is in Saudi Arabia while Iran has two.

These infrastructure constraints in both the Middle East & Africa are impacting greatly on aviation. This this session we will review:

  • The role of the airline and airport relationship;
  • What lessons can be learned from the rest of the world?
  • How do we unlock the value of slots at congested airports?
  • Do Middle Eastern airports and air navigation service providers have the capacity to accommodate the growth ambitions of the region’s carriers?

Monday 29th April 2019

15:30 - Corporate customers are helping drive Gulf Air's NDC adoption

Monday 29th April 2019

15:10 - UP NOW... Distribution and selling challenges: NDC to the rescue?

Legacy distribution systems have for decades presented airlines with the twin problems of high costs and product commoditisation. In efforts to address these issues, a handful of carriers throughout the world have invested heavily into establishing their own API channels with agents, while the concurrent push by IATA for airlines to implement the NDC standard has encouraged the industry to adopt a retail focused approach to distribution.

The GDS will also need to evolve in order to remain relevant and to compete effectively against other intermediaries and aggregators such as metasearch companies (some of which now have direct booking capabilities), as well as digital behemoths such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook - to gain a slice of the pie.

But as airlines work on enhancing their retail offering and improving their merchandising capability via both direct and indirect channels, a resounding message from industry players is that airlines need to consider the importance of mobile and messaging platforms, which are slowly replacing the desktop as the preferred interface for researching and booking travel.

  • Is this increasingly fragmented and complex commercial and technological distribution landscape sustainable? How will business models evolve in response? Is there a need for a direct connect aggregator?
  • Should airlines build lots of direct connects or revert back to lean, centralised distribution channels?
  • Who is going to be offering services to bridge the gap between airlines and aggregators that are NDC compliant and those that aren’t? Will it be the GDS and IT providers, other airlines or speciality providers?
  • How are newer intermediaries adding value to airline distribution?
  • How do airlines enhance their digital shopfront? Are airlines over-emphasising the importance of over mobile messaging platforms and bot technologies?

Monday 29th April 2019

15:00 - NDC in the Middle East and Africa

Ian Heywood, global head of new distribution, Travelport, "fully expects" an airline from the Middle East to start New Distribution Capability (NDC) API distribution this year. "After a slow start Middle East airlines are actively engaging in NDC API distribution; airlines are likely to be ‘live’ this year," he says. With their focus and determination he questions: "Will they overtake the front runners with their NDC sales?" For African airlines things will be a little slower and he does not forecast them to start NDC API distribution before 2020.

Monday 29th April 2019

14:50 - UP NOW... Distribution and digital transformation: A primer on NDC

Monday 29th April 2019

14:40 - Will Africa finally see a new dawn? Let's wait and see!

In conclusion, moderator, Richard Maslen, content editor, The Blue Swan Daily read:

"We are now certainly the closest we have ever been to allowing Africa to fulfil its aviation potential, but we need to stop talking and take action. And with a clearer aviation strategy we can be a little more confident the African aviation market will finally see a new dawn."

And yes, that was also written 20 years ago and highlights the biggest struggle that Africa faces in achieving its potential... the need to change!

Monday 29th April 2019

14:30 - Insights from Africa session

Monday 29th April 2019

14:20 - Stuck in time... will Africa finally take-off?

As an introduction to the Africa panel session, moderator, Richard Maslen, content editor, The Blue Swan Daily read the following extract from an article.

"The aviation landscape continues to change across the globe. But one thing has remain constant, the undeniable potential to develop new air connectivity across the vast African continent. Africa is rich with breath-taking tourist sites and natural resources, ranging from minerals to oil and water. It is undoubtedly easier to travel and explore the African continent today than 20 years ago and infrastructure is improving in many regions enabling more visitors and a better business environment for corporations. But, significant efforts still have to be achieved in specific regions where infrastructure, protectionism, high taxes, safety or regulatory issues continues to undermine commercial aviation and possibilities for efficient intra-African travel. But it is now on the cusp of a new era with a liberalised approach to the market set to deliver both enhanced connectivity and economic benefits."

A very relevant sum up of the current status of the aviation sector in Africa... as it was 20 years ago when he wrote it!

Monday 29th April 2019

13:50 – UP NOW... Spotlight on Africa – Africa remains a market of huge potential but even larger challenges

Africa remains a market of huge potential but even larger challenges. The outlook for 2019 is mostly more of the same, but with some glimmers of hope.

New start-ups and most existing airlines will struggle to overcome the obstacles that have repeatedly prevented most African airlines from succeeding. Foreign airlines dominate the African market and have a huge competitive advantage. Africa is an extremely challenging market for any LCC or new start-up. However, a long list of airline failures has not dissuaded more start-ups from entering the market. Nigeria’s Green Africa Airways is the latest to seek to break the logjam, well funded and with strong credentials.

Africa’s current commercial aircraft fleet consists of 1,700 aircraft, according to CAPA Fleet Database, and there are only 257 aircraft on order from African airlines.

The African airline sector continues to struggle, with most airlines in the red

  • Ethiopian Airlines has emerged as the clear market leader and is pursuing rapid growth, partially through new cross-border JVs
  • Royal Air Maroc has also emerged as a standout in a challenging market and is now preparing to join oneworld
  • Green Africa Airways is the latest high profile start-up in Nigeria

Monday 29th April 2019

13:20 – More travel and traveller insights from The Blue Swan Daily

Monday 29th April 2019

13:00 – It’s time for lunch… but lots more to come this afternoon

It’s been a busy morning of discussions. It’s now time for lunch, but there’s so much more to come, First up after the break will be a panel discussion on the African market and will be followed with a look on infrastructure and also some technological and distribution insights.

Monday 29th April 2019

12:30 - Key quotes from the regions' LCC leaders

"We're bullish on Saudi Arabia, We're bullish on the region. We're bullish on the model. It is a real rosy position right now."
Con Korfiatis, CEO, flyadeal

“If Africa is to grow from an economic standpoint, it has to grow from an aviation standpoint.”
Nico Bezuidenhout, Group CEO, fastjet

"If we depend just on point-to-point business in this region we will not survive. We need transit passengers to make it work."
Mohamed Ahmed, CEO, SalamAir

Monday 29th April 2019

12:15 - join the debate - via #CAPASummit

Monday 29th April 2019

12:00 - UP NOW... LCCs in Africa & the Middle East: lessons to be shared and learnt

While LCCs in both regions are facing very different issues, bringing them together will truly identify important lessons and hopefully drive future growth in both regions.

Africa is an extremely challenging market for any LCC or new start-up. However, a long list of airline failures has not dissuaded more start-ups from entering the market. Nigeria’s Green Africa Airways is the latest to seek to break the logjam, well funded and with strong credentials.

Flydubai remained the biggest LCC in the Middle East and was also again the number five airline overall, but its growth was only a low single digit percentage in 2018 and its capacity has remained virtually unchanged since 2016.

  • Is the rise of the LCC in the Middle East sustainable?
  • Is Africa ready for more LCCs?
  • Can the pan-African LCC model (eg, fastjet) succeed?

Monday 29th April 2019

11:50 - The four hour tipping point for passenger needs

“The front of the cabin and back of the cabin have different dynamics. Over a four hour flying time we generally see travellers are looking for a good price, a schedule, a comfortable clean aeroplane and a good on time performance. After four hours other factors start to make an influence.”
Rohit Ramachandran, CEO, Jazeera Airways

Monday 29th April 2019

11:40 - Travelport speaks to customers; will deliver insights on stage later

Monday 29th April 2019

11:30 - Gulf Air takes the boutique approach to airline operating models

Gulf Air is one of the most famous names in Middle East aviation. Formerly the flag carrier of multiple nations it is today just a shadow of the giant behemoths that now dominate air travel across the region. While their focus is as much on flying passengers through their regional hubs as to flying them in and out, they have made it difficult for established operators such as Gulf Air, now solely serving the Kingdom of Bahrain, to compete.

To stand out from the crowd and to strengthen its position as a national asset to the economic growth of the Kingdom, Gulf Air is now in the early stages of a five year development strategy to become the airline of choice within the region with a new boutique business model concept which will reinforce its focus on product and customer experience. It plans to differentiate itself from its larger airlines that are more volume driven.

The Blue Swan Daily spoke previously to its CEO, Krešimir Kučko, at the CAPA World Aviation Outlook Summit in Berlin in late Nov-2018.

Speaking on the stage in Dubai, Gulf Air’s chief commercial officer, Vincent Coste, says the new boutique airline strategy is already working. The airline has seen a +27% capacity increase in 1Q2019, driven by new Boeing 787 Dreamliners. But, this has delivered a higher +30% increase in passengers and +4% increase in average ticket value.

Monday 29th April 2019

11:15 - UP NOW... Spotlight on the Middle East - Middle East carriers and outlook for 2019/2020

Despite the near-medieval nature of aviation’s regulatory structure, it is only relatively rarely that politics intervenes to disrupt airline connections. Perhaps it is the socio-humanitarian nature of the industry’s role that often places mere political differences in the shade. Nowhere has politics made such inroads into efficient air service operations as in the Middle East.

Middle East seat growth slowed in 2018. The Gulf three grew capacity by only 2% and may feel increased competitive pressure from Turkish Airlines.

  • How do the region’s smaller carriers differentiate and compete against the big three Gulf carriers?
  • What lessons can be learnt from airport privatisation here and abroad?
  • Finding the right service proposition for domestic and long haul – traditional full service or unbundled?
  • What strategies need to be adopted to meet the distributions unique distribution challenges eg/ around late bookings?
  • How to reconcile the aim of open skies with creating a market for a national airline?

Monday 29th April 2019

11:00 - Join the debate - via #CAPASummit

Monday 29th April 2019

10:50 – UP NOW... a quick CAPA membership plug

Today, the global aviation and travel industry is undergoing significant and rapid change. Keeping up with these changes is getting harder every day. In a turbulent world, repeating the same thing we’ve done before is a guarantee for disaster. That’s where CAPA – Centre for Aviation is there to help!

CAPA provides access to the resources people need to stay connected and up to date fast. Its four key pillars, our news, analysis, data and events, give customers the confidence and connections they need to make informed, strategic decisions.

Visit CAPA – Centre for Aviation for more information.

Monday 29th April 2019

10:45 - The effect of user charges and taxation policies

Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO) secretary general, Abdul Wahab Teffaha, highlights in his keynote address that while air fares have declined in Europe, taxes and airport charges have doubled in the same past ten year period. If taxes remained constant between 2006-2016 he says, on average ticket price would have been less by EUR17 per one-way trip, which would have added 50 million passengers, resulting in additional EUR50 billion in European GDP and created 238,000 jobs.

Monday 29th April 2019

10:40 - Join the debate - via #CAPASummit

Monday 29th April 2019

10:30 - Oil prices are a double-edged sword for the Arab economy

The Arab Air Carriers Organization's secretary general, Abdul Wahab Teffaha, says the contribution of oil prices in the Arab economy is 65%. “So when oil prices higher, while bad news for airlines it’s good news for economy of region,” he says. Saudi Arabia and UAE business confidence particularly high, he adds.

Monday 29th April 2019

10:20 - UP NOW... Industry Keynote: AACO's Air Transport's Outlook

Monday 29th April 2019

10:10 - “We are working to customise the airport for each and every passenger.”

Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports, shares some thoughts on the airport business and Dubai Airports' outlook...

“Airports play a crucial role in developing sustainable capacity.”

“Process and technology are key capacity drivers.”

“We are combining convenience with a personal touch.”

“The industry needs to look to the hospitality industry to learn more.”

“We are working to customise the airport for each and every passenger.”

“The future of airport infrastructure needs to be sustainable, affordable, efficient and intermodal.”

Monday 29th April 2019

10:00 - Is the hub and spoke model dead? Will it still exist in the future?

Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports, says we need to take the role of airports in sustainable capacity more seriously. Is the hub and spoke model dead? Will it still exist in the future? he questions. "While new non-stops will impact the hubs, they will still exist and provide vital connectivity on a significant scale," he says.

Monday 29th April 2019

09:55 - Dubai's ideal geocentric location'

Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports, highlights Dubai's location as key to its growth and the hub model that Emirates Airline has built at Dubai International airport.

Monday 29th April 2019

09:45 - UP NOW... Keynote: The Future of Aviation Infrastructure

Monday 29th April 2019

09:35 - Middle East & Africa market insights

Some insights from Peter Harbison's opening presentation...

On… passenger growth in the Middle East
“While the rest of the world is growing steadily, the Middle East has stalled.”

On… Emirates Airline
“Following its remarkable expansion earlier this century, it tapered its growth recently. But it clearly has no plans to stand still.”

On… Etihad Airways
“It has fundamentally changed strategic course over the past two years. It has a new strategic course.”

On… Dubai International airport
"Dubai International’s growth depends heavily on Emirates. Between them they account for 80% of seats.”

On… flydubai and the Boeing 737MAX
“20% of flydubai’s flights are over five hours and will increase as its planned 250 737 MAXs come into operation. The MAX is vital to flydubai’s future with over 230 more on order."

On... Africa fleet growth
“African fleets confined by limited investment. There’s a discouraging outlook with an ageing fleet and few orders.”

On… South African Airways
“A once outstanding airline has succumbed to years of political intervention and corruption and is still in need of a defined long term growth plan.”

On... Africa
“There are lots of good intentions, but little action and with a multitude of constraints on growth.”

Monday 29th April 2019

09:20 - "The Middle East is changing. Africa still 'has potential'”

Peter Harbison highlights the good, the bad and the ugly of aviation across Africa and the Middle East.

GOOD - The US economy appears strong and relatively resilient. The stock exchange is breaking records

GOOD - China catastrophe scenarios have not materialised and the economy appears to be faring reasonably well

GOOD - Interest rates in many developed countries remain at historically low levels

BAD: IMF, World Bank and others downgrading the global economic outlook

BAD: IATA freight report 3-Apr-2019: “The negative impact of the softness in global trade and economic indicators is becoming increasingly evident in the recent air freight outcomes. Ongoing trade tensions continue to weigh upon the industry.”

BAD: Political instability in Libya, Yemen, Venezuela, UK/Brexit

BAD: Rising nationalism and protectionism

BAD: Trade wars, economic fragility of Italy, Greece and Iran; Chinese and German economies slowing

BAD: Resulting economic planning instability

BAD: Aviation: 787 RR engines; 737 MAX, Brexit impact on Airbus

BAD: Anticipated end of the positive economic cycle – whether or not correct, creates underlying reluctance of lenders

BAD: Extremely low interest rates limit governmental intervention options

UGLY: Fuel!

Monday 29th April 2019

09:10 – ‘Start Me Up’ and away we go!

CAPA – Centre for Aviation chairman emeritus Peter Harbison takes to the stage to welcome delegates to the CAPA Middle East & Africa Aviation Summit in Dubai with a message of thanks to our hosts, sponsors and dignitaries in the audience. We are all set for a couple of days of enlightening insight and lively debate.

Monday 29th April 2019

09:00 – The countdown commences… prepare for take-off

It is just ten minutes until the opening of the CAPA Middle East & Africa Aviation Summit. The Rolling Stones are on pause ready for CAPA executive chairman emeritus Peter Harbison to take to the stage for his welcome address.

600 seconds… 599 seconds… 598 seconds….

Monday 29th April 2019

08:30 - The Blue Swan Daily industry insights

Monday 29th April 2019

08:00 – Registration is now open!

Delegates are now starting to arrive at the conference location to a warm welcome from the CAPA team.

Monday 29th April 2019

07:30 – Join the debate - via #CAPASummit

Monday 29th April 2019

07:00 – The calm before the storm

It is just a couple of hours until the formal agenda starts on day one of the CAPA-Centre for Aviation Middle East & Africa Aviation Summit at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre (DICEC). All is quiet in the conference hall and networking areas, although the CAPA team have already been beavering away ensuring a smooth delivery of today’s programme.

Sunday 28th April 2019

19:00 - What’s in store over the next couple of days?

What will tomorrow bring? A packed schedule of enlightening discussions unrivalled in coverage of the top strategic issues affecting the aviation and travel markets. A full day of discussions is in store with events kicking-off at 09:00 with welcome introductions and a market overview presentation from CAPA’s Peter Harbison. Whether you are with us in Dubai, or following us via this blog, make sure you are in position.

It’s hardly a secret that the airline industry is facing myriad challenges, notably in the marketing and distribution areas, as companies with personalised data, and the analytics and artificial intelligence to go with it, become greater threats to the stability of the traditional airline model. Understanding aviation markets is CAPA’s great strength and passion and the event agenda in Dubai includes a variety of topics sure to generate interest and deliver lively debate.

Alongside keynotes from leading industry players including Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports; Abdul Wahab Teffaha, secretary general; AACO, Vuyani Jarana, group CEO, South African Airways; and Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO,flydubai; a regional perspective will be afforded on the industry.

Topics under discussion will include:

  • Aviation market overview
  • Spotlight on the Middle East - Middle East carriers and outlook for 2019/2020
  • LCCs in Africa & the Middle East: Lessons to be shared and learnt
  • Spotlight on Africa – Africa remains a market of huge potential but even larger challenges
  • Distribution and selling challenges: NDC to the rescue?
  • Infrastructure: Airport/Airspace
  • Innovation driving the entire aviation ecosystem
  • How do we change the way people work?
  • What’s driving travel and tourism demand in a digital era? The role of air services partnerships
  • Short-to-long-haul connectivity, particularly as LCC-long haul airlines expand

CHECK OUT the full event AGENDA.

Sunday 28th April 2019

17:00 - It is all beginning to take shape at DICEC

Things are beginning to take shape at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre (DICEC) ahead of tomorrow's launch. The CAPA Middle East & Africa Aviation Summit takes place in Za'abeel Hall 6 at the enormous venue.

Sunday 28th April 2019

16:00 - In conversation with… Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer, flydubai

Ahead of the summit, The Blue Swan Daily spoke to Ghaith Al Ghaith, CEO of flydubai.

Sunday 28th April 2019

15:00 - Regional news from The Blue Swan Daily

Is the African market finally ready to fulfil its full potential? Will a new more open approach to air connectivity finally open the door to better intra-African connectivity? These are massive questions for a market that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts will see the strongest growth over the next 20 years and will be home to some of the fastest growing individual country markets in terms of passenger demand.

Our regular round-up delivers some of the latest key aviation and travel news stories from across Africa. Here’s last week’s update.

14:00 - In conversation with… Con Korfiatis, Chief Executive Officer, flyadeal

Ahead of the summit, The Blue Swan Daily spoke to Con Korfiatis, CEO of flyadeal.

Sunday 28th April 2019

13:00 - The sun is shining and the views are amazing

While the exhibition area is chilled by the air conditioning, it is a beautiful sunny, and hot, day out there and that will continue for the rest of the week with temperatures the low 30°Cs. Dubai may change every time you visit, but the views just get better!

Sunday 28th April 2019

12:00 - In conversation with… Krešimir Kučko, Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Air

Ahead of the summit, The Blue Swan Daily spoke to Krešimir Kučko, CEO of Gulf Air.

Sunday 28th April 2019

11:00 - Regional news from The Blue Swan Daily

The Middle East market has been a story of growth for so many recent years as the development strategies from the likes of Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways has firmly placed the Gulf region on global route maps. But things have got more challenging. Political interference has become a norm, airline strategies have been called to attention and flights have actually been banned between some neighbouring nations across the region.

Our regular round-up delivers some of the latest key aviation and travel news stories from across the Middle East region. Here’s last week’s update.

Sunday 28th April 2019

09:00 - Good morning from Dubai

Good morning from the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre (DICEC) where we are just one day away from the opening of the CAPA - Centre for Aviation Middle East & Africa Aviation Summit. The CAPA event team are all on site working hard to prepare everything for the event, which will address the latest developments impacting aviation across the regions.