CAPA Middle East & Africa Aviation Summit, 2-3 March 2020, Amman (Dead Sea) Jordan


After a highly successful CAPA Middle East & Africa Summit held in Dubai in May-2019, CAPA - Centre for Aviation will again hold this annual regional summit in Amman (Dead Sea) on 2-3 March 2020 – CAPA's first venture in Jordan. The summit will be supported by the host, Airport International Group (AIG), the operator of Amman-Queen Alia International Airport

An array of senior figures and experts in the travel and aviation industry will provide an in-depth update on the Middle East and Africa, exploring the driving factors behind change and what is likely in store for the future. They will also provide analysis and insight into one of the biggest forces of change – sustainability, and how it is impacting the industry in a big way.

The emergence of LCCs will also be explored.

C-level speakers confirmed to take the CAPA stage during the course of the 2-day summit include: Ethiopian Airlines CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam; flyadeal CEO, Con Korfiatis; Jazeera Airways CEO, Rohit Ramachandran; Ryanair CCO, David O’Brien; Jordan Aviation President & CEO, Captain Zuhair Al-Khashman; Royal Jordanian CEO, Stefan Pichler; and Libyan Airlines Chairman, Eng. Abdelati El Meshkhi, among others.

UPDATE: After careful consideration of the impact of COVID-19 and in consultation with our hosts, AIG, it is with regret that we announce that the CAPA Middle East and Africa Aviation Summit, originally scheduled for 2-3 March 2020 at the Dead Sea, Jordan, will now be postponed.

For more information on the CAPA Middle East & Africa Summit  click here.

A changing Middle East market

The Middle East is experiencing rapid and significant change, with LCC flyadeal, as well as Oman Air and Kuwait Airways, challenging the seemingly endless market dominance of the big three Gulf carriers: Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways.

The arrival of long haul narrowbody aircraft will act as a balance shift, as smaller gateways become available for direct service.

Growth opportunities for the African market

Growth opportunities in Africa have become clear, despite the region continuing to lag behind the rest of the world’s aviation markets.

South African Airways secured additional USD270 million towards a business rescue in the hopes of returning to profitability. The business rescue involves deployment of more fuel efficient aircraft, the optimisation of organisational structures and the renegotiation of contracts with suppliers.

Meanwhile, Ethiopian Airlines continues to progress, with 42 aircraft on order, its recently launched services to Athens and Houston, and a planned new airport in Addis Ababa with capacity for 100 million passengers per year.

Destination Matters

The 2020 CAPA Middle East & Africa Aviation Summit will be held at indisputably one of the most beautiful and exciting destinations in the world, by the edge of the glistening Dead Sea. Located at the lowest point in the world, the venue promises a rich landscape of history, culture and luxury.

Why not extend your stay to have a float, unwind and bask in the stunning sights of this one of a kind location?

Speaker Highlights:

 Ethiopian Airlines CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam

 Flyadeal CEO, Con Korfiatis

  Jazeera Airways CEO, Rohit Ramachandran

 Ryanair CCO, David O’Brien

Jordan Aviation CEO, Zuhair Al-Khashman

Royal Jordanian CEO, Stefan Pichler

 Kuwait Airways CEO, Kamil Al Awadhi

Libyan Airlines Chairman, Abdelati El Meshkhi

Etihad Airways Head of Sustainability and CSR, Mariam Al Qubaisi

Agenda Highlights:

The summit’s opening panel discussion will provide an update on the Middle East market, with a focus on the inevitable slower growth forecast for 2020 after a 1.6% reduction in seat capacity in 2019. After over two decades of solid growth experienced by the Gulf Big Three airlines, a period of consolidation is expected as the market digests the capacity.

While Saudia’s growth has levelled out,  Emirates and Etihad are cutting capacity in 2019 and flydubai’s growth has been impacted by 737 MAX delays. Although seat growth in 2020 is likely to resume, it will only be at low to mid single digit rates.

A lower oil price and slowing global economy have also taken their toll on the region’s growth. The panel featuring Royal Jordanian CEO Stefan Pichler, Kuwait Airways CEO Kamil Al Awadhi, flyadeal CEO Con Korfiatis, Jazeera Airways CEO Rohit Ramachandran, AACO Secretary General Abdul Wahab Teffaha and Libyan Airlines Chairman Eng. Abdelati El Meshkhi will offer unrivalled expertise on these issues and more.

Later in the summit agenda, during an Africa market update, Ethiopian Airlines CEO Tewolde GebreMariam will provide insight into how the industry is preparing for potential growth opportunities.

The African Union’s Single African Air Transport Market is also signalling change, with 28 signatory nations. While work is still needed to implement this market, when finished it will aim to lift restrictions on market access, as well as ownership and control, and will harmonise safety and security regulations.

The panel will also assess the growing impact of LCCs on full service carriers, including South Africa’s Mango, FlySafair and kulula.com.

The most significant source of change for the aviation industry is undoubtedly climate change, and the growing pressures on airlines and aviation companies to lower carbon emissions and respond to this very real threat. Etihad Airways has targeted zero net carbon emissions by 2050, with Qatar Airways stating that the sustainability spotlight should be on fuel and engine suppliers, and Emirates President Tim Clark saying the job of reducing carbon emissions for the airline industry will not happen overnight.

A list of panellists, including Etihad Airways Head of Sustainability and CSR Mariam Al Qubaisi and Boeing President Middle East, North Africa and Turkey Bernard Dunn, among other industry peers, will explore the potential impact of ‘flight shaming’ – airlines as soft targets for environmental activists and how governments will respond to these growing pressures.

Day 2 of the Summit

Low cost carriers are proving to be fierce competitors to full service carriers in both regions. On Day 2 of the Summit Ryanair CCO David O’Brien and Jordan Aviation President and CEO Zuhair Al-Khashman will join a panel to discuss LCC growth in the Middle East and Africa.

In the Middle East, LCCs have displayed a robust year of growth in 2019, with seat capacity increasing 9.3%. Flyadeal is among those swiftly making a mark on the industry and providing a very real challenge for Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways and Emirates. LCC share of total seat capacity increased from 14.9% in 2018 to 16.5% in 2019.

LCCs are establishing a stronger presence in Africa, with the leading models coming from South Africa. FlySafair is looking to expand market dominance and capitalise on South African Airways’ struggling market position, with the suspension of services due to its financial position. Africa’s LCC capacity increased to 13.3% in 2019, whereas legacy airline growth rose 2.6% – the seventh year in which LCCs outpaced full service airlines. The LCC share of total seat capacity in Africa has almost doubled over the past decade.

The panel will explore what is driving this growth in both regions, as well as assessing the differences between an independent LCC and the subsidiary of a full service carrier, and the role airports play in LCC success.

For more information on the CAPA Middle East & Africa Summit  click here.

Want More Analysis Like This?

CAPA Membership provides access to all news and analysis on the site, along with access to many areas of our comprehensive databases and toolsets.
Find Out More