In a recent interview, we had the opportunity to sit down with Frederico Fernandes, Director of the Arab Aviation Summit, to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the aviation sector. As one of the leading industry players, Frederico shared his insights on the past success of the Summit and looked ahead to the future. He emphasized the importance of sustainability, innovation and collaboration in shaping the future of the aviation industry. The Arab Aviation Summit, he said, has been a platform for decision-makers to gather and share their knowledge and experiences, helping to chart a course for the future of the industry. With the summit celebrating its jubilee year, Frederico is looking forward to another successful edition, where experts from around the world will come together to discuss the latest trends, innovations, and successful cases in the aviation industry.
- How would you evaluate the previous years of the Arab Aviation Summit and what will make this year’s edition special?
The Arab Aviation Summit has been a formidable platform for the aviation and travel industry since its debut edition. Endorsed by Arab Governments, the Summit has grown in influence far beyond the Middle East, becoming a premier gathering for the industry’s most important decision-makers. The platform brings together a perfect mix of influencers and market makers, from Original Equipment Manufacturers to operators, hospitality, and Tourism Boards, which has allowed for enhanced collaboration and new business development opportunities. The support and participation from government and non-government bodies has also brought significant strength to overseeing and enhancing opportunities from the Middle East and other markets to the region. The path has been extremely positive, with the Summit now hosting 750 delegates per edition, selected from over 2500 global applications received. This year’s edition will be particularly special as we will be celebrating the jubilee year of the Summit.
- What are the most significant changes you see across the industry, and what trends will the upcoming edition confirm?
The Middle East players are leading the way in the aviation and tourism industry, registering spectacular performance and uncovering unprecedented innovation and a stunning and sustainable vision for the future. The upcoming edition of the Summit will confirm the trend of sustainable solutions and showcase the latest advancements in energy, passenger experiences, and technology. We will also have industry leaders sharing their success models that have allowed Arab carriers to thrive and reflect on the next steps to continue delivering market needs without disruption. Additionally, this edition of the Summit will also be focusing on sustainability, launching a partnership agreement with climate technology company CHOOOSE to calculate and offset its carbon emissions at its milestone 10th event. This partnership makes AAS the world’s first aviation and tourism event to calculate carbon emissions and empower its attendees with the knowledge and opportunity to offset their own carbon emissions, highlighting the Summit’s wider commitment to proactively addressing the impacts of climate change.
- What do you think is the strongest trend in the aviation industry at the moment and how will the industry change over the next few years?
Currently, I believe that the sustainable drive is at the top of the agenda, as well as financial consolidation, where better-performing groups will go to the market to grow through acquisitions. The third disruptor will be urban and regional mobility with the Advance Air Mobility market entry in the next decade. This new mobility industry will change the way we connect and travel. According to a Morgan Stanley report, it may be worth 9 Trillion Dollars by 2050, three times more than the commercial aviation market size.
- Personally, you have been involved in aviation for many years and have followed developments first-hand. Has there been anything that has surprised you recently?
As someone who has been involved in the aviation industry for many years and has followed its developments firsthand, two features have particularly surprised me. The first is the aviation and travel market’s resilience to crisis. The need to travel is organic and human, and the sector will always have clients wishing to travel. The recovery of the market after the pandemic is a testament to this resilience. The second feature that has surprised me is the rapid advancement of technology in the industry. From electric and hybrid-electric aircraft to autonomous flight, the industry is evolving at an unprecedented pace, and it is exciting to see what the future holds.