Zanzibar. Airbus held its annual African airlines business lab symposium in Zanzibar this week, bringing together airline industry experts and managers from carriers across the region, with the purpose of sharpening their businesses to take advantage of the rapidly expanding African market.

Topics discussed included aircraft financing, global industry trends, digitalization in the airline industry, aircraft evaluation and sessions on customer marketing and market growth strategies.

Over the past 30 years Africa has recorded steady growth in demand for air transport, with the number of air travellers flying to, from and within the continent doubling every 15 years.   

“With Africa’s population set to expand by 2.5 billion people over the next 20 years and with urbanisation and economic expansion, it will become the world’s fastest growing market,”  said Hadi Akoum, Airbus Vice President, Sales for Sub-Sahara Africa & the Indian Ocean Islands.    

He added: Our Africa Airlines lab is a forum for discussion and shared learning in order to equip airline managers with knowledge and expertise they can use to take full advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to create sustainable growth, not just for their themselves, but the economies and societies they serve”.  

At the start of this month, there were 240 Airbus commercial airliners in service with 30 African operators.