South Africa takes AGM
Egypt will not host the coming IATA annual general meeting. Instead, the honour goes to Cape Town
After a year of discussions and negotiating the possibility that Egypt host the 2013 IATA AGM, the board of governors decided to give it to South Africa.
The decision was made on Tuesday in Beijing as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) held its 68th General Assembly in the Chinese capital.
A day before the closing ceremony on Tuesday, the board of governors released its annual report where it made a recommendation in favour of South African Airways to host the coming summit.
Egypt was set to host the 67th IATA AGM in Cairo. But due to the troubling conditions and unrest that followed the 25 January revolution, in which the president was ousted and recently sentenced to life in prison, the organisation moved the summit to Singapore in 2011.
Instead, according to Egypt's Aviation Minister Hussein Massoud, Egypt was offered the possibility to host the 2013 AGM. "We hoped the political situation would be clear and positive, but unfortunately we have to accept moving it again, hopefully to 2015," Hussein told Al-Ahram Weekly in Beijing.
Hussein attended the event at a special invitation by IATA boss Antony Tyler, who insisted that Egypt's government has earned a distinguished position among governments which support aviation and the air transport business.
South Africa is set to host the 2013 event and Qatar is set to take the the 2014 AGM. It is hoped that Egypt's situation will stabilise and that it will be ready to take the 2015 or 2016 event.
According to Hossam Kamal, chairman of EgyptAir, it was unrealistic for Egypt to host the 2013 event. "We could have moved it to other city rather than Cairo, but then we decided it is better to wait till the political situation is clear. Then we could have better vision," Kamal commented.
Kamal was accompanied by an official delegation from the carrier, and attended the sessions that preceded the summit where he was elected a member of the IATA Board of Governors for the coming three years.