16 JUNE 2014
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Very international CONNECT is a former French air travel gathering now in its 11th year. Marrakesh was the host with Morocco positioning itself as a gateway to Africa. With over 400 delegates this year its covered both tourism and business travel and spread over three days with an excellent mix of formal presentations and entertainment, does lend itself to serious networking.
Ralph Anker, Anna.Aero Chief Analyst, set the scene saying that Morroco’s “Open Sky” policy has allowed both easyjet and Ryanair to develop.
Airports were giving a whole session moderated by David King, formerly with Alpha Duty Free emphasising maximizing revenue. Direct passenger spending now counts for 51% of the take.
Flybe’s Paul Simmons predicted a small profit in 2014, noting the previous 12 months UD$40m loss whilst Faye O’Leary and Michael Cawley from Ryanair pointed out that the Irish airline now has 68 bases and is forecasting 110m passengers for 2019 (as against 72m for this year. François Bacchetta of easyjet noted that the airline is now moving 60m annually. They are everywhere in France except Marseille and Beauvais, and employ 1,000 people with local contracts. 24% of their French passengers fly for business. Over 90% demand in France is short haul. British airline expert Laurie Price chaired the whole gathering. www.connect-aviation.com
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