The third edition of IATA Wings of Change Europe (WoCE), organised by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and hosted by Pegasus Airlines, has kicked off in Istanbul following previous editions in Madrid and Berlin. Attendees on the first day included Türkiye’s deputy minister of transport and infrastructure, Dr Ömer Fatih Sayan; chair of the IATA Board of Governors and Pegasus Airlines vice-chairperson of the board and managing director, Mehmet T. Nane; IATA director general, Willie Walsh; and Pegasus Airlines CEO, Güliz Öztürk, along with government officials, industry representatives and aviation professionals from Türkiye and many other countries.
On the second day, deputy minister of culture and tourism of the Republic of Türkiye, Özgül Özcan Yavuz, will deliver the opening address of the conference, where significant topics such as the post-pandemic recovery, environmental and financial sustainability, accessibility, inclusivity, diversity, tourism and digitalisation are being addressed. Topics of discussion will include insights around the current state of the sector and what’s next for the air transport industry, as well as the tourism industry ecosystem.
Delivering a speech at the conference, Türkiye’s deputy minister of transport and infrastructure, Dr Ömer Fatih Sayan, said: “As a country we have the geographical advantage of being within a four-hour flight distance to 67 countries with 1.6 billion people and 8 trillion dollars of trade volume. Combining this strong geographical advantage with our strong airlines, comprehensive maintenance centres, modern airports, promising aviation training centres, and well-trained personnel, Türkiye is in a great position to become a world leader in aviation. New ideas and policies that are to be discussed here during this event will determine the roadmap of European aviation in the coming period. We believe that all challenges can be overcome first with regional and then with strong global cooperation.”
Delivering the opening address on the first day of the conference, chair of the IATA Board of Governors and Pegasus Airlines vice-chairperson of the board and managing director, Mehmet T. Nane, said: “The past few years have been the most difficult of the aviation industry to date. We have experienced and learned a lot. Now it is the time to recover and build back stronger than ever. We firmly believe in the power of working together to shape the future growth of a safe, secure and sustainable aviation industry that connects and enriches our world. We all have the power to achieve this and to make it happen, as long as we join forces and stand shoulder to shoulder. That is why a united aviation ecosystem is vital, because only then can we build on each other’s strengths and achieve far greater things than we can individually, from innovation and diversity to safety and sustainability.” He continued: “Stakeholders from across the aviation sector are united on the need for regulations which promote the coexistence of different business models, encouraging healthy competition and maximum consumer choice. Türkiye is a good example of how to grow national connectivity and allow different kinds of carriers to succeed. And what is crucial is that policies for growth go hand in hand with sustainable solutions.”
Güliz Öztürk, CEO of Pegasus Airlines, who also spoke at the event said: “As Pegasus Airlines, we are delighted to host IATA Wings of Change Europe, one of the most important aviation conferences in the European region. At this important event, we come together with aviation professionals from all over the world to exchange ideas and discuss highly significant issues that will shape the future of our industry. I am pleased that we can emphasise the importance of an inclusive and diverse corporate culture within the global aviation industry and underline that companies should be prioritising these issues. I look forward to witnessing the positive outcomes that this gathering will bring”.
IATA Director General, Willie Walsh,said: “Europe, just like the rest of the world, relies on air connectivity, which is vital for society, tourism, and trade. Business users of the European air transport network – large and small – have confirmed this in a recent IATA survey: 82% say that access to global supply chains is ‘existential’ for their business. And 84% ‘cannot imagine doing business’ without access to air transport networks,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, and continued: “We should be focusing on incentivising SAF production in the greatest quantities at the lowest cost, wherever that may be.”