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Queensland lands major global aviation conference for Brisbane

19 September 2018

The Palaszczuk Government has secured a major international aviation conference for Brisbane set to pump more than $2.3 million into the Queensland economy.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the 145th International Air Transport Association (IATA) Slot Conference will run from 12-15 November 2019 and will welcome more than 1000 delegates from major airlines around the world to negotiate slots at international airports.

“This event will bring to Queensland some of the biggest players in international aviation to negotiate for the most sought-after slots on the planet,” she said.

“It’s the perfect opportunity to showcase our state to the world but will also open up discussions around how we can continue to strategically grow tourism in Queensland through aviation.

“Hosting this conference will help grow existing routes and identify new opportunities for Queensland.
“Today’s announcement comes off the back of the highly successful Routes Asia Conference hosted in Brisbane earlier this year.”

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the IATA Slot Conference provided a great opportunity for the government to strengthen relationships with airline executives in growing tourism markets.

“Improving access to our key tourism destinations is an important part of our strategy to grow Queensland’s $25 billion tourism industry,” she said.

“That’s why we’re investing $48 million in our Attracting Tourism Fund to secure more direct flights to Queensland.

“We’ve got the runs on the board – since 2015, this government has secured 2.4 million airline seats worth around $1.8 billion for Queensland.”

The conference was secured through a partnership between Tourism and Events Queensland’s Business Events Acquisition and Leveraging Fund, Tourism Australia, Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC), Brisbane Marketing and the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Tourism and Events Queensland Chief Executive Officer Leanne Coddington is currently in Guangzhou, China at the World Routes Conference and said Queensland had a high profile within the global aviation industry.

“Hosting an international conference of this calibre in Queensland’s capital couldn’t come at a better time with Brisbane’s new runway set to open in 2020, which will double Brisbane's flight capacity,” Ms Coddington said.

“Playing host to these conferences has certainly kept Brisbane and Queensland front of mind with key decision-makers and will no doubt bring many opportunities for the state’s tourism industry.”

Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan said that the IATA Slot Conference had been secured with support from its Business Events Bid Fund and was another great opportunity to showcase Australia’s impressive capabilities in event delivery.

“Sustainable aviation capacity is crucial to Australia’s visitor economy and a key focus of Tourism Australia’s work. Securing next year’s IATA Slot Conference is part of a broader strategy for aviation development, alongside Routes Asia and World Routes,” he said.

“Bringing this influential group of decision-makers to Australia next year is a real coup and will certainly help ensure we remain top of mind in an increasingly competitive marketplace.”

BAC Chief Executive Officer Gert-Jan de Graaff said being the host airport and city for this global conference was critical in keeping our city and state front of mind for key route development decision-makers from around the world.

“There is enormous competition for airlines to secure the best ‘slots’ at key airports and with Brisbane’s new runway coming on line in 2020, now is the time for airlines to be securing highly sought-after peak time slots to enhance and grow their operations.”

Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said securing hosting rights for the IATA conference once again demonstrated Brisbane’s new world city status.

“This significant aviation conference perfectly aligns with the Brisbane 2022 New World City Action Plan for economic growth by furthering our focus on securing more direct air routes, building our visitor economy and hosting more high-calibre business events,” Cr Quirk said. 

Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre General Manager Bob O’Keeffe said the Centre was honoured to play a part in securing such a strategic conference crucial to the future development and growth of Brisbane.

“Hosting the 145th IATA Slot Conference 2019 will build on the momentum of the successful hosting of the Routes Asia Conference held earlier this year and continues the Centre’s strong association with the aviation industry,” Mr O’Keeffe said.