Abu Dhabi to host Global Aerospace Summit on September 28-29

Keynote speakers include top executives from Mubadala, Edge and Etihad Airways

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. May 24, 2015///

Abu Dhabi skyline, view from Fairmont construction site near Marina Mall, for stock. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The  Burj Mohammed Bin Rashid Tower is the tall pointed tower on the left. Mona Al Marzooqi/ The National 

Section: National

Abu Dhabi is holding the Global Aerospace Summit from September 28 to 29 in an online gathering of top executives in aviation, space and defence to discuss the most important issues facing the industry amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year's event, hosted by Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment Company and Edge, will focus on finding solutions to the critical issues facing the aerospace sector including "restoring confidence in air travel, the accelerated uptake of digitalisation, business preparedness and responses to disruption", according to its website.

Among the keynote speakers are the chief executive of aerospace, renewables and ICT at Mubadala, Khaled Abdulla Al Qubaisi, the chief executive of Edge, Faisal Al Banai and the chief executive of Etihad Airways Group, Tony Douglas, according to an event invite on Wednesday.

Keynote speeches will address how the UAE's cornerstone aerospace, aviation and defence businesses are "identifying and capitalising on opportunities", the invite said.

Other highlights include discussions on how digital technology is driving companies such as Sanad and Strata to pivot to new production opportunities, lessons learnt on business resilience and future planning along with insights into the UAE's space programme.

The summit, which first began in 2012, will have a strong country focus on Saudi Arabia this year, according to the agenda.

The industry-wide discussion comes as the Covid-19 pandemic led to widespread border closures and disrupted the global aerospace sector.

Airlines worldwide are facing a loss of $84.3 billion (Dh309.5bn) this year, a 50 per cent cut in revenues and high fixed costs for aircraft and labour due to low travel demand, according to trade body International Air Transport Association.

In July this year, global airlines recorded an 80 per cent drop in passenger travel demand compared to July 2019 while load factors, a measure of how well a carrier is filling available seats, fell to a record low of 58 per cent.

Meanwhile, a second wave of infection across many countries are is impacting the appetite to travel. Globally, the number of coronavirus cases rose to 25.9 million and the death toll reached 861,494, according to statistics by Worldometer. The number of recoveries stood at 18.2 million.