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Hamburg to host major aviation convention in 2016

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The 138th Slot Conference of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global trade association for the airline industry, will be held in Hamburg from 21 to 23 June 2016. Following the World Passenger Symposium in 2015, this will be the second event of this renowned umbrella organisation to be hosted in Hamburg – thereby confirming Hamburg’s important role in the international aviation industry. Around 600 experts from the aviation industry are expected to attend the biggest of the IATA events, which will take place at the CCH – Congress Center Hamburg.

Every airport follows a schedule. In day-to-day operations it is essential that departures and arrivals are on track so as to ensure the smooth workings of an airport. All departures and arrivals are organised through slots, which provide the very basis for creating flight schedules for airlines: no flight can be conducted without the relevant takeoff and landing rights being granted. The IATA's 138th Slot Conference aims to create a forum for allocating such slots at fully coordinated airports. During the conference in June, the northern winter schedules will be discussed and assembled.

The Hamburg Convention Bureau GmbH (HCB) has contributed greatly to the successful acquisition of this convention: As well as procuring the CCH as the conference venue, the HCB also supported the organisers in obtaining hotel capacity and in their search for sponsors. In addition, the HCB organised and conducted site inspections and obtained a letter of intent from Hamburg's First Mayor Olaf Scholz. In close collaboration with the HCB, the Hamburg Aviation cluster was responsible for integrating all relevant aviation partners from the region.

Frank Horch, Hamburg's Minister of Economics, Transport and Innovation, comments: "I am very pleased that our aviation cluster has such a strong appeal to transregional meetings as well as national and international conventions such as the IATA Slot Conference. In the aviation industry the word has gotten around that Hamburg, the world's third largest aviation location, is an excellent place for establishing valuable contacts, for initiating collaborations and for exchanging knowledge."

Thorsten Kausch, managing director of the Hamburg Convention Bureau GmbH (HCB) and Hamburg Marketing GmbH (HMG), states: "For our city, and of course for Hamburg's aviation industry, we are happy that we have been able to win a second major IATA event just after the World Passenger Symposium. The IATA's Slot Conference confirms that Hamburg is a major player in the international aviation industry. Conventions and meetings bring opinion leaders and decision-makers from the respective industries to our city, and these stakeholders become aware of Hamburg's strengths, while at the same time considerably strengthening their relevant branches in Hamburg. In this case, the Hamburg Aviation cluster directly benefits from the conference, which confirms the Hamburg Convention Bureau's strategy of strengthening the location through the acquisition of cluster-related events."

Dr Franz Josef Kirschfink, managing director of Hamburg Aviation, adds: "The Slot Conference is one of the most important international conferences for civil aviation in 2016 and is taking place in one of the world's most important civil aviation locations - Hamburg. The fact that we have been awarded the contract for two IATA conventions within a short period of time demonstrates the extent to which our location and our established industry network are considered highly convincing. For us as an aviation cluster, this is not only a cause for celebration, but also represents our claim to live up to and strengthen our reputation also in the future. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with IATA, and to hosting two successful events at the aviation location of Hamburg."

"IATA has made the right decision by choosing Hamburg.  More than 60 airlines offer up to 120 direct services to and from Hamburg. The excellent connectivity of our network will ensure that our international colleagues from the aviation industry will arrive comfortably and reliably. Hamburg is reachable from over 900 destinations worldwide with only one stopover. We are looking forward to the opportunity to present our case for Hamburg and the entire region's many benefits to the many international airline representatives. This will allow us to play an even bigger role in their route development," says Michael Eggenschwiler, CEO of Hamburg Airport.