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Hamburg hosting major aviation congress this week

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From 21 to 23 June 2016, the CCH – Congress Center Hamburg will be hosting one of the biggest events of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the international federation of airlines. The 138th IATA Slot Conference will be the IATA’s second event to be held in Hamburg over a period of only a few months. Over 1,000 international experts are joining the conference, which once again illustrates Hamburg’s strength as a destination for meetings and conventions, as well as its visibility in the aviation field. In addition, airline representatives will have the opportunity to gain first-hand insights into Hamburg’s great potential as an aviation location and tourist destination.

The workings of an airport is a true masterpiece in logistics. One of the main challenges here is to schedule arrivals and departures in a way that ensures smooth operations of worldwide flights. "Slots" - i.e. time frames for any arrivals and departures at an airport - predetermine a time schedule and regulate the landing and take-off rights of airlines, thereby providing a structure for the global flight schedules of airlines and airports. The 138th IATA Slot Conference is the forum for allocating these slots to fully coordinated airports worldwide. During the three-day conference in Hamburg, the flight schedules for the 2016/2017 northern winter period will be discussed and created.

The IATA Slot Conference will place a clear focus on Hamburg as a location and highlight the attractiveness and strength of Hamburg as a meetings and convention hub and a tourist destination. The Hamburg Convention Bureau GmbH (HCB) has therefore been one of the main players in bringing this conference to Hamburg. In close partnership with the HCB, the Hamburg Aviation cluster and Hamburg Airport have been in charge of integrating all major aviation partners from the region.

The conference's actual effects on Hamburg make it even more interesting as an event: Thorsten Kausch, managing director of the Hamburg Convention Bureau, explains: "This event is a real asset for Hamburg as a meetings and convention location. A sustained value creation for Hamburg as a business location will emerge when we can generate exchange through such an event, draw decision-makers' attention to Hamburg and firmly anchor a positive image of Hamburg in the minds of global players."

In order to foster such exchange and facilitate networking within the sector, the HCB is also initiating a networking dinner to be held alongside the conference programme. In keeping with the occasion, this social programme highlight will take place in the Jumbo hangar of Lufthansa Technik to create the perfect setting for the conference's thematic focus. 

What is more, Hamburg Airport will be presenting several programme highlights aimed at airline representatives in particular, including e.g. an exclusive guided tour around the factory premises in cooperation with Airbus on the day before the conference. In collaboration with Hamburg Tourismus, participants will also have the opportunity to go on a harbour boat trip and a sightseeing tour on one of Hamburg's red double-decker buses. In addition, Hamburg Tourismus will be presenting Hamburg as a tourist destination at a joint stand with Hamburg Airport at the CCH.   

Frank Horch, Hamburg's Minister of Economics, Transport and Innovation:

"The fact that the IATA Slot Conference will be taking place in Hamburg for the first time is the result of successful joint efforts to promote Hamburg as an aviation location. We are looking forward to welcoming the great number of experts to Hamburg and to showing them the positive impact Hamburg Airport and local businesses have made on the city."

Michael Eggenschwiler, CEO of Hamburg Airport:

"The IATA has made an excellent decision in choosing the City of Hamburg as the location for this year's conference. We are aiming to improve the Hamburg Metropolitan Region's connectivity even further and to link it up with additional international hubs. Beyond any facts and figures, a person's own impression of a city always constitutes an important factor when planning a route. We look forward to being able to convince many representatives of international airlines as well as route planners of Hamburg's potential and to play an even greater role in route development - with regard to European routes, but also with regard to long-distance flights."

Dr Franz Josef Kirschfink, managing director of Hamburg Aviation:

"This year, one of the major international conferences in civil aviation will be held at one of the world's most important civil aviation locations: Hamburg. The fact that we have been awarded the contract for this high-profile event for the first time is the result of comprehensive collaborations by all of our local partners. We look forward to welcoming airline representatives from around the world to the hometown of many of their aircrafts."