The Malta Aviation Conference and Expo (MACE), a B2B and B2C aviation networking event, held in Malta for the first time in October-November 2019, saw a total of 350 delegates attending. With educational and inspiring keynote speakers and an expo hall packed with exhibitors, this was the first of its kind to be organised in Malta and truly an astounding success. MACE will become an annual event from the industry to the industry attracting all aviation professionals from around the world.
The conference achieved great results thanks to the line-up of international and local speakers that attended the event and shared their knowledge on the various topics of interest. In addition, other key elements included the delegates that attended the conference and expo; the sponsors who gave immense support and contribution to the event; and the EBAA (European Business Aviation Association) and the MBAA (Malta Business Aviation Association) whose patronage was very important in the positioning of the conference in order for the delegates to appreciate what the aviation cluster in Malta has to offer. A special word of thanks goes to Transport Malta, who provided great support as Main Sponsor in having an agenda that competes with some of the best conferences that the aviation industry has to offer.
The main objective of the event was to create an environment of collaboration and cooperation for aviation leaders to come together and help each other succeed, profit and thrive. Such environment also included policy makers, operators, aviation industry professionals, legal & regulatory consultants as well as global users who came together under one-roof to discuss the opportunities as well as the challenges facing the aviation industry.
“Malta is fast becoming Europe’s favourite aviation jurisdiction with a number of airlines setting up in Malta, and with the Maltese aircraft register exceeding the 300 aircraft milestone, we felt that it was time to create a platform that gave players in the aviation industry a space to network, speak about and discuss industry best practices. This unique event managed to target delegates interested in or that are part of the industry and offer them the opportunity to engage directly with policy makers, business aviation professionals and end- users – one-of-a-kind and a first for Malta”, commented Stanley Bugeja (Managing Director of DC Aviation), Jonathan Dalli (CEO of The Concept Stadium) and Joshua Zammit (Managing Director of Novargo), Founding Partners of MACE.
Charles Pace; the Director General of Eurocontrol, Mr. Eamonn Brennan; Former NASA Scientist, Dr Anita Sengupta; the Director of Public Relations of Ryanair, Mr. Diarmuid Ó Conghaile; the Lead Air Transport Specialist at the World Bank, Dr. Charles E. Schlumberger; and the Executive Chairman of Knighthood Capital Partners and Former Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Aviation Group, Mr. James Hogan.
Speaking during the conference, the Hon. Dr. Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta said, “Government is committed to making aviation one of the key sectors in Malta’s economy. The aviation industry in Malta has been growing at a very fast pace, contributing to our growth. The strengths we have developed led us to explore the possibility of exploring a new niche – aircraft leasing. This industry has grown four-fold in the last 20 years, spurred by a commercial airline strategy, to diversify their aircraft portfolio by having both owned and leased aircraft. Over the past year or so we have been working on putting in place the infrastructure required for our foray into this sector. It will not be an easy task as there are currently two very good jurisdictions which almost have a stronghold on this sector but we are confident that Malta can carve out its own share in this growing sector. I’m really excited about this prospect and I think we can become a jurisdiction of choice worldwide when it comes to aircraft leasing and slowly but surely, I think we can really erode into the market share of the other two jurisdictions and play a major role. Our targets for the industry are ambitious, but also very realistic. We hope to be able to launch this project shortly,” he concluded.
The event, held under the patronage of EBAA (European Business Aviation Association) as part of their “Expanding Horizons” campaign and MBAA (Malta Business Aviation Association); also included an expo hall with over 15 exhibitors.