Airline industry leaders to gather in Dublin for world summit
Airline leaders from around the world will gather in Dublin for a major summit beginning on Thursday.
The International Air Transport Association's (Iata) annual general meeting will focus on the industry's sustainability and cyber security.
Tony Tyler, the organisation's director-general, said: "Dublin is set to be the capital of the global air transport industry as leaders gather for the 72nd Iata AGM and World Air Transport Summit.
"The airline industry's most senior leaders will discuss measures to ensure the economic and social benefits of safe, secure, efficient and sustainable global air transport."
The event comes just two weeks after an EgyptAir flight from Paris to Cairo crashed into the Mediterranean Sea, killing all 66 people on board.
Ireland's Transport Minister, Shane Ross, will open the two-day summit with a keynote address.
According to Iata, aviation generates £7.3 billion in GDP and supports 220,000 jobs in Ireland.
Forecasts for a 2.4% average annual passenger growth over the next 20 years are higher than expectations for the UK (2.2%) and European nations of a similar size to Ireland such as Greece (1.7%) and Portugal (0.9%).
Nearly 1,000 delegates are expected to attend the AGM at the Royal Dublin Society.
Mr Tyler said: "For a nation of just 4.6 million people, Ireland has always punched above its weight in the aviation world.
"Air connectivity is the backbone of a thriving tourist industry and serves as a cultural bridge for the 80 million people around the world who identify themselves with Irish heritage.
"Dublin's growing hub is a vital transatlantic gateway to Europe".
This is the second time Iata has held its AGM in Dublin. The Irish capital first hosted the event in 1962.