The Panafrican Conference on Air Transportation to be held in Atlanta Sept. 29-30 will bring together representatives of Africa and the Caribbean’s leading airlines with U.S. government, airport authority and related business officials.

Although officials are to attend from throughout the U.S., Atlanta as host is well positioned to promote the establishment of a direct flight from Africa to Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport.

“African leaders consider Atlanta a friendly port of call because the city makes a special effort to make people feel welcome,” former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, told GlobalFax during a telephone interview last week. Mr. Young is co-chairing the conference with Mayor Bill Campbell.

He said that he had been a proponent of expanding international flights to and from Atlanta ever since he served as mayor in the 1980s because of their positive impact on the city’s economic development.

“Atlantans understand trade and development through air transportation and the business and tourism connections that come with it,” he added. 

He also said that international flights promote economic development abroad and that the conference organizers hoped the conference would become an annual affair, perhaps taking place in Africa next year should a direct flight be established in the coming year.

Speakers are to include Rodney Slater, secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Leo Mullin, chairman and CEO of Delta Air Lines.

Mr. Young encouraged representatives from all businesses related to the development of both passenger and cargo flights to and from Africa to attend including service providers and suppliers. He also said that additional sponsors were being sought to promote the event.

Cost to attend is $975. For more information or to register, go to