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Mr. Abu Zeid re-elected as ACI Asia-Pacific Economics Committee Chair; Mr. Southarewsky is Vice Chair

  • 2023-01-31

Mr. Nagy Abu Zeid, Vice President Corporate Planning, Oman Airports, has been re-elected as the Chair of the ACI Asia-Pacific Economics Committee for the second successive term, while Mr. François Southarewsky, Chief Commercial Officer Aero Kansai Airports, has been unanimously elected a vice chair during the 18th Committee meeting in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia between 11 & 12 December, 2022. Mr. Abu Zeid and Mr. Southarewsky will lead the Committee for two years, with the term beginning from February 2023.  


Nagy Abu Zeid

Nagy Abu Zeid, Chair of ACI Asia-Pacific Economics Committee


Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Abu Zeid, said “I am delighted to have been re-elected to the Chair of the ACI Asia Pacific and Middle East Economics Committee for a second term. Thanks to all members for their trust and support, especially during the past two years, which were the most difficult times for the aviation industry. But the future looks always bright and we have so much important work ahead of us. Our work plan for 2023 has set very ambitious targets and we are planning to conduct an Airport Industry Connectivity Study to examine the impact of the pandemic on air connectivity and the recovery prospects in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, and we will embark on the ESG journey by engaging with international financial institutions, mainly development banks on the topic of airport finance to facilitate sustainability airport projects and foster socio-economic development. Finally, I can say that I am very excited to continue serving our members across Asia Pacific and the Middle East.”


François Southarewsky

Mr. François Southarewsky, Vice Chair of ACI Asia-Pacific Economics Committee 


Mr. Southarewsky said “I am very honoured to have been elected as a vice-chair and I will continue to support the Committee. It was very encouraging  to see more people face to face during the Committee meeting in Riyadh and to have more interaction as well as constructive discussions. Hope to see all the members physically in Kobe, Japan now that all borders have reopened.”


The meeting, hosted by Riyadh Airports Company, was attended by representatives from several airport operators  in the Middle East region, including Cluster2 and Al-Ula from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sharjah from the United Arab Emirates and Oman Airports Company, represented by the Committee Chairman, Mr. Abu Zeid.


A number of recent developments and challenges in the area of aviation economics were discussed over two days.


Apart from summarising the committee’s outcomes over the year, the Committee Secretariat shared the status update with regard to the ongoing and upcoming projects of ACI Asia-Pacific in the area of economics, as well as the recent developments at the regional and global level.


Committee Members and Observers shared their feedback and deliberated on the needs and priorities that the Committee should address in the near term.

The meeting, a regular bi-annual gathering, provided a deeper understanding of priorities for airports in the Middle East to better plan advocacy activities in the region. Members from Kansai Airports and Narita Airport from Japan as well as Taoyuan International Airport contributed to the discussion by bringing their perspective from the Asia-Pacific region.


The Committee Members shared their expectations on future growth and development of the airport industry in the region. A 2023 workplan was also reaffirmed. In 2023, the evolution of connectivity in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East regions will be emphasised. 


On the side lines, the latest Airport Industry Outlook – Asia-Pacific and the Middle East Quarter 3 (July-November), was presented to the Committee. The quarterly report provides a snapshot of airport business performance across the region as well as other areas of the airport industry. 


On the second day of the meeting, the Committee Members were invited to visit the Airports Operations Control Centre, domestic Terminal 5 and the newly renovated Terminal 3 and 4 at the King Khalid International Airport.


ACI Asia-Pacific extends its gratitude to Riyadh Airports Company and Members of the ACI Asia-Pacific Regional Economics Committee for making this meeting a success. 


A special thanks to the outgoing Vice Chair, Mr. Fariz Qisti, Senior Manager, Airport Economics Research & Planning of Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad, for his contributions and leadership.


The next ACI Asia-Pacific Economics Committee meeting will take place in Kobe, Japan in 2023.

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