Palma.—An estimated 1'000 members of the British travel market are going to be attending the Abta convention in Palma this October and they are going to be addressed by some of the industry's most influential people.

Yesterday, it was confirmed that Willie Walsh, the chief executive of International Airlines Group, is going to talk at The Travel Convention.
Walsh is going to talk about the proposed increase in Air Passenger Duty (APD); the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS); airport capacity; how the industry is going to overcome the public and government's concerns around the environmental impact of aviation and if, and how, IAG is going to change the game for aviation.

Willie Walsh became chief executive of International Airlines Group (IAG) in January 2011, joining from British Airways where he was chief executive. IAG is the parent company of British Airways and Iberia and one of the world's largest airline groups, with more than 400 aircraft flying to 200 destinations, and carrying more than 55 million passengers each year.

Mark Tanzer ABTA Chief Executive said: “Last year Willie Walsh was one of the star turns in Malta. His insights on key issues that affect the entire industry will once more make for essential listening. “He has now taken on a new major role and it will be fascinating to hear how he intends to address the challenge and opportunities offered by the merger of BA and Iberia.” It was also announced yesterday that Majorca-based airline Air Europa has confirmed it is sponsoring the Abta Travel Convention in October.
The carrier is one of five headline sponsors of the industry event, alongside Cosmos Holidays, Fred Olsen, Iberostar Hotels and Resorts and First Data Merchant Solutions.

Colin Stewart, UK General Manager of Air Europa told the Travel Trade Gazette: “With it being staged in our home town of Palma, it made sense for us to have a strong presence this year.”

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