The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) has today launched its bid to host an international conference for the world’s pilots in Manchester in 2021.

The International Federation of Airline Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) is the representative body for global pilots. In excess of 100,000 pilots in over 100 member associations around the world are currently in IFALPA membership.

Its annual conference is a notable event in the world of aviation attracting high-profile speakers. In recent years it has taken place in Montreal, New Orleans, Panama City and this year is meeting in Luxembourg where BALPA’s bid was announced.

BALPA’s Executive President, Captain Brendan O’Neal, said: “British pilots are keen to be at the centre of the global piloting community and we are delighted to launch this bid to host IFALPA in Manchester.  BALPA is a founding member of IFALPA and hosted the federation’s very first annual conference in London in 1948. We are looking forward to showcasing the great city of Manchester over the next year as we persuade our fellow pilots to come to this vibrant and energetic city”

“As a federation of trade unions and professional associations representing pilots, we are particularly keen to promote Manchester’s rich industrial and trade union heritage.  In addition, aviation is a vital part of the city and the region’s economy with Manchester Airport – the largest UK airport outside of London – providing direct connections to over 200 cities around the world, and is a home base for many of the airlines we work with including Thomas Cook, Virgin Atlantic, TUI, Flybe, Jet2, easyJet and Ryanair.”

Sheona Southern, Managing Director of Marketing Manchester said: We’re delighted to be supporting BALPA’s bid to attract the IFALPA Annual Conference in 2021. This bid is reflective of Manchester’s international outlook - we’re a forward-facing and welcoming city with an ambitious strategy to build on our international relationships. Thanks to a thriving airport Manchester is the international gateway to the North of England, offering easy access to this diverse and distinctive region.”

Captain O’Neal added: “We are confident that our bid will be successful, and we look forward to bringing this important international conference home to the UK and to Manchester.”