Pilots conference

Manchester has been chosen as a venue for a prestigious meeting of the world’s piloting community.

The International Federation of Air Line Pilots' Associations (IFALPA) holds a four-day conference each year where delegates meet to discuss issues that matter to the piloting community and develop policies to promote the highest level of flight safety.

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) bid to host the event in 2021 and at this year’s conference in Berlin it was confirmed that BALPA has been successful. It means BALPA will host nearly 500 pilots and aviation industry experts in Manchester in two years’ time.

BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton said: 

“We are delighted to host the world’s pilots in Manchester in 2021. British pilots have long been at the heart of the global piloting community and BALPA saw the opportunity to host this event as a chance to influence aviation worldwide while showcasing the great city of Manchester’s rich industrial and trade union heritage.  

“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. It is a home base for many of the airlines we work with including Thomas Cook, Virgin Atlantic, TUI, Flybe, Jet2, easyJet and Ryanair.

“Preparations are already well underway and we look forward to bringing this important international conference home to the UK and to Manchester.”

Sheona Southern, Managing Director of Marketing Manchester, said: 

“We’re thrilled to welcome the IFALPA Annual Conference in 2021 and we congratulate BALPA on their successful bid. As a city-region with international ambitions to be a Top 20 global city by 2035, Manchester is delighted to be welcoming the global piloting community to this high-profile conference. 

“Aviation is an important industry for the region and Manchester Airport plays a significant role as the busiest regional airport in the UK, with major airlines flying to over 200 destinations connecting Manchester as an international gateway to the North of England.”