Rodger Foster, Airlink’s MD/CEO to Receive Ato Girma Wake Award


For Outstanding Contribution to Africa’s Route Developmen

……As AviaDev Africa 2023 due for June in Kenya

 Story: Mohammed Abu

AviaDev Africa, the premier platform dedicated to developing air connectivity to, from and within the African continent, has announced that Mr Rodger Foster, CEO and Managing Director of Airlink, has been awarded the prestigious Ato Girma Wake Award for his outstanding contribution to Route Development in Africa.

The Ato Girma Wake Award is voted for by all members of the AviaDev Africa advisory board and presented annually to an individual that has demonstrated exceptional leadership and innovation in promoting connectivity and improving the aviation industry in Africa.

These were contained in a Press Release  issued in London, Thursday


Mr. Foster, the release stated, has been instrumental in the growth of Airlink since its inception in 1992. Airlink operates over 50 commercial jetliners operating to more than 45 destinations in 14 African countries and to St Helena Island, making it the largest privately-owned regional airline in Africa. Airlink continues to expand its route network, connecting more African cities and promoting tourism and trade across the continent.

“We are delighted that our advisory board have nominated and awarded Mr Foster with the Ato Girma Wake Award,” said Jon Howell, Managing Director of AviaDev Africa. “Mr Foster’s dedication and leadership in developing air connectivity in Africa are exemplary, and his efforts have made a significant impact on the continent’s economic growth. He joins a list of remarkable recipients of the award and we look forward to discussing and recognizing his achievements and contribution to the aviation industry in Africa when the industry convenes in Nairobi this June.”

Ato Girma Wake, AviaDev Event Patron and Board Chairman of Ethiopian Airlines added, “I am very pleased that Roger Foster was chosen from among many deserving aviation leaders for this award. It is our way of saying thank you for the good job he is doing as CEO of airline to ease inter African connections. Congratulations Roger and please continue with the good work.”

Upon receiving the award, Mr. Foster said, “I am deeply honored to receive the Ato Girma Wake Award. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire Airlink team, who have worked tirelessly to promote connectivity and facilitate economic growth in Africa. I would like to thank AviaDev Africa for this recognition and reaffirm our commitment to continue working towards the development of a robust and sustainable aviation industry in Africa.”

The presentation of the Ato Girma Wake Award will follow a fireside chat between Ato Girma Wake, Sanjeev Gadhia and Rodger Foster scheduled to take place during the AviaDev Africa 2023 event in Nairobi, Kenya, on June 16.

Hosted by Bench which has over the past 25 years, established a legacy for delivering business forums and conferences in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, AviaDev, Africa is the only dedicated air service development event for Africa focused on developing air connectivity to, from and within the continent via pre-arranged meetings, interactive workshops, an exhibition, and networking events.

AviaDev Africa brings together the key players in the African aviation community to forge new collaborations and partnerships to ensure that Africa remains connected regionally and internationally.

Sponsors of AviaDev include: Host Partner: Kenya Airports Authority; Platinum Sponsors: Airbus, Embraer, Kiu, NACO, Ravinala Airports and Technodyn | IFS; Gold Sponsors: Aercap, Avion Express, DPO Pay, Rolls Royce and NavPass; Silver Sponsors: ACS, Aergo Capital, Ink Innovation and Tourish; Exhibitors: Dube Tradeport. Airports Company South Africa, Cape Town Air Access, Namibia Airports Company and SOGEAC.

Since 2018, AviaDev has presented one distinguished leader in aviation with this annual award for their contribution to route development in Africa.

Previous winners include: Adefunke Adeyemi, Regional Director, Advocacy and Strategic Relations, Africa – IATA; Raphael Kuuchi, Special Envoy on Aero-political Affairs, IATA; Chris Zweigenthal, Chief Executive, Airlines Association of Southern Africa and Sanjeev Gadhia, Founder and CEO, Astral Aviation.



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