Last year was a record year for Routes with more delegates than ever before attending its World and Regional Route Development Forums, despite the challenging macro-economic climate and considerable headwinds for the aviation industry.
A record number of over 5,500 delegates attended the seven events that Routes organized around the globe in 2012. These forums, which focus entirely on aviation route development, have become the must attend events of the year that shape the world’s air services.
David Stroud, Executive Vice President of Routes, said: “The record attendance at our events highlights the importance of intelligent network planning for airlines, airports, and tourism authorities. More and more people in the industry and beyond have grasped the strategic role that air services play, not just for the aviation sector, but for regional and national economies around the world. With over 15,000 face-to-face meetings taking place at World Routes alone, we offer the fastest and most efficient platform for everyone involved in creating new air links.
“We know the industry has another tough year ahead, but we are confident that we will be able to welcome even more delegates this year to our events that will include regional forums on all continents and an even bigger and better World Routes in Las Vegas.”
Highlights of 2012
Over 3,000 delegates including representation from over 300 airlines and 750 airports gathered in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE at the end of September for World Routes, the 18th World Route Development Forum. The event, which this year was hosted by Abu Dhabi Airports Company, is the largest gathering of the commercial air transport community and the only global event focused on route development meetings.
During World Routes, the 2nd World Route Development Strategy Summit in association with ICAO and the World Bank took place. The event opened with a keynote address from James Hogan, CEO of Etihad Airways and attending delegates had the opportunity to hear from almost 50 high-level speakers.
With the 10th Routes Asia in Chengdu, China; the 5th Routes Americas in Nassau, The Bahamas; the 7th Routes Europe in Tallinn, Estonia; the 7th Routes Africa in Victoria, the Seychelles; and the second Routes CIS in Ekaterinburg, Russia; five successful Routes Regional events took place during the year to foster air links within the world’s key regional aviation markets.
Among the highlights of the regional events was Routes Asia in China which was attended by more airports and airlines than ever before. The delegation of 672 included over 200 airline delegates representing 85 airlines from across the Asia region and beyond. Notable carriers attending the event included, Lion Air and Scoot which were both attending for the first time along with the four major carriers: China Southern, Air China, China Eastern. In May, the Routes Europe Strategy Forum was opened by European Commission Vice President Siim Kallas, responsible for Transport and formerly Prime Minister of Estonia, opened the event with a keynote address. July saw the most successful and largest Routes Africa event to date taking place in Victoria, Seychelles.
The second Invest & Manage took place in London in October, bringing together a wide range of airports, airport operators and infrastructure investors from across the world at a pivotal time. The format of private face-to-face meetings allowed real business to be done between airports seeking investment and management expertise, investors looking for airport infrastructure opportunities, and airport operators aiming to extend their portfolio of managed assets around the world.
Looking ahead: events in 2013
At least seven events are planned for this year:
Routes Americas: February 10-12, Cartagena (Colombia)
Routes Asia: March 17-19, Mumbai (India)
Routes Europe: May 12-14, Budapest (Hungary)
Routes CIS: (date and host to be announced soon)
Routes Africa: July7-9, Kampala (Uganda)
World Routes: October 5-8, Las Vegas (USA)
Invest & Manage Airports: October 4-5, Las Vegas (USA)
Future events that have already been announced for 2014 include Routes Europe (Marseille, France), Routes Asia (Kuching, Malaysia), and World Routes (Chicago, USA).