MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is set to become the centre of the Asian aviation industry on Sunday when top decision makers arrive for Routes Asia 2016 (6-8 March), the largest route development forum in the region.
Routes Asia brings together leading airlines, airports and their stakeholders to discuss air services to, from and within Asia. Philippine Department of Tourism is hosting the 14th annual event at SMX Convention Center in Manila.
Over 750 delegates from 100 airlines, 200 airports and 50 countries have registered for Routes Asia, including representatives from Air Asia, All Nippon Airways, Qatar Airways, Philippine Airlines, China Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Japan Airlines and British Airways.
The event is the perfect opportunity for the Philippines to show its attractions to the aviation industry while making the case for new air services. The Philippines’ famous beaches, mountains, rainforests, islands and rich cultural heritage drew 5.36 million tourists last year, and its ‘tiger cub’ economy is also gaining international attention (gross domestic product growth is expected to be 6.3% for 2016).
Routes Asia will enable the Philippines to capitalise on the rapid growth predicted for the Asia-Pacific aviation market over the next two decades. International Air Transport Association (IATA) figures predict that passenger numbers in the region will have overtaken both North America and Europe by the end of the next decade, and nearly half of all air travel will touch the region by 2034 – a total of 2.9 billion journeys.
Katie Bland, Director of Routes, said: “The Philippines has gained an influential position within the aviation industry by hosting Routes Asia 2016. The Asian market is growing and there is scope to improve the country’s international air connectivity with new service.”
Ramon R Jimenez Jr, Secretary of Philippine Department of Tourism, said: “Routes Asia 2016 is a milestone for the Philippines as this is the very first time that the country is hosting the largest and most important route development and planning forum in Asia.
“This is truly a testament to the country’s uninterrupted growth, particularly in the travel and tourism industry. As we welcome these developments, we are creating numerous opportunities for expanding our air routes, not only in Asia, but to the rest of the world.
“And ultimately, the hosting of this event will allow the Philippines and other countries in the region to enable more gateways, more destinations and more people to have access to the business that is tourism, making growth in the industry more inclusive and meaningful.”