Representatives from The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA), its partners and stakeholders, and UBM Aviation attended a signing ceremony earlier today to cement the decision that Chicago has been selected as the host city for the 20th World Route Development Forum, which will be held in September 2014.
Currently taking place in Berlin, World Routes is the largest commercial aviation event and premier networking forum for the world’s aviation route development industry, bringing together airline route planners, airports, and tourism authority stakeholders to discuss new and existing air services.
In 2014, this event will bring more than 3,000 visitors to Chicago from the airline airport and tourism industry to discuss matters related to commercial airline route development.
Don Welsh, CEO & President of Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau, was joined by Matthew Danaher, Director of Airline & Industry Relations for Chicago Department of Aviation; Ben Wollitz, Vice President of New Member Development and Retention from Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce; Mark Tunney, Senior Vice President, Sales & Services for Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau; Shawn Kinder, Senior Vice President of Ricondo & Associates, Inc.; and Sheila O’Grady, President of the Illinois Restaurant Association at the signing Ceremony, which was also attended by Peter von Moltke, CEO of UBM Aviation; David Stroud, Executive Vice President, Routes for UBM Aviation; Mike Malik, Chief Commercial Officer of UBM Aviation; Katie Bland, Future Hosts Director for Routes; Natasha Peck, Marketing Director for Routes; and Sallyanne Collins, Sales Director Airports for Routes.
Don Welsh said of the decision to hold World Routes in Chicago: “This host opportunity is a key component to Chicago’s strategy to enhance its presence on the world stage. Conference delegates will find Chicago to be a most enjoyable location with its downtown lakefront setting.”
“We are very excited to showcase both of our airports, O’Hare and Midway International, and benefit from this platform to further enhance our significant air connectivity,” continued Danaher.
“With the most diverse economy in the United States and the home to aviation industry leaders, the Chicago business community is proud to offer its support to making this conference a success for everyone involved. Routes is the conference where business is done, and Chicago is the city where business is done – we see a perfect fit,” Added Wollitz.
The selection of Chicago as host city represents the culmination of a process which began in late 2010.
“We are delighted to announce that Chicago will be our host city for the 20th World Route Development Forum in 2014. They are one of the world’s top 5 airports, the second busiest in the USA, and their central North American location is strategically important to us as it not only offers excellent connectivity from within the USA but also has great direct access to the rest of the world,” commented Stroud who went on to say, “We see this as a way of growing our delegate attendance; McCormick Place is the perfect venue to allow for that growth, and Chicago, as a city, has everything we look for in a World Routes host – worldwide air accessibility, state-of-the-art venue facilities, and fantastic hotels and restaurants.”
Chicago’s two international airports currently provide nonstop international service to over 30 countries, in addition to their strong domestic network. Approximately 85 million passengers are served annually between O’Hare and Midway, and several international airlines have recently commenced or announced plans for new or additional services including Cathay Pacific, Aeromexico, VivaAerobus, and Volaris.
Hosting World Routes in 2014 is sure to further strengthen this network and create more awareness within the global airline community of Chicago’s market and create additional air service growth.