In just five days’ time, the 10th Routes Asia event will take place in Chengdu, China. The event will be hosted by Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CDIA) at the InterContinental Hotel, Chengdu.
This year’s Routes Asia will be attended by more airlines and airports than any previous Routes Asia event, which strengthens the event’s position as the only route development forum for the entire Asia region.
Eighty-six airlines, more than ever before, are currently registered to attend the event, which has seen a 27 percent year-on-year rise in airlines since last year’s event in Incheon, South Korea, when 67 airlines attended. This record participation for any pan-Asian route development event highlights the continuous demand for new air links across Asia and the fast-growing ties between Asian nations.
Recent airline registrations include LionAir, who has recently placed a record-breaking order for aircraft with Boeing signed by President Obama and Cebu Pacific Air who will shortly begin long-haul flights with their A330 aircraft and will brief airports at Routes Asia on these plans in an exclusive briefing. The event will also see a strong cargo representation – more than in previous years – including registrations from Air China Cargo, FedEx, Jade Cargo, Malaysia Airlines Cargo, UPS, and Turkish Airlines Cargo.
Both Japan Airlines and All Nippon, two major Japanese carriers, will be in attendance, along with strong presence from the Chinese and Middle Eastern airlines. Low-cost carriers will also be there in full force alongside carriers from outside of the region with interest from the North American market (United Airlines, American Airlines and Air Canada) and Europe (Finnair and British Airways).
“We will have record attendance at Routes Asia in China this month,” said David Stroud, Executive Vice President Airports, Routes for UBM Aviation, explaining, “There is clearly a continuing high demand for better connections between Asia’s growing cities. In addition to the big Asian airlines, Middle Eastern airlines and Asian low-cost carriers play an increasingly important role in the region. Perhaps more surprisingly, we also see an increase in airports from North America and Europe at Routes Asia, as they pursue air links within the growing markets of Asia.”
“Sichuan is one of the most important economic provinces,” commented PAN Xiaojun, Chairman of Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport and General Manager of Sichuan Province Airport Group, continuing, “Chengdu city plays a leading role in China’s west economic development. Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport has a reputation as the fourth largest city of china’s aviation. The year’s passenger throughput and the cargo throughput rank the first in the mid-west airport of China, and the 46th around the world. We believe the airline companies which are full of strategic foresight would consider Chengdu as the first option to step into or expand the market of China’s aviation, and gain effective and positive achievements.”
Mr. Pan Xiaojun will also give one of the keynote addresses at the Routes Asia Strategy Forum, which will open the event on the afternoon of Sunday, April 15. This forum, which is open to all registered delegates, will also include a keynote address from Mr. Li Haiying, Secretary of the Party Committee of Sichuan Airlines Group Co. and General Manager of Sichuan Airlines.
A panel of leading industry experts will then take part in a number of moderator-led discussions, which will address issues affecting aviation and route development across the Asia region. Sessions will cover network development and market opportunity in China, challenges and opportunities in India, and cyclical markets and dealing with traffic downs following economic and natural disasters. High-level delegates involved in the panel sessions include, among many others, Mr. Luo Yu, Vice General Manager of Chengdu Airlines; Mr. Andrew Parker, Senior Vice President – Public, International, Industry & Environment Affairs for Emirates; Mr. Rajeev Jain, President of Mumbai International Airport Pvt Ltd.; Mr. Prashant Sukul, Government of India, The Ministry of Civil Aviation for the Government of India; and Mr. Andrew McEvoy, Managing Director of Tourism Australia.
This year’s Routes Asia event will also see more airport delegates in attendance than in previous years, with more Chinese airports represented than ever before and many airports from outside the region attending Routes Asia in 2012. Airports attending the event for the first time this year include Adisumarmo Surakarta Airport, Ekaterinburg Koltsovo Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Bordeaux Airport, Aéroports de Lyon SA, Winnipeg Airports Authority, and Birmingham Airport Ltd.