The second Routes CIS event drew to a close today in Ekaterinburg, Russia. The event opened on Sunday with the inaugural Routes CIS Strategy Forum, during which a number of leading industry experts covered some of the hot topics affecting aviation in the CIS region. The conclusion of most of the speakers during this thought-provoking debate was that barriers need to be brought down to enhance inbound and outbound traffic, especially in relation to prohibitive bilateral restrictions and visa issues.
The forum opened with an address from Evgeniy Chudnovskiy, CEO of the event host, Ekaterinburg Koltsovo Airport, highlighting “there is still a lot to be done” to enable the Russian aviation business to meet its full potential and that the regional market “is key to the development” of the overall industry. Earlier this year, Chudnovskiy had spoken of the opportunity to host this event stating that “it is a great privilege and a variety of opportunities for us. To have Routes CIS hosted in Ekaterinburg is a perfect opportunity for us to give an insight into our plans and achievements to our colleagues, to share our expertise in introduction of new technologies, related to airport operation in particular, to find new partners, and to enhance the route network for our passengers.”
Also revealed during the successful event, was a new alliance of Russian airports as four of the country’s six largest facilities by passenger traffic united to lobby for advancements in the industry. The non-commercial entity will be known as the Russian International Airport Association and plans to become part of the Airports Council International (ACI). This innovative alliance brings together three major airport groups (Basel Aero, Novaport, and Renova) initially comprised of four major Russian Airports: Sheremetyevo International, Vnukovo International, Novosibirsk Tolmachevo, and Ekaterinburg Koltsovo.
Another important element of the event, The Routes Airport Marketing Awards, took place during the spectacular networking evening, which took place last night at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Ekaterinburg. This is the first time that the Marketing Awards have involved a regional heat for the CIS, and St. Petersburg Pulkovo International Airport was crowned as the winner of this year’s fourth regional heat.
The awards have become synonymous with recognizing and rewarding the highest standards of marketing activities undertaken by airports working on the core principle that the people who are best placed to judge an airport’s marketing activities are the airlines.
Pulkovo International Airport demonstrated a clear route development strategy and implementation process in their awards submission and illustrated how they have worked clearly with their airline customers. Winning this regional heat now enables them to be automatically shortlisted for the World Routes Awards due to be held in Abu Dhabi later this year. Highly commended during the ceremony was Krasnoyarsk Yemelyanovo Airport, which has achieved 28 percent growth in passenger traffic in 2011 over 2010, with traffic reaching 1.6 million passengers.
Speaking just after receiving the award, Evgeniy Ilyin, Commercial Director, Northern Capital Gateway, the operators of Pulkovo International Airport, said: “I am absolutely delighted to come up to collect this prestigious award at what is a celebratory time at the airport. In the last couple of days, we celebrated the 80th anniversary of Pulkovo International, and being presented with the Routes Airport Marketing Award for the CIS region, shows just how far we have come in that period. The arrival of 7 new operators in the past calendar year shows we are doing something right, and to secure the direct link to Dubai International with Emirates Airline was a major endorsement on our business arrangements.”
Almost 250 (243) registered delegates were in attendance at Routes CIS in Ekaterinburg, including 41 airline delegates representing over 19 airlines, and 57 airport delegates representing over 33 airports.