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Emerging markets feature at third Routes Regional Europe

  21.05.2008    

The Route Development Group brings its renowned Routes Regional networking event to
Porto, Portugal. Set to take place on 11-13th May and hosted by Porto Airport, the third
Routes Regional Europe will see up to 600 key air service decision makers from airports and
airlines all across the region convening to discuss new and sustainable routes to, from and
within Europe. Within just three years the delegate numbers have doubled, making Routes
Regional Europe the biggest networking event of the region’s route development industry.
This year’s airline attendance will be the most comprehensive of all Routes Regionals to
date. With 120 airline delegates attending, representing some 75 airlines, this event looks to
set the standard for future events. All the major Low Cost and Regional Carriers from Europe
and the CIS will be present. EasyJet decided to bring a full team of eight delegates in order to
maximize their time at the event. Also on the delegate list: Ryanair, Wizz Air, Jet2 and
Norwegian Air Shuttle.
Compared to last year, the event will see a doubling of the number of airports from
Southeast Europe – the new route development hotspot, as various Balkan states seek to
join Bulgaria and Romania in the EU. Airport attendees from around Europe include PoznańŁawica
Airport, Vatry Airport and Uppsala Airport. Graz Airport, Dortmund Airport, Pau
Pyrénées Airport and Deauville Normandie Airport are also on the list.
The biggest of all Routes Regional events, Routes Regional Europe will offer an unparalleled
platform for airlines and airports to meet, discuss new as well as existing routes and do
business. Routes distinctive networking formula allows delegates to network to the maximum, as formal and informal networking opportunities are unlimited over the three
days of the event. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet industry suppliers
exhibiting at the event and showcasing their products.
“This is a great occasion for the most important aviation executives to visit Porto, while we
have the chance to show them all the recent improvements made on the region. We intend
to continue growing and we sincerely believe that the fact that we are able to host an event
of such high prestige will help us to achieve our aims and to make the delegate’s journey
unforgettable,” said Guilhermino Rodrigues, President of ANA Aeroportos de Portugal SA,
the management company of Porto Airport.
According to Boeing, continued effects from recent expansion of the European Union and
the growth of low-cost airlines will drive European and CIS domestic airline traffic in the near
term. EasyJet for example stated that forward bookings are slightly ahead of this time last
year. Performance from a number of other airlines is still cautiously encouraging: Lufthansa
produced overall excellent trading results from the first quarter of 2008. In April the Air
Berlin Group increased the number of passengers transported to 2,242,575, i.e. a 6.5 per
cent increase over the corresponding month of the previous year and fleet capacity
utilisation improved by 4.5 percentage points to reach 78.8 per cent. Ryanair’s April 2008
traffic grew by 15 per cent over April 2007.
Mike Howarth, CEO & Founder of Routes, comments: “Despite the short-term problems
besetting our industry and the difficulties in predicting future developments, there is a quiet
optimism and airlines as well as airports still believe in growth prospects. Route
development is not just about exploring new routes, but about looking at sustainable and
smarter routes.”
This year ACI Europe co-locates its SMAG ACI Europe Conference with Routes Regional
Europe on Sunday, 11th May. This SMAG (Small and Medium size airports Action Group)
conference will focus on ‘Regional Airports: Strategies to share in the success of smaller
airports’. Speakers include Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI Europe, Gernot Kessler,
Directorate General for Energy & Transport, Air Transport – Aviation Safety, European
Commission, as well as Jacques Sabourin, Délégué Général, UAF, Les Aéroports Français.
Routes Regional Europe has become the annual gathering of the region’s route development
industry. For more information, visit the official website at www.routesonline.com.


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