The world’s biggest route development conference got off to a flying start in Guangzhou on Sunday before being halted due to Typhoon Mangkhut. However; it was business as usual for the following two days with nearly 30 new routes being announced by the hosts, Guangdong Airport Authority (GAA) and Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport.
During the highly anticipated 24th World Route Development Forum, Mr. Wen Wenxing, the General Manager GAA announced new routes due to fly from Guangzhou in partnership with China Southern to destinations including Rome, Madrid, Milan, Copenhagen, Istanbul, Calcutta, Islamabad, Chicago, Seattle, Boston, Tel Aviv, Tehran and more. Wenxing also announced new routes in cooperation with Hainan Airlines, Siberia Airlines, JC Internationals Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines to destinations including Manchester, Siem Reap, San Diego and Oslo among others. The routes are due to launch between 2018 and 2020.
Wenxing also used the opening ceremony of the event as an opportunity to publicly sign a strategic cooperative memorandum of understanding (MOU) between GAA, Air China and China Eastern Airlines.
Meanwhile on the show floor, Mr. Miroshnikov, the CEO of Ukraine International Airlines signed a MOU with Mr Yang Xiaobin, the President of Sanya Phoenix International Airport.
In addition to route development, the Conference Programme is also integral to the event. Notable speakers include Mr. Tan Wangeng, President & CEO, China Southern Airlines; Brent Overbeek, Vice President, Revenue Management, Hawaiian Airlines; Dilhan Haradasa, Group Head of Network & Regulatory Affairs, AirAsia Group; Yuri Miroshnikov, President and CEO, Ukraine International Airlines; Alan McIntyre, Group Executive Manager Commercial Planning, Jetstar Airways.
This year’s event, held at the China Import and Export Fair has welcomed a record-breaking number of delegates from the route development community. The hosts of this year’s World Routes forum operate Baiyun International Airport, which is the third-largest airport in China and one of the world’s fastest-growing hubs. Major investment plans, including the completion of five runways and three terminals, are set to break Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport into the world’s top 10 largest airports by 2020.