The 18th World Route Development Forum will take place from 29th September to 2nd October 2012 and will be hosted by Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) and supported by official carrier Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority.
World Routes is the largest global event of its kind which this year will take place in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, one of the most easily accessible and centrally located cities on earth. These factors combined look set to make this event the largest World Route Development Forum to date with over 2,750 air service industry professionals expected to attend.
The event attracts all manner of airlines with low-cost, charter, regional and flag carriers all in attendance and represented by delegates who are responsible for making decisions on both new and existing routes. Early registrations indicate a strong presence from all regions with carriers such as Air Canada, United Airlines, Vueling, Jet2.com, Hawaiian Airlines, China Southern, Copa Airlines, Air Baltic, Malaysia Airlines, Cathay Pacific and South African Airways already confirming that they will attend.
The World Route Development Strategy Summit, supported by IACO and the World Bank, will become a one day event on the Sunday where delegates will hear from industry leaders such as James Hogan, CEO of Etihad Airways who will open proceedings.
Sixteen years ago one of the first World Routes events took place in Abu Dhabi’s downtown Hilton Hotel and the 2012 event marks the first time that World Routes will return to a previous host city. Delegates who attended the 1996 event will see that Abu Dhabi has gone through vast changes to become the forward thinking city it is today.
James E. Bennett, Chief Executive Officer of ADAC, commented: “Abu Dhabi Airports Company was eager to host 2012 World Routes in the UAE Capital to offer a unique opportunity to all of the show delegates to explore this innovative city and experience its offerings. We are working closely with all stakeholders to ensure we deliver a comprehensive program that will exceed all expectations and showcase the true identity of Abu Dhabi.”
Nigel Mayes, VP & Commercial for UBM Aviation Routes, organiser of World Routes, said: “Air service development is fundamental to the prosperity of cities and regions around the world, as well as the growth of the airports that serve these regions. We expect more than 2,750 delegates to join us in Abu Dhabi this year including over 550 senior airline delegates. We are delighted to be returning to our very first host city, Abu Dhabi to give our delegates a real insight to the market opportunity that Abu Dhabi presents and see for themselves that this is a true city of the future.”
Abu Dhabi International Airport is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and has seen 126 million passengers pass through the airport since it opened at its current location on January 4, 1982. The Terminal 1 refurbishment project was completed last year and the new Midfield Terminal Building is due for completion in 2017. This landmark project being undertaken will be able to handle 27-30 million passengers per year when it opens.