Over 450 airline planners representing 250 airlines are now registered for the 18th World Route Development Forum, which will take place from September 29 to October 2, 2012 and is hosted by Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) and supported by official carrier Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi Tourism&Culture Authority.
Twenty-three of the world’s top 25 carriers by ASK (Available Seat Kilometre) are already registered to attend World Routes with a strong presence from all geographical regions. The four major US legacy carriers will attend: Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, US Airways, and American Airlines. From Asia, China Southern, China Eastern, Hainan Airlines, and Air China are among those attending with Japanese majors – oneworld member, Japan Airlines; and Star Alliance carrier, All Nippon Airways, bringing large delegations to Abu Dhabi.
One of latest registrations is Qantas Airways, who will deliver a briefing focused around its new business units and how this will relate to its route development strategy.
From Europe, the legacy market is strong with British Airways, Iberia, KLM, Air France, SAS, LOT Polish, and Alitalia among those registered. The low-cost carrier market from Europe is particularly well represented by easyJet, Norwegian, Wizz Air, Germanwings, and Air Berlin.
Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, South African Airways, Egypt Air, and Royal Air Maroc are among the major African airlines looking to look at new opportunities and expand into new markets.
Airline Relations Director, Paul Winfield, commented: “This week alone, we have seen registrations from the likes of Air New Zealand, Air India, Wizz Air, and Copa Airlines, highlighting the diverse mix of airlines attending World Routes and confirming that this is a must-attend event for airlines on a global basis from all sectors of the airline market.”
Airports wishing to do business with the Middle East airline market will never have a better opportunity to do so with Etihad Airways, Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Turkish Airlines sending very senior and large delegations with attendance from many other Middle East based airlines including Gulf Air, Air Arabia, and Oman Air.
Cargo and Interline are also an important part of Routes, and this year the cargo sector is led by the likes of UPS and FedEx, while this year will see the first time that Routes has offered a platform for dedicated interline meetings. This session will allow alliance and interline managers to meet with other carriers to discuss interline agreements, marketing arrangements, SPAs, and scheduled connections. Among others, Etihad and JetBlue, two major interline operators, are sending dedicated interline specialists to the event.