A record number of senior industry figures and delegates have arrived in Berlin as the city becomes the centre of the aviation world for three days.
The annual World Routes event will be attended by more airlines and airports than any previous event, confirming its position as the largest commercial aviation event in the world.
Pictured: Berlin Brandenburg Airport will open next year
A total of 2,700 delegates are expected at this year’s event, hosted by Berlin Brandenburg Airport.
They represent 300 airlines and 800 airports from all over the world as well as tour operators, destinations and tourist boards who are gathering in Berlin to directly shape the world’s air services.
Speaking at the opening press conference, David Stroud, executive vice president airports, at Routes organiser UBM Aviation, said: “I am delighted to see so many senior attendees from airlines, airports and tourism authorities this year.
“The 15,000 meetings which will take place over the coming three days will help shape our industry for the coming years.
“The creation of the World Route Development Strategy Summit has given them a true platform from which to influence and comment on key issues for the industry.”
World Routes 2011 is hosted by Berlin Brandenburg Airport.
The German capital’s new gateway will open in June 2012 and is to become Europe’s most modern airport.
Rainer Schwarz, chief executive of Berlin Airports, said: “We are delighted to host the first ever World Routes event Germany.
“The future Berlin Brandenburg Airport which will open next June offers fantastic opportunities for growth for airlines from around the world.
“Being at the heart of the world’s aviation community gives us an excellent opportunity to highlight Berlin’s advantages.
“Next year we will open Europe’s most modern airport, which marks the next chapter in the history of air travel in Berlin: A single, modern airport for a unified, modern city.”
Berlin is now served by 80 airlines flying to 161 destinations in 52 countries, including 13 long-haul connections.
Burkhard Kieker, chief executive of visitBerlin, said: “We are delighted that the world’s aviation community has come together in Berlin, Europe’s third most popular tourist destination.
“As this high-level event shows, Berlin is becoming an ever more popular city for congresses and conventions. In this segment, we now rank fourth in the world.”