Routes Europe opens amidst global open skies debate

Routes Europe opens amidst global open skies debate

Routes Europe 2015, the leading route development forum in Europe, will open this weekend with over 1,200 delegates to discuss where airlines will fly in the future. One of the largest civil aviation events of the year, Routes Europe 2015 will take place at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC), in Aberdeen, Scotland on 12-14 April, hosted by Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils. It is the first time that the event is being held in the UK.

Routes Europe will bring together around 350 airports, 100 airlines and 45 tourism authorities as well as high-level policy-makers and aviation stakeholders to develop new air services to, from and within Europe. All of Europe’s major network and low-cost carriers will attend as well as leading global airlines such as Etihad Airways and China Southern. 

Speaking ahead of the official opening on Sunday, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, Keith Brown, said: “Hosting Routes Europe 2015 will give Scotland a fantastic opportunity to showcase itself to airlines from across the globe. We want to attract more direct international flights and events like this allow us to promote Scotland as a great place to visit and an ambitious, forward-looking country that’s keen to do business with international neighbours.”

Carol Benzie, Managing Director of the host city’s airport, added: “Aberdeen International Airport is delighted to support the Routes Europe 2015 conference and looks forward to welcoming delegates to the city. The conference is an essential forum for influential professionals within the aviation industry and we aim to not only promote the excellent opportunities from the airport itself and show decision makers that Aberdeen is a top choice for both leisure and business travel, but also to showcase what the City and Shire has to offer.”

The Chief Executive of VisitAberdeen, Steve Harris highlights Aberdeen’s attractiveness to visitors: “Aberdeen is an exciting and beautiful city and we are proud to be able to welcome the airline industry to it.  We know that the hospitality they experience here will be second to none and we hope that it will persuade many to return, be it for business or pleasure; a conference or a round of golf with a whisky or two.”

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Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: “To be the first ever UK host of the Routes Europe conference is a real coup for Aberdeen and provides a fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of the city’s tourism offering, as well as that of Scotland as a whole. If we want to continue attracting visitors to Scotland it is important we make it as easy as possible for them to get here. The Routes Europe conference is a chance for those within the aviation industry to come together, and develop future business opportunities to, from and within Europe.”

Katie Bland, Director Routes, UBM EMEA, stated: “The past 70 years of increasingly open skies have brought tremendous benefits to passengers, airlines and society at large. The high turnout at Routes Europe indicates that the aviation and tourism industries want to continue on this successful path. Increasingly the global economy is an aviation economy. Air services are the lifelines of a modern economy, and one of the biggest assets of a city or region.”

Routes Europe 2015 will officially open on Sunday with the hard hitting Strategy Summit. Around 15 high-level speakers from Europe and beyond will provide their insights into “the changing skies of Europe”, and what the fast expansion of low-cost carriers and the Gulf airlines mean for Europe’s legacy carriers. The focus of the global debate on the future of air travel is currently on Europe. The continent’s response to the multiple challenges to its network carriers will shape the international air transport debate for years to come.