Live blog - Routes Americas 2017

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LIVE coverage from Routes Americas - the only network development conference which unites the Americas. Today: Final day of meetings, Route Exchange Briefing, handover ceremony

Stay tuned to this blog to see what's happening right now at Routes Americas 2017, with latest updates from the Strategy Summit, exhibition floor, industry news and social media posts.

Coming up today, we'll have coverage from the Routes Talks, showcase some of the exhibitors taking part, and later this evening full coverage from the Marketing Awards.


06:45 - Day three gets underway

Another great day in prospect at Routes Americas 2017, with  the final day of meetings, Route Exchange Briefing and handover ceremony still to come.

Our Viva Las Vegas Facebook image gallery is now online, so take a look at some of the best pictures from the event so far, and you can see all the highlights from the second day below.

Day two at Routes Americas 2017


03:45 - The best from Twitter

We're still blogging late into the night - Vegas never sleeps and neither do we.

You can see a collection of some of the top tweets on our website here: http://www.routesonline.com/news/29/breaking-news/271445/routes-americas-2017-the-best-of-twitter/

Please keep the tweets coming in using the hashtag #RoutesAmericas - we'd love to see more of your experiences at the event!


19:40 - Routes Americas Marketing Awards - Overall winner

Overall winner is.......... Denver International Airport

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19:35 - Routes Americas Marketing Awards - Destination award

Nominated: Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, Cartagena Tourist Board, Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority,  Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., Ministry of Tourism Yucatan, New York City Economic Development Corporation

Highly commended... Cartagena Tourist Board

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Winner... Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau

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19:30 - Routes Americas Marketing Awards - Over 20m passengers

Nominated: Denver International Airport, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, New York John F. Kennedy International Airport, San Diego International Airport (SDCRAA), Vancouver International Airport

Highly commended... San Diego International Airport

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Winner... Denver International Airport

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19:25 - Routes Americas Marketing Awards - 4m - 20m passengers

Nominated: Austin-Bergstrom International,  Cleveland Airport System, Portland International Airport, San José Mineta International Airport, San Juan Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, Puerto Rico

Highly commended... Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport

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Winner... Cleveland Hopkins International Airport

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19:20 - Routes Americas Marketing Awards - Under 4m passengers

Nominated: Aruba Airport Authority N.V., Bonaire, Curacao-Hato International Airport, Regina International Airport, Skyxe Saskatoon Airport

Highly commended... Aruba Airport Authority N.V.

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Winner... Regina International Airport

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19:15 - Just minutes until Routes Americas Marketing Awards are announced...

The Routes Americas Marketing Awards are only moments from being announced at this evening's networking evening at Drai's Beach and Nighclub at the The Cromwell Las Vegas Hotel & Casino.

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18:45 - Networking evening at Drai's Beach and Nightclub

Towering over the strip, Drai's offers spectacular panoramic views over the city, providing the perfect backdrop to tonight's activities.

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16:25 - Routes Talks: Gaining connectivity for small airports

Nigel Mayes, senior vice president and product development at air service development consultancy, Airport Strategy & Marketing (ASM) is questioning Lukas Johnson, senior vice president commercial, Allegiant Air about how the ultral-low-cost carrier approaches opening new markets, delivering key leisure connectivity into many small communities.

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15:30 - Towards a more liberalised regional airspace in eastern Caribbean

"We rely on air transportation.  More than 90 per cent of travellers across the OECS region travel by air," says Dr. Lorraine Nicholas, Tourism Specialist, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Commission (OECS Commission). But despite a free movement across the region, "people are not moving intra-regionally" and in fact "there has been a decline in numbers" since 2011, she notes that has impact the local tourism industry.  Data shows that across the region average fares rose by 19 per cent, the number of routes reduced by 16 per cent, the number of flights scheduled decreased by 37 per cent and the number of seats has reduced by 42 per cent, according to Dr Nicholas, citing Airport Strategy & Marketing (ASM) data.

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15:15 - Routes Talks: Challenges of island tourism. Is Open Skies the answer?

Dr. Lorraine Nicholas, Tourism Specialist, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Commission (OECS Commission) presents a workshop clinic is association with air service development consultancy Airport Strategy & Marketing (ASM) on the challenges of island tourism.

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14:30 - Routes Americas in the Las Vegas media spotlight

There was a great turnout from local media and the industry press to a special briefing as this year’s event was formally launched earlier today by senior officials from UBM EMEA Routes, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority (LVCVA) & McCarran International Airport.

Here is one of the stories that was run by Las Vegas Review-Journal this afternoon:


13:45 - Meetings, more meetings and even more meetings

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12:30 - Help... "do you follow President Trump on Twitter?"

To close his session, Lars Pottgiesser, head of business development for the Americas, IATA, looks at what he describes as the most "unpredictable" issue... the impact of the Trump Administration on aviation. "Does anyone follow President Trump on Twitter? Any announcements over the past ten minutes regarding travel or immigration? I would have to adjust my slides quickly!" he jokes. 

But all joking aside, it has been an interesting three weeks since the Trump Administration has taken office. "The headlines of the first few days had a very deep impact on our industry. First the Executive Order on the Travel Ban from seven countries in the Middle East without much or any notice to the involved authorities. Then the suspension of the ban. And now we are waiting to see what comes next regarding immigration and travel implications," Pottgiesser said.

"Of course this has had deep impacts on many carriers across the world that serve the U.S. and Middle East, not only for their passengers but also for their crews. As an industry, we are hoping for future orders and policies to be communicated clearly and with enough notice to implement the rules accordingly," he added.

However, on the more positive side, President Trump has met with both airline and airport CEOs and Executives from the United States in a first ever type of exchange of what is needed for US airlines to operate more effectively.  "President Trump called the current Air Traffic Control System “out of whack” and has promised throughout his campaign that airport infrastructure and ATC modernisation are high up on his agenda, which is positive news for the industry," said Pottgiesser.


12:20 - Slow rise of LCCs in Latin America presents "room for improvement"

Over the past decade, LCCs share of departing seats has grown within the United States and more than doubled for international travel within Europe. But in Latin America the share of departing seats on LCCs remains quite low, with only eight per cent, according to IATA data. "And maybe even more surprising is the fact that LCCs share has only risen about one percentage point in the last five years," said Lars Pottgiesser, head of business development for the Americas, IATA. "But this means there is also lots of room for improvement," he said.

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12:10 - Routes Talks: IATA provides a focus on Latin America

Lars Pottgiesser, head of business development for the Americas, IATA provides a spotlight on aviation in Latin America

  • Will LCCs finally take off in Latin America? Copa launches new LCC – will other carriers follow and how will this compete with the Viva model? Will new LCCs in Latin America be successful?
  • Which airport infrastructure challenges are being solved? Is there promise in a new Mexico City airport or is it too far away? Will there be more new infrastructural developments in secondary cities?
  • How is the Mexican/US enhanced Air Service Agreement altering the region? What trends are emerging in North-South travel and what will happen as the new U.S. administration takes over?

11:30 - Why did KLM select Cartagena?

"KLM were very interested in the catchment area," said Omar Hashmi, consultant at air service development consultancy, Airport Strategy & Marketing (ASM), but they required a full and very detailed analysis of the local market.  "They were particularly excited by plans to grow hotel accommodation in the city to support growth," he added.  Its analysis showed that on average 146PPDEW were flying between Cartagena and Europe with no direct or non-stop services - most currently fly via Bogota, with a significant ammount also flying on a two-stop routing via both Bogota and Madrid.

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11:10 - Routes Talks: Route Case Analysis on KLM to Cartagena

Air service development consultancy, Airport Strategy & Marketing (ASM) highlight why Dutch national carrier has chosen to drop a Cali link from its existing flights between Amsterdam and Bogota in favour of linking the route to Cartagena on a triangle operation basis. READ MORE about the plan in our story from December 2016...

KLM adds Cartagena to existing Bogota service
European flag carrier KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is to introduce the only non-stop flight linking the Colombian coastal city of Cartagena to Europe when it adds flights to Rafael Núñez International Airport early next year. The SkyTeam alliance member will add Cartagena to its existing Amsterdam – Bogota service from March 28, 2017 meaning a one-stop direct link from the Netherlands and non-stop offering into Europe.
This will be the first time Cartagena will be linked non-stop to Europe in around ten years since AirMadrid offered flights from to the Spanish cities of Barcelona and Madrid back in the mid-2000s. Cartagena also successfully attracted flights from Italy with Blue Panorama Airlines at the start of this decade but these were purely on a charter basis.

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10:50 - Canadian developments: "The marketplace will decide"

In the Routes Talks presentation Lee Lipton, director, network & schedule planning, WestJet said while the Canadian market place is already competitive, it is unclear what impact the new legislation that would see the foreign ownership of airlines cap increase from 25 percent to 49 per cent would have on the market. “Exactly what that will look like , I think the jury is still out,” he said. Jeremy Pennington, director, air service development, VANTAGE Airport Group, added: ”We believe competition is good. It is good for airports, it is good for airlines… it is good for service and it is good for fares.” Both agreed that cross-border leakage had become less of an issue following the weakening of the Canadian dollar against US currency. As for an increase in ULCCs, Lipton said: “Clearly the marketplace will decide.”


10:35 - Routes Talks: A focus on Canada

Mike St Laurent, vice president, consulting, ASM and previously a long-term employee of Air Canada was the right man to moderate a discussion with Jeremy Pennington, director, air service development, VANTAGE Airport Group and Lee Lipton, director, network & schedule planning, WestJet looking at developments in the Canadian market. Topics of discussion included Canada's aviation policy review, what effect the planned changes to foreign ownership of airlines will mean and will this reduce fares by facilitating ULCC market entry.  Such a move could ultimately end the duopoly between Air Canada and Westjet and change the dynamics of the market completely.  The question of the effect the planned changes to airport ownership will have on strategies was also highlighted and how, if possible, Canada’s airports reclaim traffic from the US hubs.

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09:45 - Routes Talks: 21st century analytics and their role in identifying traffic leakage

Nearly every airline in the world has a website, so most airlines can have access to user IP addresses (and thus users’ exact location) and with the low cost of storage, airlines can also gather what travellers search for, not only the final purchase. Faical Allou, Skyscanner Analytics, business development manager and Hugh Aitken, commercial director, Skyscanner look at what we can achieve if we broaden the data landscape to include “internet searches” as a first step and how this data can be used to identify traffic leakage.

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09:20 - Quotes from the press conference...


09:10 - "The best way to sell Las Vegas, is to come to Las Vegas," says LVCVA

Las Vegas is one of the most iconic travel destinations in the world welcoming more than 42 million visitors a year and a key part of its continual success is reinvention. With an estimated $9 billion of new investment under construction or in development, Las Vegas continues to create more reasons to visit the Entertainment Capital of the World.

New attractions like T-Mobile Arena and The Park Theater provide visitors with more entertainment options and state-of-the-art venues to experience red-carpet affairs, productions, sporting events, concerts and more. The T-Mobile Arena will also be home to Las Vegas’ first NHL team, the Las Vegas Golden Knights.

“These projects add to the billions of dollars that have already been invested in the famed Las Vegas Strip and Downtown over the past several years,” said Rossi Ranlenkotter, president and chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA).

The LVCVA is also investing in the future with the Las Vegas Convention Center District. This transformational project will solidify Las Vegas’ position as the number one trade show destination in North America and further improve the convention delegate experience. The $1.4 billion project includes plans to expand and renovate the Las Vegas Convention Center adding more than 600,000 square feet of additional exhibition space. “It is truly an exciting time in Las Vegas filled with opportunity,” said Ranlenkotter.

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09:10 - Las Vegas understands the value of air connectivity

Many have tried, but no other city has managed to capture the world’s imagination quite the way that Las Vegas has. Known globally for its high-rolling luxury hotels, unparalleled entertainment offering and nearby stunning natural attractions, this is a fun-loving city that also means business when it comes to conventions and events.

Having successfully hosted World Routes back in October 2013, the first time the event had taken place in the United States of America, the fruits of that event mean the air service development community is back in the city for this year’s Routes Americas, which is taking place at the Aria Resort and Casino on February 14–16, 2017.

"We would love to host these events every year," said Rossi Ranlenkotter, president and chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA).

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09:00 - Routes Americas Press Conference

"Las Vegas is a trailblazer for air service development," said Steven Small, brand director, Routes at the official event press conference at the Aria Resort & Casino.

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08:30 - Routes Americas face-to-face meetings commence

The formal face-to-face meeting sessions have commenced at Routes Americas.  This year more than 2,750 meetings have been pre-scheduled.

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08:00 - Networking area opens to delegates

Registration, Diary Advice and the Networking Area are now open to all Routes Americas delegates and a number are already networking over coffee ahead of the start of the day's formal face-to-face meetings.

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07:15 - Join us for industry Routes Talks

The Strategy Summit may be over, but we still have a packed programme of live content for you at Routes Americas 2017

Our Routes Talks will take place throughout the day, including:

  • 09:45 - 21st century analytics and their role in identifying traffic leakage

  • 10:35 - Focus on Canada

  • 11:25 - Route Case Analysis – KLM – AMS – BOG - CTG

  • 12:15 - Focus on Latin America

  • 15:15 - Aviation challenges of island tourism - could open skies be the answer?

  • 16:30 - Gaining connectivity for small airports - how Allegiant Air approaches opening new markets

For more information visit the website


05:30 - Strategy Summit recap

We're up bright and early at Routes Americas 2017 and ready for another great day of networking. If you missed yesterday's Strategy Summit, some of the major talking points are below:

US could face "decade of economic stagnation" in tourism, David Scowsill warns Trump over travel ban
“The United States is in danger of taking the same path it took after the 9/11 terror attacks, which led to a decade of economic stagnation in the Travel & Tourism sector,” were the powerful warning words from David Scowsill, president and chief executive officer, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

Aeromar chief: "We'll fly over the wall."
Aeromar Airlines boss Andres Fabre has pledged that President Trump's plan to build a wall on the Mexican border will not derail his efforts to get the business back on track.

USTA outlines plan to tackle US airports' lost connectivity challenges
According to USTA’s research, in two-thirds of US states air service quality and convenience is worse today than in 2007. Nearly 60 per cent of US airports have lost connectivity over the last decade; and Roger Dow set out how USTA aims to tackle this.

Key figures debate aviation challenges across the Americas
US airlines are in a period of surging profits due to low oil prices, consolidation and strong demand. But with the arrival of a new US administration, long-standing issues such as infrastructure and a failure to develop secondary and tertiary airports, is everything positive?

The disruptors - everyone wants a piece of the pie!
America’s carriers have recovered well and are enjoying good profits and are growing in strength. How will they continue to ensure long term profits with a number of disruptors waiting in the wings? Who will be the winners and losers?


01:00 - Highlights from day one at Routes Americas

The opening day of Routes Americas and discussions at the Strategy Summit were always going to be dominated by recent events in the United States of America, but David Scowsill, president and chief executive officer, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) hit hard with suggestions that the country is in danger of taking the same path it took after the 9/11 terror attacks, which led to a decade of economic stagnation in the travel and tourism sector. He warned that policies which could have a huge impact on the sector, which generates over eight per cent of the country’s GDP and supports nearly ten per cent of total employment in the US.  

Aeromar Airlines' chief executive officer, Andres Fabre, said the regional Mexican carrier was unconcerned by plans to construct a wall between Mexico and the USA and President Trump's anti-Mexico comments. "It is not a problem for us, we'll just fly over the wall," he quipped.

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18:30 - Networking the night away

After an afternoon of business there is nothing better than unwinding and networking with industry colleagues.  This evening's welcome reception is taking place at Jewel in the Aria Resort & Casino, the official event venue for Routes Americas 2017. Marrying a sophisticated décor with Arabian flare, the venue is providing a relaxed environment for delegates to network with their industry peers and key targets. 

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18:00 - Boom shakes the room with supersonic plans at Routes Americas

Blake Scholl, the founder and CEO of Boom, secured notable delegate engagement during his session on the planned return of supersonic commercial air travel as the air service development community and industry consultants took the opportunity to question him on the exciting plans of the business.  With Virgin Atlantic already confirmed  as the launch customer for the first ten aircraft under an option agreement and another unnamed European carrier also signed-up, he revealed that two further major airlines could be brought onboard by the end of this year as the company seeks to agree exclusive regional launch deals across eight regions of the world.  "Its not neccessarily just ordering the aircraft but missing the opportunity," Scholl explained to Routesonline after his presentation. "The big question is what if the guy down the road gets it and you don't."

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17:45 - Strategy Summit: Blake Scholl from Boom

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Blake Scholl, the founder and CEO of Boom, cannot be accused of lacking ambition. He made his name founding Amazon’s Automated Advertising team, which became a $300 million business function, before founding Kima Labs, an e-commerce business bought by Groupon. 14 years after the final flight of the iconic Concorde, Boom is working to bring supersonic travel back to commercial networks and founder and chief executive officer is sharing his views on the impact he believes his business’ aircraft can have on global route development.


17:25 - The views of the airline disruptors...

"Our acquisition of Virgin America allows us to develop a truly west coast airline to deliver low fares across the country"
Ben Brookman, director, network planning, Alaska Airlines

"Our biggest challenge as we rival legacy operators in securing slots both at our home at Keflavik International Airport and also in Europe"
Daniel Snaebjornsson, vice president network and Planning, WOW Air

"We are the lowest cost operator across the whole of the Americas; we are a simple airline. We have now invested in technology and two years later that has paid off and turned us into the most profitable airline in Mexico"
Javier Suarez, vice president network and fleet planning, Viva Aerobus

"The key to our success and cost base is that everything is in house. We are in full control of our costs"
Lukas Johnson, senior vice president commercial, Allegiant Air

"We are not just low-cost, we are not legacy, we are between as a value carrier"
Andrea Lusso, manager route planning, JetBlue

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17:05 - Strategy Summit: The disruptors - everyone wants a piece of the pie!

Under discussion by Andrea Lusso, Manager Route Planning, JetBlue; Javier Suarez, VP Network and Fleet Planning, Viva Aerobus;  Daniel Snaebjornsson, VP N/W and Planning, WOW Air;  Ben Brookman, Director, Network Planning, Alaska Airlines and Lukas Johnson, SVP, Commercial, Allegiant Air.

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America’s carriers have recovered well and are enjoying good profits and are growing in strength.  How will they continue to ensure long term profits with a number of disruptors waiting in the wings? Norwegian Airlines and Wow Air are offering low cost transatlantic flights; Air Canada’s increasing global focus and pushing to be the preferred carrier from smaller US cities to Europe and Asia; the Gulf carriers are wanting more market share and more open competition; and Frontier and Spirit continue to push the boundaries on domestic routes with low fares and no frills. How will the US carriers respond? Who will be the winners and losers? Will US LCCs ever cross the pond? Who are the disruptors in the LATAM market? 


17:00 - "Keep tourism out of politics," says WTTC boss

“Travel & Tourism thrives by breaking down barriers, not building them; by making it easier for people to travel, not applying blanket bans. Our sector bridges divides between cultures, fosters understanding across religious and geographic boundaries. It is a massive generator of jobs and economic growth.” says David Scowsill, president and chief executive officer, World Travel & Tourism Council.

Read More>


16:55 - US Executive Order is "misguided" and “flies against fundamental rights of people to travel,” says WTTC

Read our story on David Scowsill's warning to the US administration during his Routes Americas Strategy Summit address...

“Closing borders risks jobs,” World Travel & Tourism Council warns US Administration
“The United States is in danger of taking the same path it took after the 9/11 terror attacks, which led to a decade of economic stagnation in the Travel & Tourism sector”, were the powerful warning words from David Scowsill, president and chief executive officer, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), while speaking at the Routes Americas air service development forum in Las Vegas. Taking to the stage to present at the event’s Strategy Summit, Scowsill warned that policies which could have a huge impact on the country’s Travel & Tourism sector, which generates over eight per cent of the country’s GDP and supports nearly ten per cent of total employment in the US.

Read More>

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16:45 - Strategy Summit: David Scowsill of WTTC

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WTTC is talking directly to world leaders across the globe about the important role of travel and tourism in global development.  He has some strong warnings for the Trump administration at Routes Americas.


16:40 - "We can fly over the wall!"

How will the planned new border wall between USA and Mexico impact the strategy of Aeromar Airlines.  "It is not a problem for us, we'll just fly over the wall," says Andres Fabre, chief executive officer of the regional airline.

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16:30 - Aeromar's Andres Fabre on the Mexican industry

READ MORE... You can learn more about the latest developments at Aeromar Airlines, how the airline is rolling over its fleet with new generation ATR turborops, growing capacity from 48-seat ATR 42s to 78-seat ATR 72s, evaluating future jet equipment and expanding into southern USA market, in our onsight interview with Andres Fabre that will appear on Routesonline tonight.


16:20 - Where does Aeromar fly?

Mike Miller, chief executive officer, CAPA Americas says Aeromar is "one of the airlines to watch in the Americas over the coming years".  But, where does the  Mexican airline fly?

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16:15 - Airline insight - Aeromar Airlines CEO interview

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16:00 - Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst!

Trevor Charsley, senior advisory, Associated Foreign Exchange (AFEX) predicts we could see a stronger US dollar over next six months.

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15:45 - Is foreign exchange all, risk, risk, risk?

Looking at the European market, Trevor Charsley, senior advisory, Associated Foreign Exchange (AFEX) says that after actioning of Article 50 for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union - which is likely to take place on March 9, 2017 - is biggest risk to foreign exchange.  What will follow is one year of "posturing" and then one year of "panic as agreements are signed".

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15:35 - Strategy Summit: Trevor Charsley from Associated Foreign Exchange (AFEX)

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Trevor Charsley, senior advisory, Associated Foreign Exchange (AFEX) highlights how external factors have influenced currency exchange rates during the past 12 months.


15:25 - US DOT observations on Trump administration


15:20 - Industry update from Airlineroute


15:15 - Routes Americas Strategy Summit

It is a full house at today's Routes Americas Strategy Summit as industry consultant John R. Byerly expertly moderates the Leaders Debate panel session and gets audience participation through interactive questioning.

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15:10 - A Las Vegas Valentine's Day surprise

Routes Americas host Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority (LVCVA) and Virgin Atlantic surprise London commuters...


15:05 - More tweets from #RoutesAmericas


15:00 - Las Vegas relies on point-to-point traffic

"US legacy airlines will not stop flying over their existing hubs to fly similarly from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas," says Rosemary A. Vassiliadis, director of aviation, Clark County Department of Aviation. "We rely on our point-to-point operations." Their hometwon airline in Southwest Airlines and Andrew Watterson, senior vice president and chief revenue officer, Southwest Airlines describes the last three years as the "goldilocks era" when it has been great to be an airline, but things can change quickly, he warns.


14:55 - Leaders Debate: Aviation challenges across the Americas

Under discussion by John Slattery, President & CEO, Embraer; Andrew Watterson, Senior Vice President-Chief Revenue Officer, Southwest Airlines;  Brian Hedberg, Director, Office of International Aviation, US DOT; Erik Hansen, Senior Director, Domestic Policy, USTA; Rosemary A. Vassiliadis, Director of Aviation, Clark County Department of Aviation.

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US airlines are in a period of surging profits due to low oil prices, consolidation and strong demand. Will they be able to keep this momentum going and are profits coming at the expense of capacity growth and consumer needs? Will aging airport infrastructure, high costs of security, aircraft & pilot availability and competitive threats from international carriers upset the applecart? Can LATAM carriers reverse their struggling fortunes? What will happen to Canadian carriers following the Aviation Policy review?

As the new US administration takes over: Are changes need in US Open Skies policy—either to protect against foreign competitors or to expand the definition of “Open-ness” to allow cross-border mergers? Could stricter US border security affect inward travel and could international trade protectionism affect business travel? Could an aggressive stance against China undermine the US and Chinese airlines’ future growth in a market that cries out for more service?

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14:50 - How to solve the problem with air travel?

Roger Dow, president and chief executive officer of the US Travel Association (USTA) says the mission of USTA is straight forward "to increase travel to and within the United States", but to do this, it needs an air travel system that is growing, competitive and convenient. "That means an airline industry that is robust and profitable. It means airports that are world class. And an aviation system that harnesses the latest technology," he says.  But from the travel industry’s perspective, air service and infrastructure are inadequate, according to the executive. "Air travel today is less convenient and travellers have fewer options than ever before," he says. "Too many communities are losing service and it can be difficult or impossible to get it back." Right now, expanding air service and airline options are "not high" on Washington’s agenda, says Dow, and instead the debate in Washington has been "whether to establish a non-profit air traffic control system, break our Open Skies agreements or make airplane seats wider". 

The USTA aims to change this...

"Today I’m here to tell you that U.S. Travel is going to be deeply committed and actively engaged in getting Washington to address ALL of these challenges," Dow adds.

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14:45 - Tweets from the Routes Americas Strategy Summit


14:40 - Strategy Summit: Roger Dow from US Travel Association

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"We need to get Washington to understand the real issues impacting aviation and delivering the maximum benefits it offers to the United States of Americas," says Roger Dow, president and chief executive officer of the US Travel Association (USTA) in his keynote presentation at Routes Americas  Strategy Summit. He says that while US airlines are delivering improved profits, consumer choice is actually reducing as rising trans-border partnerships change the structure of the industry.


14:35 - Aviation as "cash cow" and "industry of rich"

Peter Cerda pushes for governments to wake-up to the value of avation and take it more seriously. Speaking at Routes Americas he said this is particularly an issue across the Americas.  "Governments need to bring everyone to the table and discuss partnerships" and not treat them "as cash cows and an industry for the rich".


14:30 - Changing the competitive landscape

Peter Cerda highlights how the aviation landscape has changed as failures, alliances and mergers have reduced number of airlines across all parts of the world, with, perhaps, the exception of the Caribbean.

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14:15 - Strategy Summit: Peter Cerda from IATA

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Peter Cerda highlights the value of air transportation to the global economy, looking closely at the Americas region and how air connectivity has grown. "Travel has changed and continues to change," he said. "Today it is affordable to fly to all parts of the world and we are facilitating as an industry new flows for business and tourism."


13:30 - More tweets from #RoutesAmericas


13:00 - Taking ad'vantage' of network opportunities

The Vantage Airport Group have a big team at Routes Americas and we have just spent some time learning about their airport portfolio and interests.  Look out for stories on Nassau and New York appearing on Routesonline over the next two days.

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12:00 - more tweets from #RoutesAmericas


11:00 - Love is in the air on Valentine's Day

Away from the serious business of Routes Americas, today is the day of love - Valentine's Day. Aviation plays a critical role in allowing us to spoil our loved-ones and Emirates Airlines has produced this great infographic highlighting the role Emirates SkyCargo plays in transporting flowers across the globe.  DID YOU KNOW? approximately two million roses can fit inside each of its freighter aircraft!

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10:00 - Just four hours until Strategy Summit opening...

RAM Strategy Summit

The room is all set up and prepared for the Routes Americas 2017 Strategy Summit which will examine some of the biggest issues facing aviation in the Americas, now and into the future. Here's the hot topics up for discussion.

Read More > 


09:30 - Viva Las Vegas!

Many have tried, but no other city has managed to capture the world’s imagination quite the way that Las Vegas has. Known globally for its high-rolling luxury hotels, unparalleled entertainment offering and nearby stunning natural attractions, this is a fun-loving city that also means business when it comes to conventions and events.


09:00 - US airport infrastructure "vital to America's economic growth"

With a mission to increase travel to and within the United States, the US Travel association says efficient, connected US airport infrastructure is vital to America's economic growth...


08:30 - Top story from Airlineroute...

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WestJet expands Montreal service in S17
Canadian carrier WestJet in summer 2017 season is expanding service at Montreal, as the airline introduces three new routes, which will be operated by WestJet Encore’s Dash8-Q400 aircraft.


08:00 - Industry insight for Routes Americas

USA travel bans result in demand slump for Trump
The sudden but short-lived travel ban that president Donald Trump imposed on nationals from seven mainly Muslim countries entering the USA appears to be deterring travellers from other countries around the world too, according to analysis by intelligence provider ForwardKeys. The Valencia-based company’s analysis has discovered a 6.5 per cent negative variation in bookings compared with the equivalent eight-day period the year before.

Air Canada takes a refreshing look at network connectivity
Air Canada provided an insight into its future thinking following the simultaneous unveiling of its new corporate livery at ceremonies in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver on February 9, 2017 as the carrier prepares to enter its 80th anniversary year. The brand refresh continues a recent evolution at the Canadian flag carrier that has helped better position in the global market serving both business and leisure demands through its mainline and Air Canada rouge operations.

Bliss Jet delivers new corporate jet scheduled solution for Transatlantic premium passengers
With a business model developed to appeal to hedge fund companies; the investment banking fraternity; senior executives; music, film and sport industries and others, Bliss Jet’s goal is to provide the closest offering to the halcyon days of Concorde - in terms of style and speed. It plans to launch flights between London Stansted and New York LaGuardia from the second quarter of 2017.


07:30 - From Twitter

Event co-host LVCVA has been sharing some incredible stats about Las Vegas in the lead up to Routes Americas


06:30 - A few of your tweets ahead of the event...


06:00 - Hot Topics to be discussed at today's Strategy Summit

At Routes Americas 2017 the Strategy Summit and Routes talks will examine some of the biggest issues facing aviation in the Americas, now and into the future. We take a closer look at some of the hot topics up for discussion.

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05:30 - Recent articles 

As we prepare for day one at Routes Americas, we've brought together a few of the speaker interviews which took place in the run-up to the event, giving you a flavour of what to expect.

Global currency and aviation – what you need to know
Posted 30 January 2017
With the world facing an extended period of political and economic uncertainty, we have invited Trevor Charsley of global currency specialist AFEX to take part in Routes Americas 2017. Ahead of the event, Trevor outlined some of the key concerns for aviation professionals.

Las Vegas McCarran eyes Tokyo route following Beijing success
Posted 25 January 2017
An airport dominated by domestic traffic, Las Vegas McCarran has made huge strides in recent years to open routes to the rest of the world. Ahead of the city hosting Routes Americas 2017, we spoke to Rosemary Vassiliadis to hear more.

Quick chat with Aeromar CEO Andres Fabre on transformation and upcoming regional opportunities
Posted 17 January 2017
In the first of a new series of personal interviews with some of the leading figures in aviation, we spoke to Aeromar CEO Andres Fabre. He shared with us the group's future plans and some of the highlights of his career so far.

Severe capacity constraints and infrastucture concerns top IATA's agenda in Americas - Peter Cerdá
Posted 13 January 2017
Peter Cerdá, the regional vice president in the Americas for IATA, discusses the future of Latin America, infrastructure concerns and trends throughout the region.

Return of the Mach - Boom CEO targets 500 routes
Posted 4 January 2017
14 years after the final flight of the iconic Concorde, Boom is working to bring supersonic travel back to commercial networks. We spoke to founder and CEO Blake Scholl to hear what impact he believes his business’ aircraft can have on global route development.