World Routes 2018

The 24th World Route Development Forum

Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China
15 – 18 September 2018

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve compiled the answers to a list of frequently asked questions for people who are unfamiliar with route development and World Routes events.

What is route development?

The launch of a new air route is a significant investment that must be backed by a strong business case. The route development profession reduces the risk by carrying out research into the viability of potential services and the likely demand from passengers.

Initially route development was the domain of airlines and airports, but tourism authorities have become more involved in recent years. Destinations and airports understand that they can proactively gain new routes if they work together to present compelling business cases to airlines.

Airlines require robust information when considering new services and traffic data is an essential part of any route proposal. For example, network planners will look at the indirect traffic between two destinations because a high figure is a good indicator that a direct route will meet existing demand.

Alternatively, new services can stimulate markets where demand was previously low - cheap flights have helped to create popular destinations which were relatively unknown 20 years ago. Traffic forecasting can predict future passenger flows and whether they are likely to increase, decrease or plateau over time.

Traffic ‘leakage’ is also important because airports can lose passengers in their catchment areas to rivals. It is common for airports to analyse their competitors’ traffic to identify where leakage is occurring, and which new routes would help them to better serve local travellers.  

Airlines will also consider a destination’s attractions, visitor numbers, hotel and accommodation capacity, local economy, infrastructure developments and geopolitical situation when making a decision about a new service.

Why are new air services important?

Aviation is a vital component of the global economy. A study by Oxford Economics found that aviation indirectly supports 63 million jobs and is directly responsible for 10 million jobs worldwide. The total global economic impact (direct, indirect, induced and the catalytic effects of tourism) is $2.7 trillion.

Route development is essential for airports and destinations because the economic impact of new air services is immense. They create jobs, connect businesses and boost tourism.

There is also the personal impact of aviation: affordable travel options broaden people’s leisure and cultural experiences and help them to see the world.

What is World Routes?

The annual World Routes forum has been at the forefront of route development for over 20 years. It brings airlines, airports, tourism authorities and other relevant stakeholders together to discuss future air services, and moves to a new city every year to shine a spotlight on different aviation markets.

The events revolve around pre-scheduled meetings, an exhibition and a conference programme featuring presentations, talks and debates from industry experts.

It is a brilliant opportunity to showcase a destination’s attractions and form strong relationships with airlines.

World Routes has helped to facilitate many new services. A great example is the host city of World Routes 2013 - Las Vegas - which gained more than 120 weekly flights in the year after the event. The estimated annual economic impact of these services is $440 million in direct visitor spending.

Airports and destinations bid for World Routes events around three or four years in advance. Previous hosts have increased their route networks more quickly than their close rivals (source: York Aviation study) so it is an extremely competitive bidding process.

Why should I attend World Routes? 

Attending World Routes will give you the opportunity to meet and socialise with senior route decision makers and network planners. Once registered, you can request to meet your target airlines/airports/tourism authorities and schedule meetings in advance. There is also an on-site meeting system to help you make requests when you are at the event.

Delegates find our meeting system extremely productive, because they are able to meet many different organisations over a few days. It also creates time and cost savings by bringing together the world’s route development professionals under one roof.

You can hear from senior aviation professionals during the Conference Programme which features debates, talks and presentations about the latest issues and challenges facing the industry.

But it’s not all work and no play - delegate tours and networking events are an integral part of World Routes. 

The pinnacle of the event will be the World Routes 2018 Marketing Awards. Airlines vote for the airports and tourism boards that have provided outstanding marketing service during the last year and a new award, introduced in 2017, for outstanding individuals is open to anyone in the route development community.

FAQs at the Event:


Delegate badges must be worn at all hospitality functions and for the duration of the event. Delegates will be badged as follows:

  • Airlines, slot coordinators and tour operators – red stripe
  • Press – grey stripe
  • Airports – blue stripe
  • Destinations – green stripe
  • Other delegates – no colour

This will help in all of your networking activities.

How long are the meetings?

Each meeting slot lasts for 20 minutes and we would ask that you attend meetings on time. The meeting session that is taking place will be clearly displayed on the screens in the Airline Meeting Halls, together with the time remaining for that session. We would also request that as a courtesy to your fellow delegates, you vacate your seat promptly at the end of each meeting. Whenever you are in the Airline Meeting Halls, please ensure that your mobile phone is either switched off or placed on silent.

How do I request meetings at the event itself?

Delegates should use our On-site Meeting System to request extra meetings. This system is completely digital and can be accessed via the Routes app, and dedicated terminals around the venue. If you require any assistance with requesting your meetings, please visit Diary Advice.

Where can I collect my meeting diary?

Diaries for all delegates with prescheduled meetings can be collected from Diary Advice in the event venue from 08:30 on Sunday, 16 September. Follow the event signage to guide you. Personal diaries are also available through the Routes app, allowing you to keep your meeting schedule with you at all times. Diary Advice also allows delegates to check airline availability.

What is Fast Track?

Fast Track is a way of quickly introducing your team to several key airlines during five-minute meetings. All delegates are welcome to attend the Fast Track sessions, and no sign-up is required. Airlines will be sitting at their designated tables in the Airline Meeting Halls. Using the airline seating plan, you’ll be able to find your key targets and start your introductions. Fast Track will take place between 14:40 – 15:30 on Monday, 17 September. For more information, please visit Diary Advice.

How do I find the airline tables?

The airline tables are located in the Airline Meeting Halls. You can recognise airline delegates by the red stripe on their badges, and you will find the location of specific airline tables by consulting the Routes app and the digital table plans located outside each Airline Meeting Hall.

What happens if an airline is not at their table?

If an airline is not at their table at the time of a meeting, please go to Diary Advice or consult the Hall Manager who will be able to assist you.

Can I find out about a particular airline or tour operator?

Yes, further details of every participating airline and tour operator can be found in this directory, on the Routes app or on

What should I do on Sunday?

Sunday is the best time to request extra meetings as delegates have collected their diaries and are aware of their available slots. Once you have requested your extra meetings and visited our exhibitors, please make your way over to the Keynote Arena for the first session of the World Routes conference programme.

Where can I access the internet?

The event Wi-Fi, sponsored by Venice Airport, is available in the Networking Village and surrounding areas. Wi-Fi access cards will be distributed at Registration and Diary Advice. Wi-Fi is free of charge to all delegates.

What functionality does the Routes app offer?

This year’s Routes app is available on Android and iOS and offers complete, up-to-date information on all key aspects of World Routes. Delegates can access the On-site Meeting System through the app. They can also view full delegate listings, airline table listings, Visit Me information, the transfer schedule and the full event programme.

What should I do for lunch?

Lunches at the event are buffet style and are designed for maximum networking. They will take place at the Lunch Points marked on the floorplan.

What’s in the Networking Village?

The Networking Village is the hub of the event and a base for all exhibitors and delegates. Delegates can meet, relax and enjoy refreshments in an informal environment.

What does this year’s conference programme include?

This year’s conference programme will run across the three days of the event, and will comprise of keynote presentations, panel discussions and airline briefings. The conference will take place in the Keynote Arena and all delegates are invited
to attend. Please see full details for the conference programme on page 46 of the delegate directory, on the Routes app or by visiting

What are the World Routes 2018 Marketing Awards?

The World Routes 2018 Marketing Awards are the most prestigious awards in the industry. This year 26 airports and destinations, together with seven individuals have made the shortlists. The winners will be announced during a ceremony at the Networking Evening. These awards are unique because they are voted for and judged by airlines, and they recognise excellence in air service development globally.

Where is the Welcome Reception?

This year’s Welcome Reception will begin at 17:30 on Sunday, 16 September at the China Import and Export Fair, the official event venue. Delegates will enjoy Canton cuisine and refreshments, as well as the opportunity to network in a relaxed setting following the first main business day of the event.

Where is the Networking Evening?

This year’s Networking Evening will take place on Monday, 17 September from 19:00 in the China Import and Export Fair. The evening provides a great opportunity to socialise, allowing delegates to discuss the day’s events in addition to enjoying entertainment, fine cuisine and the World Routes 2018 Marketing Awards. The dress code for the event is smart casual.

Where is the Farewell Reception?

The Farewell Reception will take place on Tuesday, 18 September from 17:00 in Hall 5:2. It will be hosted by the South Australian Tourism Commission, Tourism Australia and Adelaide Airport, hosts of World Routes 2019.

Can I book for next year’s events?

Yes, delegates can book for next year’s events at the Routes stand, where a member of the Routes team will assist you and take you through the highlights of the events.

Don’t miss your chance to meet route development professionals from across the globe – register your place today.