World Routes 2018

The 24th World Route Development Forum

Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China
15 - 18 September 2018

Conference Programme


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The World Routes conference programme will provide delegates with a valuable insight into key air service development issues currently affecting the commercial aviation community. 

The conference will bring together senior leaders from the route development and aviation industries, to engage in thought-provoking discussion that will set the commercial and political agenda for the aviation industry, in the coming 12-18 months. 

Programme Day 1 - 16/09/2018

  • 09:00 - 09:30

    Maximise your time at Routes Location: Theatre 1

    Find out how to get the most from Routes and manage your time in the most efficient way. This session will offer key insight on how to manage your diary as well as information about using the app, Fast Track and getting the most from your meetings. An essential briefing session for any first-time attendees.

  • Steven Small 10:50 - 11:00

    Opening Address Location: Keynote Arena

    Steven Small, Brand Director, Routes

    Hear more about why Routes is taking place in Guangzhou as well as what you can expect over the course of the event.

  • 11:00 - 11:50

    How to maximise route opportunities in China Location: Keynote Arena

    The enormous potential traffic growth from and to China and recent decisions by CAAC to review the bilateral traffic rules between China and the rest of the world is opening up the opportunities to access the market.

    Airlines, airports and destinations from around the world are carrying out major infrastructure upgrades and service improvements in order to transform themselves into world-class “Chinese friendly” entities.

    With reform of China’s “one route, one airline” policy set to be issued in August and brought into effect in October, this panel will give you the opportunity to understand better what this will mean for you in order to approach your negotiations.

    Leaders in the industry will show you how to maximise routes opportunities to China as well as to how to attract and retain Chinese tourists to your destination.

  • 11:50 - 12:50

    Lunch Break

  • 12:50 - 13:40

    CEO Keynote Interview Location: Keynote Arena

    Hear directly from one of the leading figures in aviation on the airline’s major plans for the next few years. At World Routes 2017 in Barcelona, delegates heard from IAG chief executive Willie Walsh on the group’s expansion and the challenges it has overcome.

  • 13:50 - 14:40

    In focus: The long-haul low-cost business model Location: Keynote Arena

    Alan McIntyre, Executive Manager Networks, Jetstar Group

    The long-haul low-cost sector is stimulating passenger growth, representing an opportunity for destinations and airports to reach new markets. As more carriers enter this space, more opportunities will be created for airports and destinations. However, incentives and the right strategy will be critical.

    What do long-haul low-cost airlines need from an airport? What are the incentives that airports should offer them? What are the main barriers facing operators?

    Hear from our expert line-up of airline professionals on what you need to know when exploring the potential for long-haul low-cost services – and how to keep operators once you get them.

  • 14:40 - 15:20

    Exhibitor Experience

  • 15:20 - 16:10

    Opening up global skies Location: Keynote Arena

    Abdul Wahab Teffaha, Secretary General, Arab Air Carriers’ Organization

    Skies across the world are changing. Africa recently launched the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), aiming to transform intra-African air travel, lower prices and increase connectivity. Some 26 countries are already on board, but there is a way to go before all 54 signed up to the agreement.

    However, in other markets across the world, external factors are threatening to present barriers to growth. In the UK, Brexit negotiations are ongoing and new agreements need to be forged. Elsewhere, US president Donald Trump’s policies remain unpredictable, with protectionism policies giving way to recent deals with Gulf carriers.

    What regulatory changes are opening up new markets or presenting challenges? Which countries could roll back open skies? With China set to become the largest aviation market by 2022, what regulatory changes needs to occur to allow airlines to make the most of their route development?

  • 16:20 - 17:10

    How can the fastest-growing markets overcome the challenges they face? Location: Keynote Arena

    India and China are two of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world. According to the International Air Transport Association, India will leapfrog the UK and Indonesia to have the third largest market by 2036 and China will overtake the US as the world’s largest during 2022.

     Such strong economic growth, coupled with a population that has a greater propensity to fly, strengthens their prospects, opening up huge opportunities for these markets.

     Elsewhere, Turkey and Indonesia are also forecast to grow rapidly, while IATA predicts that Latin American markets will expand by 4.2 percent over the next 20 years, the Middle East will grow by 5 percent and Africa by 5.9 percent.

    However, rapid growth can result in challenges in trying to cope with the demand. IATA’s director general and chief executive Alexandre de Juniac has warned of a “major infrastructure crisis” in Asia in particular.

     What is behind this fast growth in some markets? How can India and China cope with the demand? Is enough being done to face up to infrastructure challenges?  



* Please note like all events, the programme is subject to change.

Programme Day 2 - 17/09/2018

  • 09:30 - 10:20

    Heavyweight Debate - How to make your destination unique amid global competition Location: Keynote Arena

    As one of the world’s largest sectors, the benefits from travel and tourism are clear. The industry creates jobs, drives exports, and generates prosperity across the world.

     The World Travel and Tourism Market’s latest report shows that tourism was responsible for 10.4 percent of the global GDP and 313 million jobs in 2017.

     But how can tourism authorities make a destination more attractive, while at the same time as ensuring growth is sustainable? What are the requirements to make your destination stand out from the competition?

     Learn from industry leaders’ best practice examples on how your destination can create a unique offer and grow sustainably.


  • 10:50 - 11:05

    Networking Break

  • 12:05 - 12:55

    Hear from the heroes Location: Keynote Arena

    Routes’ Individual Award for Outstanding Contribution to Route Development shines a spotlight on the people who make the aviation industry tick, propelling growth in route networks and connecting cities across the globe. 

    Our route development heroes have been recognised by their peers for making an outstanding contribution. This is your opportunity to learn from the very best and understand how to make your route proposition stand out from the crowd. Our industry leaders will have five minutes each to explain their strategy and how they rose to the very top.

  • 12:35 - 13:40

    Lunch Break

  • 13:40 - 14:30

    Ask the experts – you decide the agenda! Location: Keynote Arena

    An innovative open session where you help us to set the agenda! What burning questions would you like to be answered by our experts? Quiz our panel on anything from airport incentives to attracting airlines and traffic forecasting. Take advantage of this opportunity to mould the discussion and have your questions answered.

  • 14:40 - 15:30

    Fast Track

  • 15:30 - 15:45

    Networking Break

  • 15:45 - 16:35

    Why cargo is essential to your airport Location: Keynote Arena

    Air cargo serves as an increasingly important catalyst to local, regional and in some cases, national economic growth. IATA’s 2017 data for global air freight markets show that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) grew by 9 percent. This was more than double the 3.6 percent annual growth recorded in 2016.  

    Full-year demand for air freight grew at twice the pace of the expansion in world trade (4.3 percent). This outperformance was a result of strong global demand for manufacturing exports as companies moved to restock inventories quickly. 

     But the importance of air cargo can often be overlooked by airports. This session will explore how you can evaluate the opportunities that exist, giving practical information on how to maximise the benefits of air freight. 

  • 16:45 - 17:35

    Aircraft technology – reshaping the industry Location: Keynote Arena

    Richard Wynne, Director Airplane Sales, North America, Boeing Commercial Airplanes

    Emerging technologies are changing the face of aviation. New aircraft are capable of flying longer and are more efficient, while the emergence of new supersonic and electric planes continue to offer a glimpse of what the industry of tomorrow could look like.

    Qantas has already launched an ultra long-haul route from Perth to London and has challenged Airbus and Boeing to develop a plane capable of flying anywhere in the world.

    Hear from some of the figures at the forefront of innovation and how manufacturers are pushing the boundaries of aircraft development.


* Please note like all events, the programme is subject to change.

Programme Day 3 - 18/09/2018

  • 10:30 - 10:50

    Continuing conversations after Routes Location: Theatre 1

    What happens after Routes?

    You’ve had your meetings and made connections – but what next? How do you convert potential leads into tangible results? Our experts from ASM will outline how you can make the most of the connections you have made at World Routes. Hear the top tips on what your next steps should be.

  • 10:50 - 11:05

    Networking Break

  • 11:05 - 11:55

    The power of social media marketing – How to improve your revenue Location: Keynote Arena

    Almost every traveller today has a smartphone, which they actively use to document their journey from the moment they reach the airport to the moment they return home. Many will also be sure to tag the airline in their social media posts, giving airlines a clear view of their experiences in real time.

    Learn how airports and airlines can take advantage of that trend to maximise their revenue opportunities in an increasingly competitive global marketplace, including how you can get your message heard on the likes of Weibo and WeChat. 



  • 12:05 - 12:25

    25 years in the future: Smart cities and innovations in airport development Location: Keynote Arena

    Over the past quarter century, there has been a seismic shift in the way airports and airlines operate with new business models coming to the fore.

     So what is in store over the next 25 years? What are the new innovations that will change the marketplace forever? Our panellists will gaze into our crystal ball to look at the next major advancements taking place and why you should be prepared. 


  • 12:25 - 13:45

    Lunch and Exhibitor Experience

* Please note like all events, the programme is subject to change.