Routes Europe 2019

The route development forum for Europe

Hannover, Germany
8 - 10 April 2019

Conference Programme

Monday, 8 April 2019

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    Opening Remarks

    Steven Small, Brand Director, Routes

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

  • Hannover Airport serves one of the widest and most powerful catchment areas in Germany. The hub’s total capacity increased by 9% in 2018 to almost 4 million available departure seats.

    The Hannover region is a vital hub within the European passenger, freight and goods transport infrastructure and is one of the key aerospace centres in Germany. Widely recognised as a centre of business and science, the region is home to many international brands including Continental, TUI Group, Sennheiser, Jägermeister, commercial aero engine business MTU Maintenance and steel manufacturer Salzgitter AG.

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    Panel Session – State of the European aviation industry

    European capacity grew by 6 percent in 2018 compared with the previous 12 months, according to data from OAG.

    The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecasted that Europe’s aviation market will also grow at 2 percent per year over the next two decades and will add an additional 611 million passengers by 2037. Meaning that the total market will be 1.9 billion passengers.

    However, in recent months we have seen the demise of Primera Air, VLM and Cobalt Air, while others have been forced to restructure their operations. Volatile fuel prices, air traffic control strikes, growing trade disputes and geopolitical tensions are all playing their part. What does the future hold for the market?

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    CEO Keynote Interview

    Hear directly from one of the leading figures in aviation on the airline’s major plans for the next few years. At Routes Europe 2018 in Bilbao, delegates heard from British Airways chief executive Alex Cruz on the carrier’s expansion and the challenges it has overcome.

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    BREXIT Panel Debate

    Impact on network planning and on travel demand

    Britain’s exit from the European Union is now a reality. This won’t only impact on air service agreements, but it will affect many other critical areas such as aviation safety and security, border management and the environment.

    Contingency arrangements should be in place so that traffic rights for airlines operating flights between the UK and EU remain in place, along with the UK’s participation in the European Aviation Safety Agency.

    This session will explore the ongoing disruption, covering such key questions as:

    Now that the decision has been made, how will Brexit impact the aviation industry? What should governments do to ensure stability in the sector? What will the impact be on network planning and on travel demand?

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

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    Keynote interview

    What is the future of integrated tour operators?

    Are integrated tour operators coming under increasing pressure to divest their airlines? 

    TUI Group is the world’s number one tourism group operating in around 180 destinations around the globe. In financial year 2018, TUI Group recorded turnover of €19.5bn and an operating profit of €1.147bn. TUI Aviation is the ninth largest airline group in Europe operating more than 150 modern medium- and long-haul aircraft including the fuel efficient next generation Boeing 737 MAX.

    However, external risks such as natural disasters, terror attacks and air traffic control strikes in Europe are putting pressure on profits. This is added to an intense competition from low-cost carriers and online rivals that made TUI restructured its five leisure airlines to put a new organisational structure in place that will intensify their integration.

    This Keynote interview with a senior representative from TUI Group (TBC) will cover what TUI's main network targets are and how it aims to ensure its profitability will scale in line with its growth.

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    Consolidation and Competition Panel Debate

    Are the current levels sustainable?

    Europe is a region to watch in which the market remains highly fragmented. OAG figures show that Europe’s top five airlines by capacity had a combined 30.0 percent share of the market in 2018. Contrast that to the US where the top five accounted for 75.2 percent.

    Consolidation could be especially keen among operators of long-haul low-cost services on the high volume transatlantic market. The collapse of Air Berlin and NIKI, Germania have demonstrated how tough the operating environment is, with intense competition resulting in pressure to reduce fares. However, as some airlines struggle opportunities arise for others, opening up lucrative landing slots and routes for budget airlines. 

    Laudamotion have launched 15 new connections from Vienna, while Eurowings was the world's ninth-fastest growing airline in 2018 at 18.5 percent. Ryanair have hinted at plans to purchase additional European airlines, while the easyJet acquisition of Air Berlin's assets has given them a ready-made foothold in more markets.

    Are the current levels of competition sustainable? Where are we likely to see the next collapses and consolidations?

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    Market focus

    Connecting East to West

    Kam Jandu, Chief Commercial Officer, Budapest Airport

    The incredible growth in Asian markets and outbound travel from China are having a profound impact on how European carriers aim to service new route opportunities from East to West.

    Finnair and Helsinki Airport have been connecting the regions for 35 years while Hungarian low-cost carrier Wizz Air’s stated strategy is linking Central and Eastern Europe destinations with Western Europe, primarily from secondary airports.

    The move west forms part of Wizz’s desire to gain further market share from low-cost rivals. One of the airline’s big advantages is that Hungary has some of the lowest labour costs in the EU. Given the scale of its ambition, expect Wizz to open further Western Europe bases in the coming months as it continues to launch an assault on sectors previously dominated by Ryanair and easyJet.

    Air Astana and its partner Lufthansa are now the only airlines operating nonstop flights from Kazakhstan to Western Europe, but several Eastern European airlines compete aggressively in this market with a one-stop product.

    Aeroflot and the Gulf carriers are also in pole position to connect the two growing aviation powerhouses, while more fuel efficient equipment opens up routes previously viewed as unsustainably thin.
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    Aircraft Technology Panel Debate

    The future of long-haul and transatlantic

    Andrew Armitstead, Fleet and Network Profitability Director, Airbus

    The advent of aircraft like the A321LR could prove to be transformative in network terms.  Its impact is likely to ripple beyond the direct operation of the aircraft as consumers and the extended aviation food chain – notably airports – experience the benefits of direct service, often avoiding congested hubs and providing better customer experience.

    Air Transat has an order of ten A321LRs to replace A310s on transatlantic routes and WestJet the same number of Boeing 787-9s, an aircraft that the airline has said it will likely deploy to Europe.

    And the industry is watching LEVEL's next move as the IAG LCC seeks to rapidly grow into a major player, while Norwegian retains its ambitious network development plans in Europe and beyond. 

    How will the introduction of new long-range aircraft influence the network development of carriers in the region? What new city pairs can we expect in the coming years? What are the potential opportunities for secondary airports?

    Qantas has challenged Airbus and Boeing to develop an ultra long-range aircraft capable of flying non-stop from Sydney to London. How close are we to achieving this aim? What are the benefits that this could bring to the industry?

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

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    Airline Briefing

    Hear directly from one of the leading figures in aviation on the airline’s major plans for the next few years.

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    Airline Briefing

    Hear directly from one of the leading figures in aviation on the airline’s major plans for the next few years.

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    Airline Briefing

    Hear directly from one of the leading figures in aviation on the airline’s major plans for the next few years.

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