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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    Reflections on Route Development in/for Europe

    David Stroud, Managing Director, ASM

    European seat 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 grow at 2 percent per year over the next two decades and will add an additional 611 million passengers by 2037. This means the total market size will be 1.9 billion passengers. 

    However, in recent months we have seen the demise of Germania, Primera Air 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.

    Expert consultancy ASM will give their opinion on what route development holds for Europe and how best to succeed in this volatile market environment.

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    BREXIT Panel Debate

    Impact on network planning and on travel demand

    The ongoing uncertainty surrounding Britain’s exit from the European Union has had serious implications on the market, affecting air service agreements, aviation safety and security, border management and the environment.

    Airlines and airports have suffered from a lack of clarity surrounding future arrangements, with some carriers like Ryanair and Wizz Air forced to pre-empt post-Brexit confusion by setting up UK-based subsidiaries.

    This session will explore the ongoing disruption, and ask key questions about how Brexit will affect the industry moving forward. What should governments do to ensure stability in the sector? What will the impact be on network planning and on travel demand? Will the UK’s withdrawal weaken the EU’s ability to strike new air transport agreements?

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    UEFA Euro 2020

    Sizing the market opportunities for airlines

    Celebrated every four years, the UEFA European Championship is the third largest sporting event in the world attracting millions of supporters to every tournament. The next UEFA Euro is scheduled to be held from June 12th to July 12th, 2020. To mark the 60th anniversary of the competition, the UEFA Euro 2020 Final Tournament will be played in 12 countries across the continent.

    The tournament includes 24 National Teams playing a total of 51 matches with three million tickets expected to be sold. Due to long distances between the UEFA Euro 2020 host cities and the short timeframe for supporters to plan their trips, commercial aviation will play an important role for handling a large number of supporters, participating teams and the media.

    In addition to the UEFA European Championship, UEFA organises a cycle of major sporting events every year that are held throughout Europe (UEFA Champions League Final, UEFA Europa League Final) which requires a significant number of supporters and visitors to travel by air to the different host cities.

    Overall, the main UEFA competitions generate a huge spike of air demand from supporters to be part of the events. What does the demand look like? What are the potential opportunities for airlines? What are the benefits for tourism authorities? We look to answer these questions and more.

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 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, NIKI and 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

    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

    How long-range and more fuel-efficient aircraft are transforming networks and route economics

    Singapore Airlines relaunched the world’s longest route in October 2018, flying 15,329 km between Singapore and New York. While it previously served the destinations non-stop until 2013 using Airbus A340 aircraft, the fuel efficiency offered by its twin-engine Airbus A350-900s now make the route more economically viable.

    Such evolving technological capabilities of aircraft are proving to be transformative in network terms. Several low-cost carriers are now operating next generation narrow-body aircraft on long-haul routes, opening up new city pairs and disrupting the dominance of immunised joint ventures.

    And the impact of next generation aircraft like Airbus’ A321LR is likely to ripple beyond its direct operation 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.

    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

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