Routes Asia 2019

The route development forum for Asia

Cebu, Philippines
10 – 12 March 2019

Conference Programme

Sunday, 10 March 2019

  • Situated within the region of South-East Asia, the Philippines has a prime geographical location significant for the country's growth in the fields of travel and tourism. At the heart of a region which currently houses several billions of dollars worth of the newest and most fuel-efficient aircraft, the Philippines serves as a critical entry point to over 500 million people in the ASEAN, with Mactan-Cebu International Airport welcoming the second largest influx of both domestic and international traffic in the country. The airport also currently has plans in place to extend its passenger terminal building to accommodate eight million passengers each year.

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    Routes Asia 2019 - Opening Remarks

    Steven Small, Brand Director, Routes

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

  • The Philippines’ domestic aviation market has grown significantly in recent years. The number of domestic and international departure seats has more than doubled over the past decade, according to analysis of published in OAG Schedules Analyser. Domestic capacity has risen from 15.8 million departure seats in 2008 to 35.4 million in 2018, while international capacity has grown from 8.4 million to almost 18.2 million over the same period.

    However, as one of the fastest developing economies in Asia, the social and economic benefits of air transport are at risk if the key issues of airport infrastructure, excessive regulation and taxation are not addressed.

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    State of the Industry in Asia Pacific

    Conrad Clifford, Regional Vice President Asia Pacific, IATA

    Despite considerable challenges in many parts of the region, Asia Pacific is expected to continue to lead global economic growth with an average forecast GDP of 3.9% annually over the next 20 years. And its aviation market is following suit.

    According to IATA, in seven years’ time China will become the number one passenger market on the planet, overtaking the US; in eight years India will move to number three; and in 20 years Indonesia will be the number five in the rankings.

    How has the market changed in recent years? What is the outlook for 2019 and beyond? Are the passenger forecasts achievable?

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    Keynote Interview - Philippine Airlines

    Hear directly from Philippine Airlines’  Senior Vice President for Special Projects, Mr Ismael Augusto S. Gozon on the airline’s expansion plans over the coming years.

    In recent years Philippine Airlines (PAL) has expanded its network by opening new international and domestic routes. Aircraft expected to join the PAL fleet in 2019 include two more next-generation Q400s, two additional A350s and two more A321neos.

    In February 2018, PAL was certified a four-star global airline, joining the likes of British Airways, Emirates, KLM and Japan Airlines, and is now focused on becoming a five-star rated carrier. It is also evaluating a series of new international routes, with destinations like Paris, Rome, Frankfurt and Munich in Europe thought to be under consideration.

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    Keynote Interview - Cebu Pacific Air

    Hear directly from Cebu Pacific Air’s COO, Mr. Michael Ivan Shau as he discusses the growing carrier’s future strategy.

    Cebu Pacific launched its inaugural flight in 1996 from Manila to Cebu and began operating as a fully-fledged low-cost airline nine years later. Since then it has grown to become a dominant player in the Philippines market, operating a fleet of 67 aircraft.

    Cebu Pacific, together with subsidiary Cebgo, operates an extensive network serving 66 domestic and 38 international routes, with a total of 2,583 scheduled weekly flights. From Cebu, it flies to a total of 27 domestic and five international destinations. The airline also operates flights out of six other hubs in the Philippines: Manila, Clark, Kalibo, Iloilo, Davao and Cagayan de Oro. 

    In July 2018, Cebu Pacific’s parent company entered into operating lease agreements for five new Airbus A320neo aircraft to be delivered in 2019 alongside eight A321neos also scheduled to join the carrier’s fleet over the coming year.

Monday, 11 March 2019

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    Future of air transportation in Asia Pacific Panel Debate

    Technology, fuel prices and new entrants

    With true long-haul routes the cost cap between and low-cost and full-service operators narrow as fuel becomes a larger share of the total cost. Long-haul markets have also become very competitive, making it difficult for a new LCC entrant to offer prices that are significantly more competitive than full service airlines to stimulate demand without sacrificing profitability.

    However, new generation aircraft are now making long-haul routes more feasible for LCCs – aided by low fuel prices. Strategic shifts also have prompted LCCs to launch longer routes – and for more airline groups to consider launching long-haul low-cost operations.

    The penetration of the A321LR in the Asia market 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 uncomfortable customer experience.

    How will the introduction of new long-range aircrafts 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?

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    Hub development & self-connect

    What does the future look like?

    Singapore Airlines and its low-cost subsidiary airline Scoot have recently joined the ‘Worldwide by easyJet’ global connections service, connecting easyJet customers with South East Asia with Singapore Airlines via Milan Malpensa airport and with Scoot through Berlin Tegel. In the same way, passengers traveling on one of Emirates’ three daily services from Dubai to Gatwick will be able to connect on EasyJet’s flights its London hub through this programme.

    New technologies, automation and business models allow airlines to bypass hubs and establish new intermodal connections.

    With the advancement of JVs in Asia market, is there any room for new development? Will dual function airline - low-cost and long-haul low-cost, or full-service and low-cost, succeed in today’s aviation market?

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    Long-haul low-cost

    How is it transforming the Asia aviation market?

    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? What are the benefits that this business model brings to a destination?

    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.

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    Slot allocation Panel Discussion

    How to support route development, growth and connectivity

    By 2025, aviation in Asia-Pacific region is expected to support 72 million jobs and $1,340 billion in GDP. That's almost double that of today. But aviation's potential economic contribution to the region is by no means guaranteed if the infrastructure and policies are not in place to support the anticipated traffic growth.

    While some airports in the region are planning ahead to add capacity, such as Singapore and Seoul's Incheon Airport, there are also airports that are struggling to meet the demand from airlines.

    IATA, ACI and WWACG (WorldWide Airport Coordinators Group) have joined forces to work on a Worldwide Slot Guidelines to manage scarce capacity with a fair, neutral, and transparent system until sufficient capacity can be built.

    In the past five years, HKExpress has opened a dozen new routes and has grown from a fleet of five aircraft to more than 20 in a short period out of Hong Kong’s essentially full airport that had no competition or only one incumbent carrier, with the effect of making all of these destinations available to far more travellers through lower fares and increased competition.

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    Route development in China

    Know the latest trends

    Hang Zhao, Business Development Manager and Consultant, ASM Global Route Development

    The growth of China’s aviation industry continues apace with the country set to displace the United States as the world’s largest market in the mid-2020s. The Chinese government has plans to build or expand 74 airports nationwide by the end of 2020 to help accommodate the surge in demand for air travel.

    This session will explore the future trends in the market and how policy evolution is changing the backdrop for new route development. It will look at the impact of Beijing’s new multibillion-dollar Daxing International Airport when it opens later this year, as well as the continued growth of secondary cities and emerging destinations.

    You will also learn how international airports should engage with China over the coming years, helping you to better understand the multitude of opportunities available.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

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