Conference Programme

Monday, 15 July 2019

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    Opening Remarks

    The return of Routes Silk Road

    Steven Small, Brand Director, Routes

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

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    Welcome to Nur-Sultan

    OAG’s data shows that Kazakhstan leads the way in terms of aviation growth in the immediate region. This isn’t surprising as it has the most diversified national economy, is home to Air Astana, and boasts the region’s most developed airport system.

    Over the past decade both the domestic and international markets from Kazakhstan have more than doubled. In 2009 4.1 million departure seats were available from the country, but this has grown by an annual average of 10 percent.

    The largest annual growth was between 2010 and 2011, although the market also expanded rapidly by 16 percent from 2016 to 2017.

    During the decade it has been the domestic market which accounts for both the lion’s share of traffic and the fastest growth, growing by 10.6 percent annually on average.

    The domestic market accounted for 60 percent of all departure seats in the country in 2009, and has grown to 63.1 percent in 2018.

    Kazakhstan’s status as the world’s largest landlocked country, and the ninth-biggest nation on the planet, means that aviation is key to the future development and prosperity of the country.

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    Keynote Interview

    Air Astana

    Hear directly from Air Astana’s Vice President Marketing and Sales, Richard Ledger on the airline’s expansion plans over the coming years.

    Air Astana dominates the market in Kazakhstan offering more than half of the available seats domestically and 47.2 percent of the total international seats available from Kazakhstan.

    The airline attributes the growth in transfer traffic to “offering a good product”, Air Astana’s growing reputation in the market, an efficient cost base that allows it to put good value fares into the market and Kazakhstan’s geographical location that makes it a logical place to fly via when travelling between Asia and Europe or northern Russia and South East Asia.

    Although fuel prices and lack of ground handling are two of the main challenges for airlines in Kazakhstan, Air Astana is self-handling and has negotiated its own deal with the Kazakh government that allows it to buy its fuel direct from refineries.

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    Market overview

    How has the market globally changed in recent years? What is the outlook for 2019 and beyond for Silk Road countries?

    Lack of competition in the ground handling market, the need for greater transparency over airport charges and the high price of jet fuel are three key areas where improvements can be made in the Central Asia market.

    However, despite considerable challenges in many parts of the region, Kazakhstan like all Central Asian former Soviet republics, still enjoys strong links with Russia. These economic and social ties are largely fuelling traffic growth across the entire region, with many Uzbeks, Tajiks, and Kyrgyz working in Russia and the former CIS states.

    This session will outline the latest news on the state of the industry in Central Asia including how the region could tackle their largest threats.

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    Networking Lunch

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    Panel Discussion: 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.

    Can CIS compete with Western/Middle East hubs? Can another regional Russian airport become a hub competitor?

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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.

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    Networking Break

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    Face-to-Face Meetings

    Location: Airline Meeting Hall

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

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