Routes Asia 2020

The route development forum for Asia

Chiang Mai, Thailand
8 - 10 October 2020

Conference Programme

The Routes Asia conference programme will provide insight into the key issues driving change within the industry, exploring the future of route development through a series of talks, presentations and thought-provoking panel discussions.

View the full event programme to find out what else is happening at Routes Asia 2020. 

Thursday, 8 October 2020

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    Routes Asia 2020

    Opening Remarks

    Steven Small, Brand Director, Routes

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

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    Welcome to Chiang Mai

    Keynote Address

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    State of the Industry in Asia Pacific

    Panel Discussion

    Vinoop Goel, Regional Director Airports & External Relations (Asia-Pacific), IATA

    The Asia Pacific region is still expected to continue to lead global economic growth with an average forecast GDP of 3.9 percent annually over the next 20 years. And its aviation market is following suit.

    IATA believes that in six 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, boosted by a growing middle-class with a propensity to fly.

    But there remains some economic uncertainty hanging across Europe, and a cold trade war between the US and China casts a shadow of the country's stellar economic growth. Plus some huge global aviation markets continue to struggle to create profitability and growth.

    In Asian aviation there is much to be positive about with a host of new carriers set to take to the skies, the Summer Olympics taking place in Tokyo, and airlines taking delivery of more fuel-efficient, longer-range aircraft.

    However, can the market continue its positive trajectory if the uncertain global economy deteriorates?

    How has the market changed in recent years? What is the outlook for 2020 and beyond? Are the passenger forecasts achievable? 

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    Changing Route Economics

    Panel Discussion

    New generation aircraft are reshaping route networks, offering game-changing economics and increased range. The penetration of jets like the Airbus A321LR in the Asia market could prove to be transformative in network terms. Such narrow-bodies are increasingly allowing low-cost carriers to operate longer, thinner routes, disrupting the dominance of existing players in the market.

    The 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.

    What does this mean for the hub and spoke model in the long-term? How are airports reacting and adapting to the changing business models? Can we expect more Asian LCCs to open long-haul routes? What new city pairs can we expect in the coming years? Is there still a market for one-stop flights over long-haul markets?

    Meanwhile, new generation wide-bodies such as the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 are making ultra-long-haul routes more viable. What does the future hold for ultra-long-haul services? Can more fuel-efficient aircraft overcome the inherent cost challenges of operating such routes?

Friday, 9 October 2020

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    Can the LCC market continue its growth?

    Panel Discussion

    Although budget operators arrived later in Asia than other parts of the world, their growth since the turn of the century has been phenomenal. Data from OAG shows that LCCs now account for about 30 percent of capacity in the region, up from less than 12 percent a decade ago.

    In countries such as Vietnam, India, Malaysia and Thailand, the LCC penetration rate is now above 50 percent, led by the rapid growth of carriers including AirAsia, IndiGo, Vietjet and Lion Air. As well the ongoing expansion of existing LCCs, a clutch of new ones have taken to the skies in recent years, with more start-ups beginning operations in 2020.

    But is there room the market for more new entrants? In Europe we have seen consolidation and insolvency repeatedly reshape the skies; is Asia heading for a similar correction?

    Some countries are yet to fully experience the low-cost revolution and growth opportunities are more self-evident. Although China is Asia’s largest aviation market, it still has a relatively weak LCC presence. Japan’s domestic penetration rate is also well below the global average.

    Will the full-service airline model survive in Asia given such fierce LCC competition? Will more FSCs respond by launching their own budget brands? What needs to happen for China to fully embrace LCCs?

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    Case Study


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    Overcoming Adversity

    Panel Discussion

    Bojana Spasojevic Sijacki, Lecturer in Aviation, Griffith Aviation

    Over the past 12 months a number of economic and geopolitical factors have affected the aviation industry in the region. From the anti-government protests in Hong Kong and the closure of Pakistan’s airspace, to the ongoing trade war between China and the US. Elsewhere, the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka and Typhoon Hagibis in Japan have also taken their toll.

     This panel will analyse how mitigate the damage and minimise losses that such incidents have on the air transport and tourism industries. What lessons can be learned from the recent disasters? How can tourism organisations reposition destinations after major challenges? What are the long-term implications for airlines and airports?

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    Emerging Aviation Powerhouses

    Panel Discussion

    Asia’s aviation market has enjoyed tremendous growth over the past several years and the momentum shows no sign of stopping.

    IATA forecasts show that India and China are projected to account for nearly half of the air passenger growth worldwide over the next two decades. Other countries such as Indonesia, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand and Taiwan have also expanded at a rapid rate, boosted by an influx of LCCs.

    What destinations can we expect to emerge as drivers for growth in the coming years? What will power their development? Do emerging destinations have the infrastructure to cope with an influx of tourists? What lessons can be learned from countries which have experienced a passenger boom?

Saturday, 10 October 2020

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