Routes Europe 2023

The route development forum for Europe

Łódź, Poland
9 - 11 May 2023

Conference Programme

Bringing together high-profile speakers and senior leaders from the route development and aviation industries.

Conference Europe

Comprising keynote interviews, panel discussions, airline briefings and best practice workshops, the Routes Europe 2023 conference programme will provide you with exclusive insight. It’s time to look ahead at what the future holds for Europe’s air services? Airline CEOs and aviation heavyweights will look at the issues that will forever change the industry landscape.

Book your placeView the event programme  

Tuesday, 9 May 2023

  • -

    Opening Remarks

    Hear more about why Routes Europe 2023 is taking place in Lodz

  • -

    CEO Keynote Interview: airBaltic

    Martin Gauss, CEO, airBaltic

    Moderator: David Casey, Editor-in-Chief, Routes

    Latvian carrier airBaltic flies to more than 70 destinations, employing over 2,200 staff. Alongside its bases in Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius, the airline expanded outside its Baltics heartland during 2022 with the launch of a new base in Tampere, Finland.

    Although Russia’s invasion of Ukraine presented serious challenges, the carrier enjoyed a positive end to 2022, carrying 3.3 million passengers during the year—up by 105% on the previous 12 months. AirBaltic has a fleet of 39 Airbus A220-300s, with a further 11 on order. New routes starting this year include flights from Tampere to Nice and Milan.

  • -

    Panel Discussion: Europe’s low-cost battleground

    Eleanor Ogilvie, Head of Network and Airport Strategy, easyJet

    Europe’s three major LCCs—Ryanair, easyJet and Wizz Air— have each increased their market share considerably in recent years, bouncing back far quicker post-COVID than many network carriers. 

    And although economies across the continent may be experiencing weakness, this does not appear to be dampening consumers’ desire to fly, with each LCC forecasting strong demand and yields for the peak summer season.

    But what are the longer-term prospects for Europe’s leading LCCs? This session will bring together the three largest in the region for a wide-ranging debate on the future of the sector.  

    • How are each responding to the intense competitive landscape?
    • Where are the biggest growth markets?
    • Will consolidation be on the agenda?
    • Who will ultimately be the winner?
  • -

    Sustainability: Multimodality as an alternative to short-haul flights

    A report commissioned by Greenpeace in 2021 concluded that a third of the busiest short-haul flights in Europe have train alternatives of under six hours–the organization called for a ban on domestic and short-haul flights where an alternative under six hours exists.

    Air France and French rail operator SNCF have been intensifying their cooperation and last year launched a fully digital Train+Air product which allows passengers to make one reservation across train and air legs of their journey.

    France is far from alone in looking into the potential for rail and air to work together rather than in competition: the European Union Aviation Safety Agency and the European Union Agency for Railways signed a memorandum of cooperation establishing regular dialogue between the two in a bid to better share information, knowledge and experience in three areas–safety, big data and sustainability.  

    • Can rail operators and airlines–traditionally more competitors than partners–really work together to help cut emissions?
    • Which carriers are seeking out intermodal cooperation agreements?
    • Is the emissions reduction impact of transferring some routes to rail sufficient?
    • What does the future hold for some short-haul routes?

Wednesday, 10 May 2023

  • -

    Panel Discussion: Europe’s aviation market in 10 years’ time

    Europe’s aviation industry has altered considerably over the past decade and is continuing to evolve as it builds back from the damaging effects of the pandemic and the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which continues to have huge socioeconomic effects on all aspects of the European economy.

    While the recovery will continue to strengthen in 2023, with total traffic expected to reach 92% of pre-pandemic levels, the prospects in the short-term are positive as demand remains high. But what is the outlook for the region beyond the immediate future?

    This session will explore the changes that could happen over the next 10 years, looking at how changing business models, potential consolidation, new aircraft fleet, and sustainability considerations will alter the landscape as we know it.

  • -

    Panel Discussion: The rise of long-haul narrowbody flights

    The advent of longer-range narrowbodies is allowing operators to get ever more creative with their network strategies, opening new flight options and changing the economics on thinner routes.

    The lower capacity and operational efficiencies of the Airbus A321LR and Boeing 737 Max is already allowing carriers to serve city pairs with lower demand, where existing aircraft could not be operated in a commercially sustainable way.

    The introduction of the A321XLR will go even further, providing airlines the capability to serve even longer routes, such as transatlantic flights into Central Europe from New York.

    • How are long-range narrowbodies changing long-haul economics?
    • What will the growth of such aircraft mean for hubs?
    • What opportunities are there for secondary European cities?
  • -

    The North American carriers are coming

    If airlines’ schedules for July hold, more flights will cross the Atlantic than in any month in the history of commercial aviation. Airlines are slated to operate 4,353 transatlantic flights per week in July, which would break the record of 4,238 weekly flights set in July 2019.

    The soaring transatlantic market has resumed the momentum seen before the pandemic, and airlines operating across the pond are bullish about the future.

    The strong dollar, weaker economies, and higher inflation partially wrought by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have made Europe an attractive leisure destination, bringing to the table new routes from the likes of United Airlines, Delta Airlines, American Airlines and WestJet.

    • What are the European destinations in the spotlight for North American carriers?
    • What opportunities are there for secondary cities?
    • What support can potential European airport partners provide to secure new service?

Thursday, 11 May 2023

  • -

    Airline Briefing: Finnair’s new strategy

    Aaron McGarvey, Head of Network Strategy and Development, Finnair

    Prior to the pandemic, Finnair’s business model focused on connecting Europe and Asia using the shorter northern route over Russia.

    The carrier temporarily altered the strategy in response to COVID travel restrictions—focusing on North America—but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent closure of Russian airspace then rendered many Asian routes financially unviable.

    Hear how the airline is altering its strategy to create a geographically more balanced network connecting its Helsinki hub to Asia, India and the Middle East, and North America.

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