Routes World 2024

Bringing together the global route development community

Kingdom of Bahrain
6 – 8 October 2024

Conference Programme

The Routes World conference programme will bring together senior leaders from the route development and aviation industries.

Comprising keynote interviews, panel discussions, airline briefings and best practice workshops, the Routes World 2024 conference programme will provide an exclusive platform for aviation leaders from around the globe to outline the latest market insights and provide expert advice that will inform business strategy.

Platinum Conference Sponsors

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Sunday, 6 October 2024

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    Welcome Address

    Hear more about why Routes World 2024 is taking place in Bahrain.

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    CEO Keynote Interview: Gulf Air

    A seasoned professional in the aviation industry, Jeffrey Goh joined Gulf Air Group Holding in early 2023, leading a group that comprises Bahrain’s flag-carrier Gulf Air, Bahrain Airport Company, BAC Jet Fuel Company, and Gulf Aviation Academy. Prior to joining the business, he served as the CEO of Star Alliance from 2017 and has also held roles at IATA and Beaumont and Son, an aviation law firm in London. Recent expansion for Gulf Air has included the launch of flights to Guangzhou and Shanghai in China, increasing the airline’s network to more than 50 destinations worldwide.

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    Powerhouse Panel: State of the Industry

    Some 4.96 billion people are expected to travel in 2024, according to IATA estimates, exceeding the 4.54 billion who flew in 2019 before the pandemic. The aviation industry’s financial performance is also surpassing initial forecasts as economic uncertainties have not dampened the desire to travel. Airports are busier, hotel occupancy is rising, local economies are reviving, and the airline industry has moved into profitability. However, while the pandemic years are now behind us, the global economic and geopolitical environment presents several risks to the outlook. Inflation, the Russia-Ukraine and Israel–Hamas wars, supply chain issues, and meeting sustainability targets continue to play their part. In this panel session, industry leaders from around the world will discuss the current state of the aviation sector and give their thoughts on where the industry is heading in the future.

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    CEO Keynote Interview: Riyadh Air

    Tony Douglas joined Riyadh Air as CEO in late 2022, tasked with establishing Saudi Arabia’s second flag-carrier. The airline's main hub will be at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, with commercial operations slated to commence in 2025. Riyadh Air has ambitions of connecting Saudi Arabia to more than 100 destinations worldwide by 2030, supporting the country’s ambition to triple annual travelers to 330 million by the end of the decade. Prior to joining the carrier, Douglas was CEO of Etihad Airways, leading a restructuring and transformation program at the Gulf airline.

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    CEO Keynote Interview: flyadeal

    Steven Greenway, Chief Executive Officer, flyadeal

    Steven Greenway succeeded Con Korfiatis as CEO of flyadeal in January 2024 following an extensive career in the aviation industry working in Asia, North America, Europe and the Middle East. Previous airline roles have included senior positions at Swoop, WestJet and Scoot among others. Greenway now leads a low-cost airline that has carried more than 25 million passengers since it was founded in 2016. Flyadeal also serves over 30 routes to destinations within Saudi Arabia and internationally using a fleet of 33 aircraft, helping to provide feed for sister airline Saudia’s long-haul operations.

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    Presidential Debate

    A discussion between the top senior leaders from the industry on the fast growth in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. Listen to insights from airline leaders across the GCC as they share their views on what the future holds for route development and how best to succeed in this rapidly expanding market.

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    Elevating Horizons

    The Future and Legacy of Bahraini Aviation

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    How can Aviation, Travel, and Tourism grow sustainably?

    Sustainability is, of course, a central concern. Achieving the net zero target by 2050 will be challenging, and sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) are crucial to this effort. The significant increase in SAF production needed will require the involvement of all stakeholders. While this presents a substantial challenge, it also offers a significant opportunity to develop a new industry and create skilled jobs.

    Gain insights into the innovative approaches that some destinations, airlines and airports are taking. Implement these trends into your organisation and cooperate in driving a more sustainable and responsible future for travel.

    How can tourism authorities develop a sustainable approach to route development? And how can tourism authorities reach travellers with their message on sustainability?

Monday, 7 October 2024

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    CEO Keynote Interview: Air Arabia

    Adel Abdullah Ali was announced as the new CEO of Air Arabia in June 2024 to spearhead a financial and operational revitalization of the airline. Bringing over three decades of expertise in the aviation industry, Ali previously served as the CEO of Air Arabia since its inception, steering the carrier to become a leading low-cost airline in the Middle East and North Africa. Before his tenure at Air Arabia, he held key positions at Gulf Air and Qatar Airways. Air Arabia revealed plans for a major restructuring in September 2023, aiming to achieve profitability within the next three to four years. The airline has since retired its older Airbus A320 aircraft and initiated strategic adjustments to its network, including optimizing routes and enhancing flight frequencies.

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    Navigating Challenges: Confronting Supply Chain Woes, Geopolitical Turbulence, and Labor Shortages

    The pandemic is now in the rearview mirror, with 2024 set to become the new benchmark. Despite this progress, significant challenges persist. Inflation, elevated cost pressures, and labor shortages remain. Airlines are grappling with unprecedented supply chain and engine-related issues, leading to a shortage of aircraft capacity and uncertainty in schedules for the coming year and beyond. The additional layer of complexity comes from geopolitical instability in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, disrupting airline route networks. Gain insights from a panel of influential executives discussing how airlines and airports are managing and navigating through disruptions.

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    CEO Keynote Interview: Oman Air

    Con Korfiatis was announced as the new CEO of Oman Air in May 2024 to lead a financial and operational turnaround at the carrier. With more than three decades of experience in the aviation sector, Korfiatis previously served as the CEO of flyadeal, the Saudi LCC owned by Saudia. Prior to that, he held positions at airlines including Indonesian LCC Citylink, Qantas and Singapore Airlines. Oman Air announced plans to restructure in August 2023 with the aim of returning to profitability in the next four to five years. It has since retired its Airbus A330 fleet and begun to make changes to its network by cutting routes and frequencies.

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    Strategic Financial Insights

    Driving Route Development in the Competitive Aviation Landscape

    Experts from the industry will explore the complex financial strategies behind route development decisions in the competitive aviation sector.

    This panel will discuss how airlines balance cost management with revenue optimization, the financial effects of entering emerging markets, and the use of innovative financial solutions to sustain growth amid global challenges. 

    Through insights from top industry executives, we will highlight how airlines navigate economic turbulence and strategically expand their networks to meet evolving passenger demands.

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    What does the future hold for Africa?

    Experts from the industry at the different regions will analyse the current state of the industry and opportunities ahead.

    What are the long-term growth forecasts? What does 2024 look like in terms of sustainability? How changing business models, potential consolidation and new aircraft fleet will alter the landscape as we know it?

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    Competing Business Models: LCCs vs. FSCs in Today's Aviation Market

    Join us for a dynamic panel discussion as we explore the transformative shifts in the airline industry.

    Explore the rapid rise of LCCs, capturing an increased fleet share amidst evolving travel demands. Discover the stability and resilience of full-service carriers (FSCs) in maintaining their market position despite challenging times.

    Uncover the intriguing trend of hybridization, where the boundaries between LCCs and FSCs blur, reshaping industry dynamics and passenger expectations. Gain insights into strategic adaptations undertaken by airlines to sustain competitiveness in this new era of aviation.

    Don't miss this opportunity to engage with industry experts and thought leaders as we navigate the future of airline business models and their impact on global travel.

Tuesday, 8 October 2024

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    Securing Routes: Strategies for airports to attract fast-growing carriers

    Henri-Charles Ozarovsky, Group Head of Strategy, TAP Portugal

    Join us for an insightful panel discussion featuring leading airline network planners from some of the world's fastest-growing carriers. This session will explore the dynamic strategies airports can implement to secure new routes, enhance connectivity, and foster sustainable growth.

    Our panellists will share best practice examples, innovative approaches, and collaborative tactics that have proven successful in today’s competitive aviation landscape.

    Key Discussion Points:

    • Effective strategies for airports to attract new airlines and routes
    • Case studies highlighting successful airport-airline partnerships.
    • The role of data and market analysis in route development.
    • Collaborative marketing efforts and incentive programs.
    • Overcoming challenges and mitigating risks in route planning.
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    Meet the Hosts of 2025

    Discover how next year’s host airports are preparing to welcome Routes to their destinations. In this exclusive session, representatives from upcoming host airports will share their strategies, insights, and preparations to ensure a successful and memorable event.

    Learn how these airports plan to leverage this opportunity to showcase their facilities, engage with industry stakeholders, and foster valuable connections.

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