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Routes (UBM Live)

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Airlines Head to Routes Looking for Ways to Share Oil Price Pain

Posted 04/09/2008 - Viewed 5059 time(s)

Manchester, July 2008

Due to the crisis in the industry caused mainly by high oil prices, a major trend is emerging at this year's World Route Development Forum (Routes) to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 12-14th October. While the world's airlines and airports attending Routes normally focus on new market opportunities, many airlines are now requesting to meet airports they already serve.

The clear intention of these carriers is to explore ways that the airports or their tourist authorities and regions can help them share the pain caused by the recent oil price hikes. Airports can - and often do - deploy a variety of measures to encourage and sustain air services ranging from marketing support to reduced landing fees and other financial incentives. Often this is because an air service has an economic benefit to its region that vastly exceeds any costs of support.

"I have never known an event like this year's where there is so much to play for in terms of opportunities and threats," says Mike Howarth, Chairman of Routes. "Clearly some routes are at risk, which could have serious consequences for their regional economies and tourist industries. On the other hand, there are some juicy pickings out there where routes that have been built over decades are now available for enterprising carriers to take over. On top of that, some airlines are still expanding relentlessly, as proven by the record aircraft orders that were placed at the recent Farnborough Airshow."

It is believed that at least one major airport authority will be using Routes to announce a cost saving initiative to support its carriers. Some airlines are also sending larger teams to bring a wider range of skills into the discussions.

Howarth adds: "As the world's largest airline gathering and with its unique role in air service development, Routes has always been a barometer for the industry, and this year we are seeing an industry experiencing dramatic change. It is unavoidable that in the short term there will be losers, but ironically the way that the airlines and airports respond to this crisis will determine tomorrow's winners."

More than 300 airlines are expected at Routes. Be there when the industry gathers to discuss future solutions to present problems! Be the first to find out about breaking news in the industry and secure your place at the 14th World Route Development Forum by registering online at!

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Notes to Editors           

  • Routes - The World Route Development Forum - is the world renowned annual airline and airport networking event. Routes facilitates and encourages the role of airports in the development of air services through organising global and region specific airline/airport networking forums. Routes is not a conference, but the annual gathering of the route development industry offering formal and informal networking opportunities.
  • This year's World Route Development Forum will take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 12-14 October. Previous World Route Development Forums took place in Cannes, Abu Dhabi, Oslo, London, Rome, Amsterdam, Dublin, Athens, Edinburgh, Madrid, Copenhagen, Dubai and Stockholm. Region-specific events are: Routes Regional Americas, Routes Regional Asia, Routes Regional Europe and Routes Regional Africa.
  • Routes was founded in 1995 by Chairman Mike Howarth as part of the Manchester UK-based ASM Ltd., a consultancy specialising in the field of route development for airports.
  • Both companies are now subsidiaries of RDG, a family of inter-related companies, strategic partners and associates that is the leading global solutions provider in the strategically important ‘route development' sector of air transport. 
  • In April 2007, Routes also won the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2007. The award, for outstanding business performance and commercial success, recognised Routes' sustained contribution to aviation route development through its innovative Regional and World Route Development Forums.
  • The following air transport and aviation trade associations support or participate at Routes or Routes Regional events: Airports Council International (Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Caribbean, Africa), ICAO, IATA, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), British Airports Group (BAG), Ukrainian Airports Association,  Airport Association of CIS Civil Aviation,  European Regional Airline Association (ERA), European Low Fares Airline Association (ELFAA), European Civil Aviation Conference, African Civil Aviation Conference, African Airline Association and the Airline Association of Southern Africa.


For further press information please contact Nadine Wenn at:

The Route Development Group

T: +44 (0)161 234 2711


113-115 Portland Street

Manchester M1 6DW