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African Route Development Industry Gathered in Swaziland for the 5th Routes Africa

Posted 22/06/2010 - Viewed 5700 time(s)

Ezulwini Valley, Swaziland, 4 June 2010

The 5th Routes Africa has come to an end. Held in Swaziland and hosted by Sikhuphe International Airport, the event saw more than 130 delegates. Up to 20 airlines were in attendance, including carriers such as Air Mauritius, Comair, Etihad Airways and South African Airways. First-timers were Airlink and Air Zimbabwe.  The 40 airport companies represented included Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA), Kenya Airports Authority, Ethiopian Airports Enterprise, Aéroports du Mali and Libreville Airport.  

In welcoming the delegates, the Honourable Minister Ntuthuko Dlamini, Minister for Public Works & Transport, said: "We are honoured that the African aviation community has come to our beautiful country of Swaziland and delegates will be able to experience first-hand what our country has to offer as a tourism and business destination. With the forthcoming opening of our new airport, it is vital that we are proactively discussing new route development opportunities with carriers."    

On the first day (Sunday, 30 May), the event saw ASM, Routes' official consultants, hold workshops for airports. Gordon Bevan, ASM's Vice President Consulting Asia Pacific & Indian Ocean, presented the company's conclusions on the rise of the Gulf carriers into Africa and how they are targeting the Africa to China market as a direct result of the increased trade links between the two regions, a timely topic for airports seeking to gain access to the Chinese market. Gordon also explained the approach airports should choose when planning to attract these carriers.

On Monday, delegates were invited to attend the Routes Africa Strategy Forum, which has established itself as an essential part of the region's route development event. It was supported by many of the key industry associations, including ACI (Airports Council International) Africa, AFRAA (African Airlines Association), AASA (Airlines Association of Southern Africa) and the UNWTO (UN World Tourism Organisation), and addressed the opportunities and challenges the air transport industry is experiencing in the region.

Nigel Mayes commented: "The African aviation industry is facing some huge issues at present, including liberalisation, the role of national government and economic stability.  We must not allow these issues to hold back air service development, which is vital for the economic and tourism development within the region."   

At the gala dinner - which was hosted by the Prime Minister of Swaziland - Routes held the fourth heat of the renowned Routes Airport Marketing Awards. Entebbe International Airport (Uganda) was crowned the winner of the region and will be automatically shortlisted for the World Routes Airport Marketing Awards, taking place at World Routes in Vancouver. Cape Town International Airport (South Africa), Julius Nyerere International Airport (Tanzania), Kenya Airports Authority (Kenya) and Maputo International Airport (Mozambique) were all shortlisted, having been voted for by airlines serving the region.

Routes Africa was the penultimate Routes regional event of 2010, with only Routes CIS to follow (7-9th June).

To find out more about all Routes events, visit

- Ends -

Notes to Editors:

About Routes

  • § World 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.
  • § This year's World Route Development Forum will take place in Vancouver, Canada, 19th-21st September.
  • § Routes Regional events include Routes Americas, Routes Asia, Routes Europe, Routes Africa and Routes CIS.
  • § 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 -The Route Development Group - which 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.

For further press information please contact Nadine Wenn at:

The Route Development Group (RDG)

T: +44 (0)161 234 2711


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