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Key Decision-Makers at the Routes Americas Strategy Forum Addressed Issues Facing the Region's Air Transport Industry

Posted 24/06/2010 - Viewed 5102 time(s)

Lima, Peru, 16 February 2010

Senior aviation industry leaders gathered in the Peruvian capital on Sunday to drive a spirited

enquiry into the shape and direction of the region's aviation industry at the Routes Americas

Strategy Forum, part of the 3rd Routes Americas. Airline consolidation, airport privatisation and the

impact of the US legacy carriers on the different markets were top of the agenda.

Executive Director of the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA), Alex de

Gunten, said the Latin American and Caribbean markets are performing more strongly than others

around the world. He said that the region will carry on growing and weather the crisis better than

other markets. However, key challenges remain including infrastructure constraints, unsuccessful

airport privatisation models and the fragmentation of Latin American's air transport industry. "The

collaboration between airlines and airports is critical," he pointed out.

John Kirby, Director Network Planning at AirTran Airways, took part in a session on "The American

Invasion". Discussing whether U.S. carriers are reshaping the Latin American and Caribbean Airline

Industry, he commented: "In the U.S. the market is pretty mature. The fact that U.S. carriers are

looking at new markets is just the normal evolution of the industry. To me, it is a natural extension

of existing business." Also in this session were Mauricio Emboaba, Vice President Planning at GOL,

and Alejandro Benitez, Vice President Corporate Development at Grupo TACA.

"The Privatization Experiment - Is Airport Privatization Friend or Foe in the Americas?" was

addressed by Carlos Criado, Commercial Director at Quito Airport; Jose Montero, Director Strategy

Planning at COPA Airlines, and Jaime Daly, CEO of Lima Airport Partners, host of this year's Routes

Americas edition. Jaime commented: "Airport privatisation is a reality and a necessity in Latin

America. The question is not whether to privatise, but rather which model is best-suited to the


In a third session, the focus was on the issue of airline consolidation. While Horst Findeisen, Vice

President of Business Development at Star Alliance, highlighted that the alliance is looking at

generating more member airlines in the region, Emilio Romano, Board Director at TAM, pointed out

that alliances are very beneficial from a passenger's point of view, but not always from an airline's

point of view. All three panellists, including Francisco Cuellar, Vice President of Business

Development for Latin America and the Caribbean at ASM, agreed that the process of consolidation

is a highly individual one, dependent on each airline's business model.

Moderated by Michael Bell, Partner at Spencer Stuart, the forum addressed the main issues which

are of concern and interest to the region's air transport industry. Bell commented: "I sensed a high

degree of engagement both on the part of the panellists and the audience."

The Routes Americas Strategy Forum was sponsored by IATA.

- 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. The 16th World Routes will be held in Vancouver, Canada - September 19-21, 2010.
  • Routes Regional events include Routes Americas, Routes Asia, Routes Europe, Routes CIS and Routes 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 -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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