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Victoria Jones
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Routes (UBM Live)

T: +44 (0) 161 234 2730
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World Routes kicks off in Abu Dhabi

Posted 30/09/2012 - Viewed 5789 time(s)

2,800 delegates, 750 airports and 300 airlines gather in the capital of the UAE for the world’s largest commercial aviation event  

40 airline CEOs and 16 tourism ministers expected

World Routes, the 18thWorld Route Development Forum was officially opened today by Abu Dhabi Airports Company’s (ADAC) CEO, James Bennett.  The event, which takes place over four days, will attract 2,800 senior professionals who represent over 300 airlines and 750 airports as well as numerous governments, destinations and tour operators.

There are more airline delegates registered this year than at any previous event, representing all leading airlines including Lufthansa, British Airways, Air France/KLM, Etihad, Emirates, United Airlines, LATAM, COPA, South African, Air China, China Eastern Airlines and Qantas as well as airports from around the globe.  The event will also see more senior executives in attendance than in previous years, with 40 airline CEOs and 250 airport CEOs and board members as well as 16 tourism ministers registered to attend. Carriers which have confirmed that their CEO will be in attendance in Abu Dhabi include Kenya Airways, Air Arabia, CSA-Czech Airlines, Etihad Airways, Vueling and Air Seychelles.

On the first day of the event the World Route Development Strategy Summit, which takes place alongside World Routes, was launched with a keynote speech by ADAC CEO, James E. Bennett.  The summit provided a platform for industry leaders to discuss key on-going topics that impact this dynamic and ever-evolving industry.  Key topics highlighted during the summit included: taxation; rising oil prices; aeropolitics; environmental factors; sustainable route development; economic development; and, general regional perspectives on aviation and its potential for growth.

Along with the summit opening, Routes held a joint press conference with Abu Dhabi Airports Company to announce the launch of the event and to engage with the 180 accredited journalists on Route Development strategies and trends.  In addition, the first day of the forum started with meetings held between airlines and airports to seek and plan for new routes.

David Stroud, Executive Vice President, Routes comments: “This year’s World Routes might well be the largest commercial aviation event ever held, and it is more than appropriate that it takes place in the Middle East, the fastest growing aviation market in the world. The event demonstrates in an impressive way how dynamic the global aviation sector is, despite the challenging economic and regulatory environment.”

“The format is unique, as it is the only event which brings together hundreds of airlines and airports from all corners of the world.  Delegates meet for tightly-scheduled face to face discussions over three days with the aim to discuss and agree on new air services. In total, around 16,000 meetings will take place in Abu Dhabi.”

H.E. Ali Majed Al Mansoori, Chairman of ADAC, said: “The Middle East region has registered a 17.3% growth in passenger traffic in the first 8 months of 2012, as per the traffic report released by IATA, becoming the fastest growing region in the world. ADAC is extremely proud to host key aviation leaders from around the globe here in the heart of this dynamic region.  This world class event will provide a platform to map out plans for growth in the aviation industry, but most importantly will allow Abu Dhabi to showcase its world-class airports and aviation services, and to work even closer with airlines in delivering new routes and destinations to Abu Dhabi airports.”

“The aviation sector is one of the 12 sectors that form the Emirate’s engines of economic, social and cultural growth and diversification,” said Al Mansoori.  “Our leaders’ recognition that this sector is essential for connecting the Emirate to the world, has been translated to significant investment in air transport, enabling Abu Dhabi International Airport to become one of the fastest growing international airport hubs. This commitment has also allowed Abu Dhabi to establish itself as a global centre for tourism, trade and industry in the sixteen years since Abu Dhabi last hosted the World Route Development Forum.”

This year’s event programme has been extended to include full days on both Saturday 29thand Sunday 30thwith delegates invited to “Experience Abu Dhabi”, attend the World Route Development Strategy Summit and further enjoy the unique one-to-one networking, briefing, and meeting opportunities.  Exclusive Route Exchange Airline Briefings by airlines such as Etihad, Air Canada, Southwest, Iberia, and Aeromexico will also allow airlines to brief airports directly on their requirements and various market opportunities.

This marks the first time the event has returned to a previous host city.  Back in 1996, Abu Dhabi’s downtown Hilton Hotel was the setting for the first hosted World Routes event.  16 years later, delegates will be able to witness for themselves the immense changes that demonstrate how the city’s future as a world class destination is taking shape.

Routes organises world-renowned airline and airport networking events through its regional and global Route Development Forums.  For more information on the programme, please visit or visit

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Notes to Editors

About Routes

  • Routes organises world-renowned airline and airport networking events through its regional and global Route Development Forums. Each year, there is one global event and one regional event in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas and CIS respectively.
  • Routes was founded in 1995 as part of the Manchester UK‐based ASM Ltd., a consultancy specialising in the field of route development for airports. www.asm‐
  • Routes and ASM were acquired by UBM Aviation Worldwide Ltd in August 2010.  From 1stAugust 2012 Routes, ASM and the Airport Cities Conference and Exhibition become part of the UBM Live division of UBM plc.
  • UBM Live connects people and creates opportunities for companies across five continents to develop new business, meet customers, launch new products, promote their brands and expand their markets.  Through premiere brands such as MD&M, CPhI, IFSEC, TFM&A, Cruise Shipping Miami, the Concrete Show, the Routes portfolio of events, Airport Cities and many others, UBM Live exhibitions, conferences, awards programs, publications, websites and training and certification programs are an integral part of the marketing plans of companies across more than 20 industry sectors.

For further press information please contact:

Victoria Jones

PR Executive

UBM Aviation Routes Limited

T: +44 (0) 161 234 2730

M: +44 (0) 7885 556617


Follow us on twitter: @Routesonline, @TheHUBRoutes, @VictoriaRoutes, @RouteExchange, @airlineroute

About Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC)

Abu Dhabi Airports Company (ADAC) is a public joint-stock company wholly owned by the Abu Dhabi Government. It was incorporated by Amiri Decree number 5, issued on 4 March 2006, to spearhead the development of the Emirate's aviation infrastructure. In September 2006, ADAC assumed responsibility for the operation and management of Abu Dhabi and Al Ain International Airports. In 2008, ADAC added Al Bateen Executive Airport (an exclusive private aviation airport), and Sir Bani Yas and Delma Island Airports to its portfolio. These airports are geared to serve the various segments of air travellers, the aviation marketplace, and will help contribute to Abu Dhabi’s development as a destination for both business and leisure tourism.

Currently under way is the multi-billion dollar re-development and expansion of Abu Dhabi International Airport designed to increase the overall capacity of the airport to more than 40 million passengers per year. As part of this redevelopment, a second runway and a third terminal have been completed.