PRESS RELEASE: Aviation industry heads to Chicago for world’s largest commercial aviation event

Over 250 C-level executives and ministers to attend; Tim Clark of Emirates and Scott Kirby of American Airlines to speak at Strategy Summit; 40 of top 50 global carriers to attend

17th September 2014

3,000 industry experts representing around 300 airlines, 800 airports and 200 tourism authorities from all corners of the world are expected to head to Chicago for World Routes, the 20th World Route Development Forum, to discuss the future of the world’s air service industry.

The world’s most important commercial aviation event of its kind will take place in Chicago, Illinois, USA on 20-23 September 2014, co-hosted by the City of Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) and Choose Chicago, the city’s tourism organisation. World Routes is a key part of the city’s strategy to increase air service, attract more visitors and showcase Chicago as a key destination in the US.

The World Routes Strategy Summit, taking place alongside World Routes on 21 and 22 September, will bring together 60 CEOs and senior leaders from the world’s leading airlines and airports as well as senior government officials. Speakers include Sir Tim Clark, President & CEO of Emirates; Scott Kirby, President of American Airlines; Rosemarie Andolino, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Aviation; Augustin de Romanet, Chairman & CEO, Aéroports de Paris; and Susan Kurland, US Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs. In total this year’s conference programme, which also includes the World Routes Tourism Summit, will see participation from over 80 senior speakers from 31 countries.

Katie Bland, Director Routes at UBM Live, said: “It is fantastic for World Routes to be back in the US after the immense success of Las Vegas 2013, before we bring the event to South Africa and China in the coming years. Chicago is one of the great cities of the world and one of the most important global aviation hubs. Over the next few days, the future of air services across the globe will be shaped in more than 10,000 Face-to-Face meetings and two high-profile conferences. Since air services are the lifelines of the modern economy, the decisions taken at World Routes have a significant impact on the economic development of cities, regions and increasingly even countries.”

“On behalf of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, we are thrilled to welcome delegates to the 20th World Route Development Forum,” said Rosemarie S. Andolino, Commissioner, Chicago Department of Aviation. “Our global community benefits from the connections we make with leaders in the aviation industry at this unique, international event. Together, we will continue to shape the future of the aviation industry. We hope that during your stay, you will experience the best that this country has to offer right here in Chicago, the most American of American cities. We are certain that your visit will exceed your expectations.”

“Chicago is honoured to be the host city for World Routes 2014, and we’re confident that Chicago is the ideal backdrop for this type of forum,” said Don Welsh, President and CEO of Choose Chicago: “Beyond our efforts to elevate Chicago as a global destination and attract 55 million visitors to the city by 2020, we are especially committed to the development and future of global travel. The discussions and decisions that will take place over the course of World Routes are important to our goal of making Chicago an increasingly accessible destination for the millions of domestic and international travellers. We’re proud to be part of that conversation.”

A number of high level representatives from all sectors of the industry are expected to attend World Routes in Chicago, with over 250 C-level delegates, including airline and airport CEOs and Ministers of Tourism registered. World Routes 2014 will also see attendance from many of the world’s leading carriers, including all of the top 10 and 40 of the top 50 airlines (measured by Available Seat Kilometres (ASK)). Many of these airlines are attending with senior delegations this year and carriers which have confirmed that their CEO will be in attendance in Chicago include, amongst many others, Emirates, LOT Polish and American Airlines.

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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 UKbased ASM Ltd., a consultancy specialising in the field of route development for airports. Routes and ASM are 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

Communications Manager


T: +44 (0) 161 234 2730


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

About UBM plc

  • UBM plc is a global events-led marketing services and communications company.  We help businesses do business, bringing the world’s buyers and sellers together at events and online, as well as producing and distributing news and specialist content.  Our 5,500 staff in more than 30 countries are organised into expert teams which serve commercial and professional communities, helping them to do business and their markets to work effectively and efficiently.
  • For more information, go to; follow us on Twitter at @UBM_plc to get the latest UBM corporate news; follow @UBM for news from all UBM's businesses; follow @UBM for a flavour of UBM from selected members of UBM's Twitterati.

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