Long-haul low-cost, digitalisation and disruption – designing the future of aviation

The World Routes 2017 conference programme will examine some of the biggest issues facing aviation, set to provide significant opportunities and challenges in the coming years.

With the number of air passengers set to top seven billion per year by 2035, the aviation industry is braced for a period of unprecedented change, providing significant opportunities and challenges for airlines, airports and suppliers alike.

At World Routes 2017 in Barcelona, the conference programme will examine some of the biggest issues facing aviation in the world right now, from the advent of long-haul low-cost disruptors to geopolitical turmoil and technological shifts.

Key issues

How can the aviation industry cope and plan when there is a permanent state of disruption? How will the long-haul low-cost market evolve? Will 2020 be a tipping point for tourism? These are just some of the questions that will be explored during the conference programme, sponsored by OAG and taking place over three days from 24 to 26 September 2017.

lhlc

Aviation consultant John Strickland, who will be interviewing IAG CEO Willie Walsh in the ‘Why long-haul low-cost will dominate the skies by 2020 and what you can do about it’ keynote, believes long-haul low-cost will work for some and not for others.

“Key factors are going to be good market selection, managing feed and, of critical importance, making the correct aircraft choice and securing the right aircraft ownership costs to back that up,” he says.

“Legacy carriers need to be shrewd in their responses. It's not just about setting up a new subsidiary with a few planes and giving it a wacky name! It means really analysing markets, evaluating profitability and then deciding where, or if, a subsidiary would be appropriate or whether better to be more tactical on their own legacy networks.”

Strickland adds that there is going to be a lot of experimentation and the model will change over time, just as the short-haul low-cost market has evolved: “There are some very basic challenges without which the model cannot work and it will be interesting to see who manages to overcome these successfully. The segment has been notable for its lack of sustainable profitability so far.”

SPOTLIGHT On

Security, the threat of terrorism, liberalisation, Donald Trump and Brexit – just some of the opportunities and challenges to be discussed at the six geographical ‘Spotlight on…’ sessions, which will look at major issues in Europe, Asia, LATAM, US, Africa and Middle East. Speakers include Flybe’s chief commercial officer Vincent Hodder; Michael Haendal, director network planning at Lufthansa; and Scott Laurence, senior vice president at JetBlue Airways.

HOW DIGITAL WILL RESHAPE AVIATION

Aviation is a digital business and hugely reliant on technology. Recent systems failures for both Delta and British Airways have led huge disruptions for passengers, large compensation bills and a dent in the brand. So which airlines are ahead in the digital game? Can airlines keep pace with passengers’ digital demands? Are airlines well equipped for the digital demands of the 21st century? Speakers include Hugh Aitken from Skyscanner and Azim Barodawala, the chief executive of technology business Volantio. UBM’s Luke Bilton also analyse lessons from content marketing leaders in aviation – and how to turn your website into an effective, data-driven inbound content marketing machine.

sustainable

Will 2020 be a tipping point for tourism? Is it possible to increase air services and to be sustainable? There is no end in sight for the growth in demand – the UNWTO predicts 1.4 billion international tourists by 2020. So how will destinations cope? Speakers on this important topic include senior figures from the Government of Catalonia, The Travel Foundation, Forward Keys and the Philippines Department of Tourism.

New for 2017

Airlines Live – Senior network planners will be delivering a series of briefings. They will offer insight into their business’ growth plans and potential market opportunities. JetBlue, SunExpress, Finnair, LOT Polish Airlines and Nordica will deliver the talks.

Lightning Talks - hear more on what airlines really want. Moderated by Nigel Mayes, senior vice president of consulting and product development at ASM, the session will explore how delegates can maximise the effectiveness of their airline meetings.

High-profile speakers

The conference programme has this year drawn some of the biggest names in aviation including International Airlines Group (IAG) chief executive Willie Walsh. Having recently launched IAG’s new low-cost airline LEVEL from Barcelona El-Prat Airport, it will be an opportune time for Walsh to talk about why the low cost, long-haul model will dominate the skies by 2020.

Other speakers include WOW air founder and chief executive Skúli Mogensen, Aeroflot’s Giorgio Callegari and Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines. They will take part in a debate about route development in a world where disruptions such as fluctuating oil prices, rising nationalism and security issues are becoming the norm.

Speakers include:

Willie WalshWillie Walsh
Chief executive of International Airlines Group (IAG)
Walsh became CEO of IAG in January 2011, joining from British Airways where he was chief executive from October 2005. IAG, the parent company of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling, is one of the world’s largest airline groups with 547 aircraft flying to 268 destinations and carrying more than 100 million passengers each year
Participating talks and sessions:
Why long-haul low-cost will dominate the skies by 2020 and what you can do about it.
When: 24 September 2017 at 14:00
Location: Keynote Arena

Skúli MogensenSkúli Mogensen
Chief executive and founder of WOW Air
Prior to founding WOW air, Mogensen spent 20 years as an entrepreneur and investor, primarily in the technology, media and telecoms industry. WOW air's inaugural flight was to Paris on 31 May 2012 and the airline now serves 38 destinations across Europe, North America, and Asia.
Participating talks and sessions:
Route development 2020: How to grow in a world where disruption is the new norm
When: 24 September 2017 at 11:10
Location: Keynote Arena

Giorgio CallegariGiorgio Callegari
Deputy chief executive for strategy and alliances at Aeroflot
Callegari joined Aeroflot in 2011 and is in charge of developing and implementing the group’s corporate strategy. He has made a major contribution to the Russian airline and helped it to achieve one of the ambitious goals set out in its Strategy 2025 – to become a top-20 global carrier by passenger numbers. In August, Callegari was awarded Italy’s highest civil honour for “outstanding contribution to strengthening Russian-Italian relations”.
Participating talks and sessions:
Route development 2020: How to grow in a world where disruption is the new norm
When: 24 September 2017 at 11:10
Location: Keynote Arena

Tewolde GebremariamTewolde Gebremariam
Chief executive of Ethiopian Airlines
Gebremariam joined Ethiopian Airlines in 1985 as transportation agent at Addis Ababa Airport and rose through the ranks to become chief executive in January 2011. The carrier is currently implementing a 15-year strategic plan called Vision 2025 that aims to position it as the leading aviation group in Africa with seven business centres.
Participating talks and sessions:
Route development 2020: How to grow in a world where disruption is the new norm
When: 24 September 2017 at 11:10
Location: Keynote Arena

John R. ByerlyJohn Byerly
Consultant
Byerly is a former deputy assistant secretary for transportation affairs at the US State Department and is recognised as the 'father of open skies' in the US. He played an instrumental role opening new trade links between the country and markets across many regions of the world including Central America and Europe.
Participating talks and sessions:
Route development 2020: How to grow in a world where disruption is the new norm
When: 24 September 2017 at 11:10
Location: Keynote Arena

Spotlight on the US
When: 25 September 2017 at 15:45
Location: Theatre 2 

See the full World Routes Conference Programme and plan your attendance.


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The 26th World Route Development Forum
Milan, Italy  5-7 September

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