Follow our live blog for updates throughout Routes Americas 2018, the only route development forum that unites the Americas, taking place in Quito.
- Routes Americas Marketing Awards winners revealed
- Viva Air targets Ecuador and New York Stock Exchange listing
- Spotlight on Ecuador white paper
- Share your news - get in touch!
Thursday 15 February
15.00 - Ecuador and Guatemala to sign tourism MoU
The tourism boards of Ecuador and Guatemala are to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in the coming days as part of a strategy to develop air and cruise links between the two countries and help to stimulate tourism.
The agreement will be signed in Bogota, Colombia, next week but Diego Sierra from the Guatemala Tourism Board and Aldo Cabella from Ecuador’s Ministerio de Turismo told Routesonline about the plans at Routes Americas 2018. Read more.
13.00 - The handover!
Routes Americas has now been handed over to Quebec, which will host the event in 2019!
Steven Small, brand director at Routes, said: "Before we officially hand over to our 2019 hosts, Quebec City, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our current hosts; Corporacion Quiport and Quito Turismo. They’ve played a huge part in making this year’s event incredibly enjoyable."
"Next year, we will be taking Routes Americas to Québec City for the 12th annual event, hosted by Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport.
"As a fascinating city with a rich history and culture, Québec City is the ideal location for the first Canadian Routes Americas. Quebec has many exciting aviation opportunities supported by the growth plans of Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport."
12.30 - Declan Ryan podcast is now live
The fifth episode of the Routes podcast features Viva Air's chief executive Declan Ryan.
Ryan has been involved with establishing or managing six low-cost carriers over the past 30 years, including Ryanair, VivaAerobus, Tiger Airways of Singapore, and Allegiant Air in the US.
In this interview, recorded in front of a packed audience, Nigel Mayes from leading aviation consultancy ASM asks Declan about his life in aviation, his hopes for Viva Air and his views on some of the major issues affecting the industry.
Hear his thoughts on:
- Viva Air's growth, including plans for a New York Stock Exchange listing
- Why Ecuador is ripe for LCCs
- The aviation industry in LATAM
- Airline survival in Argentina
- Ryanair's pilot strike
12.15 - Data leakage
Ilona Cambron and Jeremiah Gerald from ASM North America provided a fascinating explanation of why migrating to IP-based location data offers more accurate, real-time geo-mapping. They said that by using a unique correction algorithm that ties together travel data, with IP-based geo-mapping, to two other sources, this corrects both the size of the zip code's volume and the impact of traffic in the O&D. Read more.
11.20 - Masterclass: seizing the potential of data
Just half an hour to go before our final conference session of Routes Americas 2018. Learn how to demonstrate the true potential of your market through data, leakage studies and traffic forecasts with ASM.
- Jeremiah Gerald, Director Air Service Strategy and Marketing, ASM Americas
- Ilona Cambron , Director Air Service Development, ASM Americas
10.00 - 'Offer incentives for long-term success'
Offering incentive packages is a better way of securing long-term success with low cost carriers (LCCs) than government subsidies.
Speaking in a Routes Americas 2018 panel session discussing the sector's future in the region, Corporacion Quiport commercial director Carlos Criado said it was vital that any new airline setting operating out of an airport does so with the long-term in mind.
But he added: "The only thing we have is attractive incentive packages. Those in favour of subsidies are short term."
09.00 - Registration, Diary Advice and the Networking Area
Registration, Diary Advice and the Networking Area are now open for the final day of Routes Americas!
Wednesday 14 February
21.00 - Routes Americas Marketing Awards - the winners!
The winners of the Routes Americas 2018 Marketing Awards have been revealed, with the overall winner through to the final at World Routes in Guangzhou. Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR) took home the prize of overall winner in recognition of marketing services that have supported the launch of new air routes or the development of existing services.
In 2012, MYR redefined its air service marketing strategy, which has resulted in amazing growth by the airlines serving the airport. The new strategy’s focus is better seasonal management, with the objective of improving shoulder season capacity levels. Key to the plan is the collection, analysis and sharing of proprietary market-centric data that assist airlines in understanding demand trends at a micro level.
In 2017, airlines serving MYR offered nonstop service from 38 markets to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Of the 38 markets, four were new in 2017 and 24 existing markets experienced year-on-year seat capacity increases. MYR’s overall 2017 seat capacity levels were up 20 percent over 2016 and since 2012, airlines serving MYR have added around 500,000 new directional seats with almost half being added from 2016 to 2017.
In addition to the overall winner, the awards are judged in four categories. Myrtle Beach International Airport topped the ‘Under 4 Million Passengers’ category; Oakland International Airport won the ‘4 to 20 Million Passengers’ category; Seattle-Tacoma International Airport scooped the ‘Over 20 Million Passengers’ category; and Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority was honoured in the ‘Destination’ category.
Reno-Tahoe International Airport, Tampa International Airport, Denver International Airport and St Kitts Tourism Authority were highly commended in each category respectively.
17.00 - VivaAerobus to explore more US routes
Low-cost carrier VivaAerobus is weighing up adding more services to the US, just weeks after launching its first international route originating in Mexico City. Javier Suarez Casado, vice president network and fleet planning at VivaAerobus, told delegates today that the Mexican carrier would add more US routes soon.
The airline launched a new daily service between Mexico City and Las Vegas in December 2017, its first international route originating in Mexico City. With 1.2 million Mexican visitors a year, Las Vegas represents one of the largest markets in the United States for Mexican nationals.
Other routes to the US operated by VivaAerobus are Cancun to Chicago O'Hare and Newark; Guadalajara to Houston and Los Angeles International; and Monterrey Mariano Escobedo to Houston and Las Vegas McCarran.
16.30 - LCC penetration
“I believe that we have 0% low-cost penetration in Brazil. So that is a major opportunity but Open Skies and other market barriers are an issue” Alvaro Leite @VINCIAirports— Routesonline (@routesonline) February 14, 2018
16.05 - Is low-cost the future for the Americas?
A new wave of ultra-low-cost carriers (ULCCs) are entering markets across the Americas. In Canada, there could be up to four new ULCCs by the end of 2018, while Chile and Argentina have each witnessed start-ups in recent months. How will the influx of ULCCs disrupt the market? What is needed for an ULCC to be successful? How they will benefit secondary markets? What lessons can Chile, Canada and Argentina learn from each other? How can legacy carriers protect their market share? Our panel debate is starting in the Keynote Arena now.
14.25 - Quito's privatisation
Andrew O'Brian, president and chief executive of Quiport, says the old Quito International Airport was not fit for purpose and badly needed private investment.
.@williamAOB says: The old Quito International Airport would always make the top ten most dangerous airports in the world list. That’s not a list you want to be on. It needed privatisation - it was inhibiting the growth of the city and the country #RoutesAmericas— Routes Editor (@RoutesEditor) February 14, 2018
14.10 - Safe, secure and efficient infrastructure
Jeff Scheferman, executive vice president of North America, CCR Airports, says he's spoken to a number of top airline CEOs prior to attending Routes Americas to find out what airlines want from airports.
The top priority, he said, is that carriers want safe, secure and efficient infrastructure - efficient to meet growing demand in the market. Airlines don’t really like going to markets where there isn’t room for growth," he added.
Scheferman said another common response was that carriers want a say in the design of new infrastructure - for airports to consult them ahead of redevelopment work.
“Airlines want to be involved much more in airport planning and design processes” Jeff Scheferman from CCR Airports #RoutesAmericas— Routesonline (@routesonline) February 14, 2018
14.00 - Face-to-Face Meetings
Face-to-Face Meetings are now resuming in the Airline Meeting Hall.
13.30 - Airport privatisation: what do airlines want?
Our Conference Programme resumes in 30 minutes in the Keynote Arena. The session will explore the privatisation of airports - would privatisation present opportunities or threats? Air Canada has stated it is ‘categorically against’ privatisation as it will increase overall aviation costs. Is this true? Are airport operators improving services and investing enough to bring airports to the next level? Join us at 14.00.
13.00 - Networking Lunch
12.30 - Election outcomes 'to impact aviation'
A series of national elections across South America could have a radical impact on the continent's aviation prospects, delegates at Routes Americas were told this morning.
Speaking in a panel session concerning the state of the Americas region, IATA regional vice president for the Americas Peter Cerda said elections were due this year in Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica and Brazil. He added: "Depending on how those elections turn out, it could have a dramatic effect (on aviation)."
Cerda cited the example of Argentina where a pro-business government was recently elected and is now driving growth in the market.
12.10 - Argentina's growth and Ecuador's potential
Ramiro Alem, co-founder of inverTUR-Inversiones en TURISMO, tells delegates that despite the influx of airlines into Argentina - namely Norwegian and Flybondi - the country needs more. He adds that there is massive potential to connect Ecuador and Buenos Aires.
“We don’t have too many airlines in Argentina. We need more.” Ramiro Alem, co-founder, inverTUR-Inversiones en TURISMO #RoutesAmericas— Routesonline (@routesonline) February 14, 2018
“There is great potential to connect Buenos Aires to Quito.” Ramiro Alem #RoutesAmericas— Routesonline (@routesonline) February 14, 2018
12.00 - Five years on: the growth of Cartagena after hosting Routes Americas
It is five years since Routes Americas was held in the Colombian city of Cartagena – since then the market has experienced a significant growth in capacity. Routesonline looks at the routes added since the event.
Working with Tourism Board of Cartagena de Indias, ProColombia, hotel association COTELCO and aviation consultancy ASM, Rafael Núñez International Airport has attracted a string of new airlines and routes.
Key international additions have included Jetblue adding A320 services to New York JFK in 2012 and Fort Lauderdale two years later, while Delta added Atlanta in 2015, operated by Boeing 737.
Last year was a stellar 12 months for CTG, with two new services to Panama by Wingo and Air Panamá, as well as LATAM to Lima, KLM to Amsterdam, American Airlines to Miami and Air Canada Rouge to Toronto. From March 2018 KLM also plans to add a fourth weekly Amsterdam – Bogota – Cartagena – Amsterdam service.
11.40 - Panel Debate – Returning Latin America’s powerhouses to growth
Latin America has all the necessary elements to become an aviation success story: competitive and efficient airlines, a growing middle class, favourable demographics and a geography that necessitates travel by air. But is the region fulfilling its promise? What can countries learn from each other? Our panel debate is underway now, featuring:
- Moderator: Peter Cerdá, regional vice president, The Americas, IATA
- Rafael Mencia Ochoa, chief executive, Aeris Holdings Costa Rica
- Ramiro Alem, co-founder, "inverTUR-Inversiones en TURISMO" and former Undersecretary for Tourism Investments, Argentina Ministry of Tourism
- Stephen Rapp, chief commercial officer, Viva Air
11.15 - Aeroméxico to increase Quito services following strong demand
Fantastic news for our Host! Aeroméxico is to increase frequencies on its Quito - Mexico City route, the flag carrier of Mexico has announced.
These new frequencies aim to satisfy the demand that exists between both countries and offer greater connectivity to national destinations such as Guadalajara, Cancun, Monterrey and others.
In addition to this, it will offer better connections to international destinations such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Las Vegas and Miami, and also reduce connection times to Canada and Asian destinations.
Andrew O'Brian, president of Quiport, which has managed Quito International Airport since it opened almost five years ago, said: “The experience of working with Aeroméxico has been one of the best since the beginning of its operation in 2013.
10.35 - Keynote Presentation – Airline opportunities in a market ready for growth
In the Keynote Arena now, hear from Ecuador's transport minister Paúl Granda López on how the country's aviation market is ready for growth, with opportunities to develop the network on both domestic and international routes following the recent announcement of Open Skies.
10.00 - Keynote interview
Our keynote interview with Javier Suarez Casado, vice president network and fleet planning at VivaAerobus, is underway in the Keynote Arena.
He says the airline is the lowest cost carrier in the entire Americas. "We're converting bus passengers into air passengers quicker than other airlines," he adds. "We're the only airline in the world capable of producing 1,000 seats per aircraft per day."
Javier Suarez Casado says that US President Donald Trump's planned wall between the US and Mexico could be a challenge for airlines, but adds that VivaAerobus isn't too exposed to the US market.
On airport incentives, he believes that it has to be a partnership between airlines and airports. "We’ve been working with Las Vegas and they not only provide incentives, they help us grow by helping us understand the market," says Suarez.
9.40 - Image gallery from day one
A selection of images from the first day of Routes Americas 2018 is now online!
09.30 - Quito announcement!
Stand by at 10.55 today for a special announcement involving Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport...
09.15 - State of the Americas region debate
08.45 - Breaking news from Airlineroute
Airlineroute is continuing to bring you the latest route announcements, changes in schedule, aircraft and codeshare agreements during Routes Americas 2018.
08.30 - Shortlists for Routes Americas 2018 Marketing Awards
Discover which airports and destinations have been recognised for their outstanding achievements in route development marketing.
The Routes Americas 2018 Marketing Awards, sponsored by Revenue Technology Services, are highly regarded as the most prestigious awards in the industry as they are voted for and judged by the airline network planning community.
The event will take place at the Routes Americas Networking Evening tonight, hosted by Quito Tourism and Quiport. Can Denver International Airport retain its crown as overall winner? Read the full shortlists here.
08.00 - Registration, Diary Advice and the Networking Area are now open!
Day two of Routes Americas is now underway. Face-to-Face Meetings begin at 08.30 and the Conference Programme starts at 08.55. The first session today is the State of the Americas region.
According to the latest forecasts from the International Air Transport Association, the future of the industry in the region is promising. Although the US is set to lose its crown to China as the largest aviation market in the world by 2022, the North American region will still grow by 2.3 percent annually over the next two decades and will carry a total of 1.2 billion passengers by 2036. Likewise, Latin America will grow at an annual rate of 4.2 percent to 757 million passengers over the same period.
But increased passenger demand will bring a significant challenges. Can the region’s airports cope with the infrastructure demands? How can efficiency be improved? How can the industry and governments work together to ensure the growth is sustainable?
Find out more about this discussion and the rest of the Conference Programme here.
Tuesday 13 February
19.00 - The day's headlines
Viva Air targets Ecuador and New York Stock Exchange listing
Viva Air will look to go public within the next two years, the airline’s chief executive Declan Ryan has told delegates at Routes Americas, as well as potentially launching services in Ecuador.
Europe and North America in Quito’s sights
Quiport, which built Mariscal Sucre International Airport and has operated it since its opening in February 2013, is eyeing routes to Europe and the US.
How to make your airport stand out
Changing customer perceptions, supporting airlines and borrowing ideas from other airports are all key making your own airport stand out.
When disaster strikes: what airports and airlines should do when a hurricane hits
What lessons can be learned from natural disasters? Our panel discussion at Routes Americas explored the issue.
17.30 - Welcome Reception
The Welcome Reception is now underway!
Presencia de autoridades anfitrionas y organizadoras de #RoutesAmericas 2018, @TurismoEc @desarrolloquito @MunicipioQuito #Quiport @AeropuertoUIO durante la Recepción de Bienvenida #RoutesAmericas 2018. @Routesonline pic.twitter.com/LAlCdB2R9g— Corporación Quiport (@quiport) February 13, 2018
16.45 - Trending on Twitter
Great to see #RoutesAmericas trending on Twitter in Ecuador!
16.30 - Tweets from the discussion
"We build in backups in case of hurricanes but it's a balance; we can't afford to have 100,000 tons of fuel on standby, so there is always a compromise" Alejandro Vales from @ASURMexico #RoutesAmericas— Routesonline (@routesonline) February 13, 2018
16.05 - Recovering from disasters
From hurricanes to flooding, earthquakes to landslides; there have been some deadly natural disasters in recent months, shaking the Americas and the Caribbean and causing mass disruption for airports and airlines alike. Our panel discussion in the Keynote Arena is exloring what lessons can be learned from the recent disasters.
Taking part is:
- Moderator: Javier Martinez Botacio, Director General, Airports Council International – Latin America - Caribbean
- Andrea Lusso , Director of Planning, jetBlue Airways
- Mr. Tracy Cooper, Chief Executive Officer, Bahamasair
- Alejandro Vales, Customer and Route Development Director, ASUR
15.30 - How to make your airport stand out
Changing customer perceptions, supporting airlines and borrowing ideas from other airports are all key making your own airport stand out. That's according to Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority's interim vice president of airline business development Carl Schultz.
Addressing delegates at Routes Americas, he said in marketing the region's airports they had to change travellers' minds. Schiltz added originally many passengers thought Washington DC was an expensive destination with little to attract anyone lacking an interest in politics.
Instead, he said the airport is working to promote the city's affordability while focusing on the many attractions available that lie beyond the political sphere. Schultz said: "We are really trying to change that. The museums we have (in Washington DC) are not your typical museums."
15.00 - Viva Air plans stock exchange listing - and is exploring Ecuador's market
“We’re in deep discussions with some airports in Ecuador and we’re looking very seriously at the market,” said Ryan. He added that that Viva Air will go public within the next two years via a listing on the New York Stock Exchange, and potentially a dual-listing in Colombia.
"Ecuador doesn’t have any low-cost-carriers. In hindsight maybe we should’ve done Ecuador first [rather than Peru]."— Routes Editor (@RoutesEditor) February 13, 2018
14.35 - Declan Ryan on Viva Air's growth
Declan Ryan, chief executive of Viva Air, is our keynote speaker for today, taking place in the Keynote Arena now. He says the growth of Viva Colombia and Viva Peru are the group's priorities this year, boosted by its fleet expansion. In December 2017, Viva Air signed a purchase agreement with Airbus for 50 A320 Family aircraft, comprising 35 A320neo and 15 A320ceo aircraft.
Ryan says: "I think our fleet will go up to about 25 in Colombia, 15 in Peru and other markets will be the remainder. We’re not looking at Chile because of the airlines already there. We would be arriving too late – we want to avoid that fight. However, we're looking very seriously at Ecuador's market. We tested Peru last year and have proved there is a market there. We’re going to double the fleet this year."
14.25 - Welcome from Steven Small
Steven Small, brand director at Routes, opens Routes Americas by saying: "I’d like to welcome you all to this fabulous city on behalf of Routes and our event partners Quito Turismo and Quiport.
"This really is a beautiful, historic location and we couldn’t wish for a better setting for our event. Quito was the first city in the world to become a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it’s the highest constitutional capital on earth. There really is nowhere like it, and this promises to be an absolutely outstanding event."
14.00 - Conference Programme and Face to Face Meetings
The Conference Programme will begin in 15 minutes. Up first is Steven Small, brand director at Routes, followed by a Fireside Chat with Viva Air's chief executive Declan Ryan. Over in the Airline Meeting Hall, the Face-to-Face Meetings are now getting underway.
13.30 - Quiport excited by Routes Americas
Andrew O'Brian, president and chief executive of Quiport, which built Mariscal Sucre International Airport and has operated it since its opening in February 2013, told Routesonline about his excitement that Routes Americas is now underway.
“We’re very excited as this has been a long time coming,” he said. “We tried to bring Routes here about three years ago and were unsuccessful. However, we worked with local authorities including Quito Turismo Board and the City of Quito to put the right bid together. To be getting underway today – with all the stands up and lots of people coming through the door – is a great moment.
“The event is a great opportunity to showcase Quito and to showcase Ecuador. Ecuador is not a country that is on the main travels of tourists around the world. Everyone knows about the Galapagos Islands but Quito has so much to offer. This chance to host brings in a lot of high-level delegates and allows us to better position ourselves on the map.
“We have more than 600 delegates here covering the entire Americas region, as well as Europe and other destinations. We have the perfect opportunity to showcase the city and the tremendous hospitality here. It will get us in the minds of the big decision-makers who are here and hopefully be able to convert the experience of hosting into more air services going forward.”
13.00 - Routes Americas is underway!
12.00 - The stage is set!
There is just one hour to go until Registration, Diary Advice and Networking Area open. Venue transfers are from 12.00 and then every half hour until 14.30.
11.45 - Declan Ryan
At 14.25 today we have a frank and informal conversation with Viva Air’s Declan Ryan. He will outline how he visualises the continent’s growth prospects and the potential that exists for his airline. Ryan has been involved with establishing or managing six low-cost carriers over the past 30 years, including Ryanair, VivaAerobus, Tiger Airways of Singapore, and Allegiant Air in the US. In this conversation, we will explore the projects he has led and the challenges he has faced over the years. We will also find out why he is focused on trying to revolutionise the Latin American market. See the full conference programme here.
11.15 - Norwegian targets more South America routes
Norwegian’s chief executive Bjorn Kjos has today outlined plans for the low-cost airline to add additional routes to South America and Asia from the UK. He said it is exploring potential new routes to more South American countries due to strong ticket sales on the London Gatwick - Buenos Aires route, which begins tomorrow. Further Asia expansion is also planned. Read more on this story here.
11.00 - From the app
10.30 - Don't forget to download the app
Don’t forget to download the Routes app, sponsored by San Antonio International Airport, to have all the latest event information at your fingertips throughout Routes Americas.
Download the app by searching for ‘Routes events’ in your chosen app store and login using your email and Personal Registration Code (PRC). If you have used the app at a Routes event before, you can login using the password that you previously set.
Want to choose your own password? Visit the login screen and enter your email, on the next screen you will see a reset password button. Click this button and receive an email that will allow you to select your own password.
10.00 - Registration is now open!
Registration is now open at the Dann Carlton hotel, from 10.00 - 12.00.
09.00 - Bienvenidos a Quito!
Routes Americas gets underway in Quito today, with more than 2,000 meetings and a high-level conference programme. About 70 airlines, 150 airports and 35 tourism authorities are expected in total. The event is hosted by the Municipality of Quito, Secretariat of Productive Development and Competitiveness, Quito Turismo and Corporación Quiport.
Leading airlines that will attend include American Airlines, International Airlines Group, Aeroméxico, Air Canada, LATAM, TAME and JetSmart. Around 70 airlines, 150 airports and 35 tourism authorities are expected in total.
Alvaro Maldonado, secretary of productive development and competitiveness from the Municipality of Quito, said: “Routes Americas, the leading air connectivity event in Latin America, places Quito in the eyes of the world.
"It opens doors to new opportunities for tourism, business and investments in a strategically located city, with the most modern airport in the region, full of alternatives and options for people with unlimited vision.”
High-profile speakers include: Juan Carlos Zuazua, chief executive, VivaAerobus; Declan Ryan, chief executive, Viva Air; Maribel Rodriguez, regional director of Southern Europe and LATAM, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC); and Peter Cerdá, regional vice tresident, The Americas, International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Monday 12 February
16.00 - IATA's Peter Cerdá on the future of the Americas
Peter Cerdá, International Air Transport Association regional vice president for the Americas, spoke to Routesonline ahead of Routes Americas. Hear more from him this week where he will be participating in the State of the Americas region panel discussion, as well as moderating 'Returning Latin America’s powerhouses to growth'.
He says: "Demand for air travel and passenger growth in Latin America is solid and we expect this strength to continue. More and more people are joining the middle class in the region, increasing the number of air travellers. Airlines have also made significant efforts to reduce ticket prices making the cost of air travel competitively priced in many markets with much slower forms of travel like bus travel.
"However, with some exceptions such as Panama, many of the region’s governments are not taking seriously their role in ensuring aviation has room to grow and a regulatory environment that promotes the development of air travel and all of the benefits that come with robust air connectivity. In the Caribbean extremely high ticket taxes have made it nearly impossible for airlines to build the much needed intra-island connectivity the local economies need."
14.00 - Volcano tour!
Our airline guests are having a great time on the volcano tour!
13.30 - Learn more about Ecuador
According to the latest data, Ecuador's travel and tourist industry directly supported 137,500 jobs in 2016 and its GDP contribution was more than $2bn.
Thanks to the Ecuador’s diverse landscape – encompassing Amazon jungle, Andean highlands and the Galápagos Islands – demand from the leisure market is expected to remain buoyant, while strong growth potential exists for business travel and overseas trade.
In this special white paper, we delve into the key statistics which shed light on how the market is developing, and what the major influencers are. Download Spotlight on Ecuador now!
13.15 - Award-winning Quito
Quito Airport has been named as the South American Leading Airport for four consecutive years since 2014 by the World Travel Awards. #RoutesAmericas #1daytogo https://t.co/UzaAOfndJ6 pic.twitter.com/0Ikkc7Xzm2— Routesonline (@routesonline) February 12, 2018
13.00 - The latest from Centro de Exposiciones Quito
A look behind the scenes at how the build is progressing...
12.00 - Catching up with our keynote speaker
Ahead of speaking at Routes Americas, VivaAerobus' chief executive Juan Carlos Zuazua discusses the airline's successful past 12 months and why more routes to the US could be on the agenda.
He says: "This year we will receive six new airplanes as a result of our modernisation and constant expansion strategy. We will also continue increasing our flights and routes offer, both nationally and internationally, to meet the needs of our growing customers." Read the full interview.
10:30 - A few from Twitter
With set-up now in full gear, and delegates, exhibitors and Routes staff in Quito ahead of the event start tomorrow, we'll be bringing some of your tweets to the Live Blog. Use the hashtag #RoutesAmericas to get involved!
Sunday 11 February
17.00 - The sun is shining!
It has been a lovely sunny day in Quito. We hope our delegates have enjoyed exploring this lovely city! Check out the DC-6 in La Carolina Park...
16.00 - Did you know?
Ecuador harbors almost 50 percentof the bird species in South America, with more than 1,500 species. It offers more bird diversity in less space than any other country in the world!
14.00 - Advice for delegates
Situated high in the Andes, with an average altitude of more than 8,000 ft (2,500 m), Quito is the second highest capital city in the world, causing some visitors to experience symptoms of altitude sickness, such as nausea, loss of breath, headaches and tiredness.
Here is our advice for delegates arriving in Quito:
Dehydration exacerbates altitude sickness, so it is important to keep well hydrated. Early symptoms of dehydration include dry-mouth, flush skin, light-headedness and nausea. Drinks are available at all our venues; we recommend you drink at least 2-3 litres of water a day.
The effects of alcohol are enhanced at high altitudes and you may find that you cannot drink as much as to what you are accustomed. Consuming excessive alcohol may also cause exaggerated dehydration, leading to headaches and tiredness.
Travel can disrupt normal sleep patterns. We understand that you will want to make the most of the opportunities presented to you at Routes Americas, but it's also important to ensure you are well rested to help combat any sickness you may experience.
Although Quito boasts a subtropical climate, the evenings can become cold. To help prepare you for the change in temperature, be sure to pack layers to keep warm.
12.00 - TAME's priorities in 2018 and Open Skies
Ignacio Vallejo, president of the board of directors at TAME EP, will take part in Airlines Live! at Routes Americas 2018. He has 39 years' experience in the aviation sector, predominantly with Spanish carrier Iberia. Ahead of his participation in Quito, Routesonline asked him about what impact Open Skies could have on Ecuador.
"For TAME EP Open Skies is good news because, having excluded cabotage, that is, internal flights within the continental territory, it will allow the company to start up its entire operation to satisfy the demand for internal flights that, with the arrival of foreign operators and consequent increase in air traffic, of course will be extremely necessary."
11.00 - How to make the most of Routes events
Whether you’re an industry veteran or just taking off in your aviation career, one fact is certain – attending Routes events can offer major benefits. But it pays for delegates to be prepared. Here are our top tips for how to make the most of your time at our route development forums and ensure Routes Americas will be a complete success.
"The secret to success is to remember that people buy people. It is far more important to create a great rapport than pile in with a lengthy pitch packed with statistics." Read more.
10.00 - Five UNESCO World Heritage sites
Ecuador boasts 5 UNESCO World Heritage sites. At the inaugural conference in 1978, the Galapagos Islands were named #1 with the city of Quito following at #2. #RoutesAmericas #2daystogo https://t.co/UzaAOfndJ6 pic.twitter.com/5XSRM8JaNP— Routesonline (@routesonline) February 11, 2018
Saturday 10 February
16.00 - The build is taking shape
Centro de Exposiciones Quito (CEQ) is the official venue for Routes Americas 2018. It is located in the La Carolina Park which is in the financial area of Quito. The venue covers more than 23,094 sq m, distributed over three covered pavilions along with outdoor exhibition areas. The CEQ has been visited by many distinguished local and international authorities, including a visit from Pope John Paul II in 1982. The event space is one of the most well renowned venues in the county and prides itself on being able to offer functional and flexible spaces, hosting international events every year linked to a variety of industries.
Here's how the preparation is going so far...
12.00 - Quito prepares for Routes Americas
Ahead of Routes Americas getting underway, we spoke to Quiport chief executive Andrew O’Brian and Verónica Sevilla, chief executive of Quito Turismo, to find out more about the city’s worth as a destination in its own right – in addition to being a gateway to Galapagos.
O’Brian says: “We get visitors from all over the world and some of them only stay for a few days in Quito as they want to go to the Galapagos. We need to put a lot more of the focus on the wonderful attractions in the city and particularly the historic centre. We’re working closely with Quito Turismo to make sure it is a highlight of their stay.”
10.00 - Hallo naar Amsterdam!
Some of the Routes team have made it to Amsterdam Schiphol ahead of their connecting flight to Quito.
09.00 - Destination Quito!
With the first members of the Routes team already in Quito, the second wave of staff are en route to Ecuador today. Quick fact: The new Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito, which began operations in February 2013, is approximately 2,400m above sea level. It is 413m lower than the old Mariscal Sucre International Airport.
Friday 9 February
16.00 - Journey to the middle of the earth
Quito is often referred to as the ‘middle of the earth’. By visiting Ciudad Mitad del Mundo, tourists are invited to stand with one foot on either side of the equator. #RoutesAmericas #4daystogo https://t.co/fXPCMlUa0h pic.twitter.com/kGemByi0u1— Routesonline (@routesonline) February 9, 2018
15.00 - WTTC's Maribel Rodriguez on regional infrastructure challenges
Maribel Rodriguez is regional director, Southern Europe and Latin America, at the World Travel and Tourism Council, and will be taking part in the State of the Americas region panel session at Routes Americas 2018alongside other pivotal figures in the region's aviation industry.
Routesonline spoke to her to hear her thoughts on key LATAM aviation priorities. "Despite the lower airfares, rising incomes, and demographic growth, there are still issues challenging the sector in Latin America," she says.
"In Argentina, for instance, an outdated air traffic management system in Buenos Aires and the surrounding area is jeopardising the competitiveness of the aviation industry in the region and causing delays for airlines and longer flight times for passengers.
"Meanwhile, in Brazil, a fuel policy that increases costs for airlines by US$600m per year and legislation that punishes airlines for delays and cancellations even when they are not the fault of the air carrier are preventing the sector from growing."
14.00 - Get the Routes App!
Sponsored by San Antonio International Airport, the Routes app is regularly updated with all the latest event information. Delegates can view full delegate listings, share their latest updates and create a personalised agenda using the app. It provides a digital platform to network and promote key messages both ahead of and during the event.
12.00 - Viva la vida
Stephen Rapp, chief commercial officer at Viva Air, will be participating in the 'Returning Latin America’s powerhouses to growth' panel discussion at 11.25 on 14 February at Routes Americas.
Ahead of the event, Routesonline caught up with him to find out more about the launch of the group's Peruvian carrier and why it is increasing frequencies on existing routes, rather than expanding the network.
"At the moment, the group is focused on the modernisation of the fleet and transformation of our operation," he says. "We have decided to consolidate our network and increase the frequency of existing routes rather than expand this year.
"We have been offering our customers an improved schedule product with increased frequencies. We have also been betting on our connecting flights, as we know it is a great opportunity to connect our country and our international destinations."
11.00 - The build is underway...
Sarah from Routes' host and project management team shares an update on the app from Quito. Things may look a little different in four days' time...
09.00 - Did you know?
Quito was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city. Despite several earthquakes, the city has the best-preserved and least altered historic centre in Latin America.
00.00 - Anticipation builds for the 11th Routes Americas!
There are just four days until Routes Americas 2018 gets underway in Quito, Ecuador! The event's delegates will take part in 2,100 face-to-face meetings to discuss new and existing air services. Are you among the attendees? Share your journey to Quito on Twitter using the #RoutesAmericas hashtag and on the Routes app.
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Routes Americas 2018 news
Quito ready to step into the limelight
Quito is hoping to use Routes Americas to highlight the city’s worth as a destination in its own right – in addition to being a gateway to Galapagos.
Spotlight on Ecuador white paper
In this new special white paper, we delve into the key statistics which shed light on how the market is developing and what the major influencers are.
Five questions for VivaAerobus' chief executive
VivaAerobus' chief executive Juan Carlos Zuazua discusses the airline's successful past 12 months and why more routes to the US could be on the agenda.
Shortlists announced for Routes Americas 2018 Marketing Awards
Discover which airports and destinations have been recognised for their outstanding achievements in route development marketing.
Routes app now live for Routes Americas
Download the app and have all the latest event information at your fingertips.
Interview: WTTC's Maribel Rodriguez
Routesonline spoke to WTTC's Maribel Rodriguez to hear her thoughts on key LATAM aviation priorities.
How to make the most of Routes events
Whether you’re an industry veteran or just taking off in your aviation career, one fact is certain – attending Routes events can offer major benefits.
Four airlines to shake up the Americas
Routesonline looks at some of the carriers set to start operations in 2018 – can they succeed where others have failed?
Ecuador number cruncher - the key stats shaping the host of Routes Americas 2018
The growth of Ecuador's aviation market, examining the top routes, total capacity and biggest airlines.