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.

Speaking at Routes Americas 2018 in Quito, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority's interim vice president of airline business development Carl Schultz said in marketing the region's airports they had to change travellers' minds.

He 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."

He added this could be anything from the Smithsonian with its horde of treasures to his own personal favourite, the International Spy Museum.

Meanwhile, Schultz argued one of the best ways of ensuring partner airlines get the best service possible was by centralising his own support team.

This means whether it whatever support the airline needs, from sales to marketing, they are able to quickly find the right contact.

Schultz also said airports should not be afraid of borrowing ideas from others in the market should they think they will work for their own facility.

He added Munich Airport had caught his team's eye thanks to the number of awards it has won while Las Vegas McCarran International Airport has impressed by the strength of its team.

Schultz also saved a special mention for Vancouver International Airport, adding: "They've done a fantastic in growing that airport, they do a great job in marketing and leveraging that community."

The route development forum for the Americas

The 11th Routes Americas took place in Quito, Ecuador. The event in the Centro de Exposiciones Quito (CEQ) attracted 650 delegates, including 70 airlines, 150 airports and 35 destinations. In 2019 Routes Americas will take place in Quebec City, Canada.

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