Live blog - World Routes 2018

Revisit the news, interviews and images from the 24th World Route Development Forum, which took place in Guangzhou.

Our live blog from World Routes 2018 in Guangzhou, bringing key highlights from the 24th annual route development forum.


Tuesday 18 September 2018

18.00 - Next stop Adelaide!

WR18 handover

As an action-packed World Routes 2018 draws to a close, Mr Qui Jiachen, chairman of Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport has handed over the Routes trophy to the Honourable David Ridgeway, the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Government of South Australia. 

The 25th annual World Routes Development Forum will be hosted by the South Australian Tourism Commission, Tourism Australia and Adelaide Airport at Adelaide Showground.

Steven Small, Brand Director at Routes said, “Adelaide is a unique destination with a fast-growing economy and strong airport infrastructure. This makes it the perfect city to host the 25th annual World Routes Forum.

 “With support from Team Australia, the event will almost certainly be one to remember. World Routes will also enable South Australia's to achieve their goal of an AUD$8 billion tourism industry by 2020 through the growth of Adelaide's air services.”

Adelaide is Australia’s fastest growing regional capital city airport. Redeveloped in 2005, AUD$1 billion is currently being spent on projects to further expand its capacity. Passenger numbers have grown steadily in the last decade to over 7.7 million and aircraft movements are expected to grow by 3 percent over the next 20 years. 

Find out more about World Routes 2019

17.00 - Join us

Join us now for the Farewell Reception and Handover Cereomny in the Keynote Arena.

16.00 - And the winner is...

15.00 - Image gallery

Head over to Facebook to see the latest images from World Routes 2018!

Wr18 facebook gallery

14.00 - Great to see the busy Meeting Halls!

13.30 - Interview: Titan Airways celebrates 30 years

Titan Airways, the UK-based charter airline is this year celebrating its 30th anniversary. Alastair Kiernan, business development director, took time out of his schedule at World Routes 2018 to look back on the past three decades and explain more about key opportunities and challenges in the market. 

"We aim to continually modernise our offering and have recently introduced brand new ACRO slim line seats for our A320 / A321 aircraft, which are ergonomically great for passenger comfort, very easy to maintain and mean we can maximise the capacity of the aircraft we operate," he says.

"We would like to increase if possible longer term ACMI lease operations (ie one year or more), or certainly would welcome the opportunity of providing aircraft to carriers over our winter period November to April which is the hardest time to sell capacity due to the volume of so many providers with the same problem. 

"Summer is an easy sell, winter is slightly more difficult, although we are getting better at what we can achieve over this period."

12.15 - The Brussels stand is looking good today...

It was a great night for Brussels Airport at the World Routes 2018 Marketing Awards, picking up two awards including the Overall Winner. Léon Verhallen, head of aviation development, spoke to Routesonline about its route successes. 

"We opened three new China routes between November 2017 and March 2018. Hainan Airlines commenced three weekly flights to Shanghai and two weekly flights to Shenzhen," he said. 

"Cathay Pacific launched four weekly flights to Hong Kong. For the past 12 months we counted 15 new or confirmed new destinations, also including Tbilisi by Georgian Airlines and Amman by Ryanair.

"All this even excludes the latest exciting development. Primera Air will base two new B737MAX9 aircraft at Brussels and launch flights to Newark (daily), Boston (4 weekly) and Washington (3 weekly) from May 2019."

11.30 - Over at the artwall

Have you seen the World Routes 2018 artwall? It's located over by the Keynote Arena. 

WR18 artwall

11.00 - Swedavia's key messages

Elizabeth swedavia

Elizabeth Axtelius, director aviation business at Swedavia, outlines the group's key messages at World Routes.

"Sweden is the biggest market in Scandinavia and also has the fastest growing and largest economy," she says. "In Stockholm and Göteborg Landvetter, urban areas are rapidly growing. In fact, Stockholm is the fastest growing capital city in Europe.

"We have a strong business sector in Stockholm and Gothenburg, with large multinational HQ and most unicorns per capita. We are also rapidly becoming an even more attractive tourist destination. 

"The market absorbs new capacity: in August we celebrated 100 months of all time high growth for international traffic at Stockholm Arlanda."

10.45 - Face-to-Face Meetings

10.00 - Taoyuan seeks to improve network diversity

What have been your most notable route successes? "In past four years, several international flag carries started new services to TPE including Emirates, United Airlines and Turkish which pay more attention to TPE’s market and geological advantages. In addition, China Airlines has recommenced flights to London last year. Air New Zealand and Royal Brunei Airlines will be resuming its scheduled non-stop services to Taipei in this winter, following the return of Air Canada and Air France."

What are you next targets for route development? "Our short-term aim is to improve network diversity, targeting at new connections to secondary cities in Asia region and strengthening connections to top-tier cities in Australia and United States. Our long-term goal is to develop more long-haul routes in our gap market, such as Europe, Middle East and South Asia, and also increase transfer traffic."

09.30 - Hannover ready to welcome Routes Europe

Hannover Airport, host of Routes Europe 2019, explains what delegates can expect next April. 

The 14th Routes Europe will be hosted by Hannover, Metropolregion and Hannover Airport. It will take place from 8-10 April 2019. 

09.00 - Highlights from the Networking Evening and the World Routes Marketing Awards! 

08.30 - Singapore Changi eyes Brussels, Madrid, Oslo, and Vienna

"Vancouver and Chicago, both ultra-long-haul routes, are among Changi’s top new link targets. These routes are now made more viable with the latest aircraft technology like the B787 Dreamliners and Airbus A350s," Lim Ching Kiat, managing director of air hub development at Changi Airport Group told Routesonline

"Following the new European city links established earlier this year, CAG is keen to explore direct links to Brussels, Madrid, Oslo, and Vienna – all of which have strong origin-destination demand with Singapore and the wider Southeast Asia and Southwest Pacific regions.

"For the Central Asia region and Russia, Almaty and Vladivostok are two key links that CAG is working to establish. With growing business and trade links between Singapore and these destinations, as well as demand for leisure travel to these exotic cities, we have observed stable growth in origin-destination demand.

"Closer to home in Asia, CAG is working on growing our connectivity to China and India, to the cities of Taiyuan and Pune."

08.15 - Last chance to vote!

08.00 - 'Standing still is actually moving backwards," aviation industry warned

Companies that refuse to keep up with technological innovation will quickly find themselves left behind their rivals.

Speaking at World Routes 2018 in Guangzhou, China, in a series of presentations on smart cities and airport integration, SITA consulting director Carlos Kaduoka said the rate of change is accelerating to such an extent that companies must make an effort to keep up.

He added: "Standing still is actually moving backwards. With everything happening today you cannot not follow what is happening."

Kaduoka added there are a number of factors airports need to consider in the race to keep up with the latest technology.

He said technology must be personalised to appeal to the consumer and this is particularly important when it comes disruption as it allows the airport to ensure it is giving the relevant messages to each customer.

"It is not about technology," he added. "It is about processes, it is about strategy and it is about the people as well."

07.45 - Day three is open for business!

Registration, Diary Advice and the Networking Village are now open for the final day of World Routes 2018.

WR18 image


Monday 17 September 2018

21.00 - Brussels Airport named overall winner at the World Routes 2018 Marketing Awards 

The annual World Routes Marketing Awards took place at the China Import and Export Fair in Guangzhou last night. Nominated and judged by airlines, the ceremony is highly regarded in the aviation industry for recognising the outstanding marketing services that have supported the launch of new air routes or the development of existing services.

Brussels Airport was named the Overall Winner and also won the 20-50 Million Passengers category. It was recognised for passing the 25 million passenger mark for the first time in the airport’s history, despite being located in the most competitive region of Europe. Our judges recognised it has a comprehensive marketing plan across all B2B and B2C channels.

Léon Verhallen, Head of Aviation Development at Brussels Airport, said: “Our submission was about the way we work and the way we support our airlines so we’re delighted that this has made the difference and been recognised. We have secured a host of new airlines and destinations over the past year, as well as frequency increases from existing clients, and this is a fantastic achievement for the whole team.”

The Individual Award for Outstanding Contribution to Route Development was won to Gabriel Schmilovich of Vueling, who was nominated for the second year in a row and commended for his work in leading a team whose goal was to drastically improve punctuality and the operational model without affecting the productivity or profitability of the company. Vueling achieved an OTP of +18 percent and were given the title of ‘Most punctual LCC’ according to OAG.

Gabriel Schmilovich said: “I lead a team of young, passionate people and this is for them. In the last few years, Vueling has grown very quickly but in a profitable way. At the same time we have developed honest and worthwhile relationships with our airport partners and I believe this award is recognition of that.”

Click here to see the full list of winners!

18.00 - Airbus A321LR to be a "game-changer"

The Airbus A321LR will be a "game-changer" in the wet lease market once it enter the market.

Speaking at World Routes 2018 in Guangzhou, China, in a talk on wet leasing, ACMI24 leasing manager Andy Peirce said the A320 was the most popular narrow body aircraft currently for renting.

However, he added all this will change once the new aircraft is in operation.

Peirce said: "The A321LR will be a game changer and will affect many wide body decisionsas it has the costs of a narrow body but the advantages of a wide body." 

Read more on this story. 

17.30 - Mainland US a target for Adelaide

With World Routes heading there next year, Adelaide Airport reveals its ambitions for the year ahead. 

"Our key target and a great opportunity is a direct service to mainland USA. We have growing demand from both the US (inbound visitors) and for outbound from Adelaide.  

"Other areas of opportunity are to increase capacity on our key Asia routes to Singapore, Guangzhou, Bali, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong."

17.15 - Birmingham eyes better European hub connectivity

“A ma jor aim is to increase connectivity to European hubs,” says Tom Screen, acting aviation director at Birmingham Airport. “We have good connections to the likes of Amsterdam, Paris and Madrid, but we would like links to cities such as Helsinki and Riga, as well as more capacity to Munich. Finnair and Air Baltic are therefore target airlines for us.”

Finnair in particular would offer Birmingham Airport improved connections to Asia, given that increasing Europe-Asia routes has been the backbone of the airline’s strategy for a number of years.

However, BHX is looking to further develop its own direct route network to Asia, building on the non-stop services to Delhi, Amritsar and Ashgabat. The Amritsar service was launched by Air India in February 2018 and increased from twice weekly to three times a week just three months later.

“India is such a huge market and we see massive potential there,” says Screen. Since Air India began services from Birmingham five years ago, it has carried more than 500,000 passengers, fuelled by strong demand from the city’s large Sikh community.

17.00 - Top 100 busiest routes

Routesonline last week revealed that the 450 km journey from Seoul's Gimpo Airport to the island of Jeju off the coast of the Korean Peninsula had once again claimed the title as the most in-demand air route in the world.

Today, we publish the top 100 busiest routes in the world in full. Read the full list here

16.45 - Happy birthday to... us!

16.30 - Meet the route development heroes of 2018

The annual World Routes Marketing Awards are taking place tonight, recognising those airport and destination marketing services which are outstanding in the drive to create new routes, or support existing services.

Now in its second year, the Individual Award for Outstanding Contribution to Route Development category will shine a spotlight on the people who make the aviation industry tick, propelling growth in route networks and connecting cities across the globe. 

Read more about the finalists here. 

16.00 - From the Keynote Arena

15.45 - China Southern plots global growth from Guangzhou and Beijing

China Southern plans to increase its fleet from 800 to 2,000 aircraft by 2035, the airline’s president and chief executive Tan Wan Geng has told a packed Keynote Arena at World Routes 2018 in Guangzhou.

In an open and engaging interview, the carrier’s boss also revealed that he expects China Southern to be flying to South America within the next three years, while it is exploring new ways of cooperating with low-cost carriers.

Speaking to delegates in the airline’s home city, Mr Tan said China’s phenomenal aviation market growth is presenting a multitude of opportunities. According to IATA forecasts, the country will become the largest aviation market in the world during 2022 and will be 1.5 billion passengers per year in size by 2036.

“China’s civil aviation market is increasing very fast, driven by outbound tourism. The growth rate has surpassed 20 pc over the past ten years,” said Mr Tan.

“By 2020 there will be 200 million outbound tourists from China. This provides us with a lot of opportunities for development, we will expand and collaborate with our peers in international markets. We plan to have 1,000 aircraft by 2020 and by 2035 it will increase to 2,000.”

Click here to read the full story

15.15 - Airlineroute

Don't forget that Airlineroute is continuing to bring the latest route development news throughout World Routes.

15.00 - World Routes 2018 Marketing Awards shortlists

The World Routes Marketing Awards recognise the impressive marketing support airports and tourism authorities provide to their airline partners. The awards also reward individual achievement, acknowledging the key industry players that are driving change and innovation.

Following a competitive voting process, the following organisations and individuals have been shortlisted for their outstanding achievements in route development marketing and contributions to the industry.

Read more about the World Routes Marketing Awards finalists here. 

14.00 - Airports of Thailand to host Routes Asia 2020

Routes Asia will head to Thailand when the event takes place in the historic city of Chiang Mai in spring 2020 (date yet to be confirmed).  The announcement came following a meeting between Supak Phuangvarapun, Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at AOT and Steven Small, Brand Director of Routes, at World Routes 2018 in Guangzhou, China.

AOT owns six international airports and previously hosted Routes Asia in 2006 in Pattaya. Thailand’s plan for the future of its aviation industry is based around a masterplan, which incorporates the streamlining of air transport strategies with enhancing the effectiveness of capacity expansion at airports as well as air traffic. The ultimate intention is for Thailand to become an aviation hub for all of South East Asia.

Supak Phuangvarapun, Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at AOT, said: “We believe that hosting this event will have a great impact not only for AOT, but on Thailand’s economy overall. Air transport is one of the most powerful means of regional economic developments, and Routes events are where the world’s network planners meet to discuss future air services.

“Hosting this event also gives us the chance to show delegates one of Thailand’s most frequented destinations, where the natural beauty and our good economy combine to make Chiang Mai and important destination and international hub.”

13.30 - Ready for an announcement?

13.20 - Make the most of Fast Track

Fast Track will take place at 14.40 today.

Make the most of your time at #WorldRoutes by participating in the new Fast Track session, taking place from 14:40 –...

Posted by Routesonline on Thursday, September 6, 2018

13.00 - How international airlines use WeChat to market to China

Roy Graff croppedWeChat is China’s number one social media platform and mobile app, with one billion monthly active users. The app started as a simple messaging platform, but now offers a diverse array of functions, from social sharing to mobile payments. WeChat is used by many international airlines, which have official service accounts, for marketing, ticket sales and more. 

Roy Graff, managing director EMEA at travel technology and digital marketing agency Dragon Trail Interactive, presents a few examples of how airlines have tapped into the world WeChat to inspire, inform and enable China’s outbound travelers.

On KLM, he says: "KLM’s mobile website is fully integrated into its WeChat account, so users can book a flight, search their flight status or check-in online all through WeChat.

"Once a flight is booked, travelers receive reminders on WeChat when online check-in opens, and can have their boarding pass sent to their WeChat accounts, too, with a QR code to scan at the airport in place of a paper boarding pass. Like other official airline accounts on WeChat, KLM also offers customer service through the app’s chat interface."

Read more about how Finnair, Scoot and Air France use WeChat here

Roy will be taking part in a panel session tomorrow at 9.00 exploring the power of social media marketing. Learn how airports and airlines can take advantage of the trend to maximise their revenue opportunities in an increasingly competitive global marketplace, including how you can get your message heard on the likes of Weibo and WeChat. Click here for the full Conference Programme

12.00 - #LIFEINHEL – 30 days experiment to develop airport customer experience

Could you live in an airport for 30 days? Ryan Zhu did just that at Helsinki Airport in Finland. Based on his feedback, Finavia is developing the smooth travelling experience of Helsinki Airport even further. Hear from him and Katja Siberg, SVP for Marketing, Communications and Customer Experience at Finavia, in the Keynote Arena now.

11.30 - Technology in Aviation: Ten years in the future

In the Keynote Arena now our expert panel is discussing how technology is shaping the aviation industry. It will cover:

  • The future direction of smart cities and smart airports.
  • The related technologies’ application prospects of smart city and smart airport in the next ten years.
  • How will smart technology innovation change the way people travel, their habits, and interests?
  • How can data be used in Route development?
  • How has new technology changed distribution channels? 

11.00 - From the exhibition floor

10.30 - Vienna's low-cost battleground

Julian Jäger, the joint CEO and COO of Vienna Airport, tells Routesonline about the airport's growth over the last 12 months and how it responded to the demise of Air Berlin and NIKI: “We didn’t expect the market to react the way it did [following Air Berlin's insolvency].

"In the last six months, Wizz Air has opened a base, Laudamotion has opened a base and LEVEL has opened a base. With easyJet and Eurowings’ activities, there’s a lot of low-cost activity in Vienna right now.

“Austrian is growing as well so overall we’re expecting a record year. Our official forecast is that we’ll have above 6 percent passenger growth, but it could be significantly above that. It was up 11 percent in August and we expect a really strong final quarter of the year.

“Next year there will also be very significant growth as well - all the airlines which have started from Vienna this year want to increase capacity. Laudamotion, for example, will go up to seven or eight aircraft this winter, while Wizz Air wants to go up to five aircraft next summer. It will be an exciting year!”

The low-cost boom at Vienna has been aided by a new incentive scheme launched by the airport. The incentives are discounts on airline airport charges, spread over a period of three to five years and offered for certain volumes and new routes.

“We were confident that we would replace the traffic, but we perhaps didn’t foresee the subsequent growth," adds Jäger. "I think a number of carriers spied an opportunity to become the number two at Vienna.

"For a number of years we were underserved by low-cost carriers. Next year we will probably be overserved and I am sure there will be a reaction in the market. However, I think the growth will be sustainable although there probably won't be as many players in the market."

wr vienna

10.00 - Finavia targets North America and Asia

Petri Vuori, VP for route development at Finavia, outlines the group's main message at World Routes: "Helsinki Airport is aiming at increasing North America routes further and seeing Asian destinations grow in frequencies and destinations.

"Europe has still many interesting places in Germany, France, Spain and the Alps regions we see potential with. Central and Eastern Europe also has many airports we are not connected with, but would love to see route with.

"For Routes we would like to point out that Northern route is still the shortest between many cities in Europe and North East Asia. Helsinki also provides great destination with increasing interest on inbound travel and with current outbound growth rate excellent opportunity to all European airlines."

09.40 - Conference sessions underway

Today's first conference session is getting underway in the Keynote Arena! How can airports integrate seamlessly with other transportation and city networks? Our panel of experts will outline how Big Data can bring together the airport, smart city, transportation, tourist and logistics industries to create a coherent and unified transport network.

wr18 keynote

09.00 - Busy exhibition stands

08.00 - Are you ready?

It's going to be a packed day of meetings, exhibitor activities and of course the Networking Evening and Marketing Awards tonight! 

World Routes 2018 is open for business!

It's going to be a packed day of meetings, exhibitor activities and of course the Networking Evening and Marketing Awards tonight! We hope all of our delegates have an enjoyable and productive day #WorldRoutes

Posted by Routesonline on Sunday, September 16, 2018

07.00 - Day two of World Routes begins!

WR2018 general 1


Sunday 16 September 2018

18.00 - A message to delegates

Once again we would like to thank all World Routes delegates for their co-operation and understanding during the evacuation of the event venue earlier today.

As previously stated, we would like to reassure you all that public safety and the safety of our delegates, and our own employees, is the highest priority for UBM. 

The latest information we have regarding the weather forecast has suggested that the weather will start to clear after 10pm tonight. Therefore, we would like to inform you that the event will open as usual tomorrow.

Transfers from Official Hotels will start as originally scheduled tomorrow commencing at 0715 and running every 15 mins until 1030.

We understand that some delegates’ meeting schedules may have been impacted by today’s extreme events. We urge all delegates to log on to the on-site meetings system here in order to rearrange today’s meetings over the next couple of days of the event.

12.40 - Attention all delegates

We have just received an update from the local police and Guangdong Municipality that the weather situation is likely to worsen in the next three hours. 

Public safety and the safety of our delegates and our own employees is our highest priority and therefore we have decided together with our hosts to leave the venue and return to official hotels.

Transfers are now available and we will be asking each hall to be evacuated in a phased approach.

If you are an exhibitor please pack up you stand. All delegates are then invited to exit the venue via Hall 8.1 (where Registration is located).  The transfer coaches will then take you directly to your Official Hotel.

We will continue to keep you informed. We expect the weather to have cleared by the morning and will keep you updated. 

11.00 - China Southern retains its position as China's largest airline

More than 97 million passengers flew on China Southern Airlines in 2017. The figure was almost 3 million more than the previous 12 months and ensured the SkyTeam alliance member, which is the official carrier for World Routes 2018, retained its position as the biggest in China.

Overall, the Guangzhou-based airline has grown passenger numbers by 18 percent over the past five years.   

China Eastern Airlines ranked as the second largest by passengers in 2017 with 95.3 million carried. This was a 7.6 percent rise from 2016 and 33 percent higher than the total in 2013. Air China, Hainan Airlines and Xiamen Airlines completed the top five largest Chinese airlines by passenger numbers in 2017.

Top five Chinese airlines by passengers carried (2013-17):

10.10 - What’s on at World Routes: The Keynote Arena

reu18 disruptorsThe World Routes Conference Programme, sponsored by Huawei, will take place in the Keynote Arena during the 24th World Route Development. 

Providing delegates with a valuable insight into key air service development issues currently affecting the commercial aviation community, the conference will bring together senior leaders from the route development and aviation industries, to engage in thought-provoking discussion that will set the commercial and political agenda for the aviation industry, in the coming 12-18 months.

Read on to see which topics will be discussed over the three-day conference programme.

10.00 Face-to-Face Meetings

Face-to-face meetings are about to start Make sure you check your meeting inbox and reply to requests with the On-site Meeting System: goo.gl/mqQheZ

09.30 - Spotlight on China

China’s capacity growth is enviable. The total number of two-way available seats jumped 11.9 percent in 2017 to almost 800 million, driven by the country’s burgeoning domestic market.

Its international market is expanding too, with the number of available seats rising 5.3 percent and exceeding the capacity growth rate of other major markets like the US, Turkey, France and Germany.

Such staggering aviation growth means it is the perfect time for World Routes to return to China. World Routes 2018 will take place in Guangzhou from 15 - 18 September 2018. 

In this special white paper, we delve into the key statistics which shed light on how the Chinese market is developing, and what the major influencers are, including:

  • Market overview and key stats
  • Top airlines and airports in China
  • The airports driving the growth
  • The key international markets 
  • Guangzhou's growth story

Download Spotlight on China

09.00 - Opening Ceremony

08.45 - Top tips from ASM

Meet your World Routes ASM Team! Senior consultant, Omar Hashmi, and SVP consulting and product development, Nigel Mayes, have put together their top tips to help you prepare for your meetings.

https://www.facebook.com/RoutesonlineUB

08.30 - The 24th World Routes begins! 

The 24th World Route Development Forum is officially open! World Routes 2018 is being hosted by Guangdong Airport Authority (GAA) and Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, which earlier this year opened its second terminal building.

This major infrastructure development will enable the airport to handle more than 70 million passengers in 2018 and is expected to put Guangzhou in the top ten of the world’s busiest airports over the coming years.

World Routes 2018 presents an unrivaled platform for route development professionals to discuss, develop and plan network strategy. It is timely for the prestigious event to return to China, having previously been held in Beijing in 2009 and Chengdu in 2016.

This year, 21 carriers will be in attendance which have never previously attended a World Routes event, as well as nine of the ten largest carriers in the world, including Delta Air Lines, Emirates, British Airways and Lufthansa.

“China is the world’s second largest aviation market and it is continuing to grow. During 2022, it will displace the USA as the busiest on earth and by 2036 its market will have a colossal 1.5 billion passengers a year,” said Steven Small, Brand Director at Routes.

“Within China, Guangzhou is a powerful driving force of the national economy. It is taking a leading role in China’s national strategy to improve international transport connections, so it is an excellent destination for the world’s aviation industry.”

Founded in 214 BC, Guangzhou is a historic port on the Pearl River near the South China Sea. Known for its perennial blooming plants, the ‘City of Flowers’ has been an integral part of the Guangdong Province’s economic boom since the 1990s.

"World Routes 2018 will mark another global event that Guangzhou hosts after the 2010 Asian Games and the 2017 Fortune Global Forum," said Chen Zhiying, executive vice mayor of Guangzhou, at a press conference on 10 September.

"This shows how the world recognises and expects the development of Guangzhou. It is an important opportunity for the city, in a new era, to further reform and  grow the civil aviation industry and the airport economy and promote international trade, cooperation and exchanges in ways to enhance Guangzhou's image on the global stage."

Guangzhou's Baiyun Airport hopes to launch another 30 international routes within three years. As one of China's three largest international aviation hubs, it is designated as an integral part for the Belt and Road Initiative, connecting to 48 cities in 29 countries along the routes.

"In 2018, we will seize the strategic opportunities from the Initiative and make full use of the construction of the airports within the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. In doing this, we will share the benefits of urban development with the rest of the world and advance the building of the world-class aviation hub," said Zhang Kejian, president of Guangdong Airport Authority.


Saturday 15 September 2018

18.00 - Saturday Reception at the Shangri-La Hotel

Thank you to all delegates who attended the Saturday Reception!

15.00 - Weather update to delegates

We would like to reassure all delegates that the Routes team are continuing to work with our hosts, local authorities and external specialist advisors to monitor the weather conditions.

We understand that there have been a number of flight cancellations mainly from the Pearl Delta Area including Hong Kong, Shenzen and Hainan. However, the majority of our delegates have already arrived in Guangzhou.

As a precaution the municipality of Guangdong, the police and host representatives have made the decision to cancel this afternoon’s tours and have restricted access to some public areas including the public transport system, due to the impending adverse weather conditions.

The transfers to tonight’s drinks reception are at this time unaffected. The team will communicate any additional changes to the event programme if and when required.

Transfers to the event venue are scheduled to operate as normal in the morning.
Please direct any questions or concerns you may have to RoutesCustomerServices@ubm.com 

Delegates can also monitor websites such as www.windy.com.

Thank you for your understanding. We look forward to welcoming you to World Routes 2018 at the China Import and Export Fair tomorrow morning as scheduled.

14.00 - Leading carriers to be at the event

Nine of the top ten largest airlines in the world by ASKs have registered for World Routes 2018, with key representatives from the likes of American Airlines, Emirates and British Airways set to attend.

The event, which is being held in Guangzhou from 15 - 18 September, will attract more than 3,000 delegates which representation from the world’s leading and fastest-growing aviation organisations. Click here to view the attendee list.

Among the attendees will be senior decision makers from nine of the largest carriers in the world by ASKs in 2017 (source - OAG Schedules Analyser):

  • American Airlines
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Emirates
  • Southwest Airlines
  • China Southern Airlines
  • Qatar Airways
  • Lufthansa German Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Air China

12.00 - Welcome to Guangzhou! 

Welcome to World Routes 2018!

On behalf of the #WorldRoutes team, Brand Director Steven Small welcomes you to the beautiful city of Guangzhou. We hope you have a very enjoyable and successful event and look forward to seeing you this evening at the Saturday Reception!

Posted by Routesonline on Friday, September 14, 2018

11.00 - Avinor reveals its recipe for a winning exhibition stand

Hanne Kjølhamar, acting director of aviation marketing at Avinor, tells Routesonline why it was voted as the delegates’ favourite exhibition stand at World Routes in 2016.

Describe your stand the year that you won the award for Best Stand at World Routes?

We challenged the way we thought about what a stand should be; from being a traditional, functional meeting space to a welcoming kitchen with a large kitchen table, well suited for sitting down, sharing Norwegian food in a state-of-the-art kitchen prepared by professional cooks - and sharing stories leading to good conversations. The atmosphere in Norwegian kitchens are relaxed and cosy, and we wanted to recreate this atmosphere.

 Where did you take inspiration from in the design of your stand?

The inspiration process was like a journey, it all started when presenting a new picture of Norway to our airline contacts: landscapes, markets, innovation and start-up culture, all with a modern twist – which led to the Norwegian kitchen idea. Our kitchens are often described as the heart of our homes; it is in the kitchen that we prepare and share meals, have the time to sit down and unwind from a hectic everyday life and be friends and family. Everything from good stories to serious themes are shared over our kitchen table; this was the inspiration for the design of our stand and that we wanted to recreate and bring to World Routes.

Read more of this interview with Hanne here

09.00 - How international airlines use WeChat to market to China

Roy Graff croppedWeChat is China’s number one social media platform and mobile app, with one billion monthly active users. The app started as a simple messaging platform, but now offers a diverse array of functions, from social sharing to mobile payments. WeChat is used by many international airlines, which have official service accounts, for marketing, ticket sales and more. 

Roy Graff, managing director EMEA at travel technology and digital marketing agency Dragon Trail Interactive, presents a few examples of how airlines have tapped into the world WeChat to inspire, inform and enable China’s outbound travelers.

On KLM, he says: "KLM’s mobile website is fully integrated into its WeChat account, so users can book a flight, search their flight status or check-in online all through WeChat.

"Once a flight is booked, travelers receive reminders on WeChat when online check-in opens, and can have their boarding pass sent to their WeChat accounts, too, with a QR code to scan at the airport in place of a paper boarding pass. Like other official airline accounts on WeChat, KLM also offers customer service through the app’s chat interface."

Read more about how Finnair, Scoot and Air France use WeChat here

Roy will be taking part in a panel session exploring the power of social media marketing. Learn how airports and airlines can take advantage of the trend to maximise their revenue opportunities in an increasingly competitive global marketplace, including how you can get your message heard on the likes of Weibo and WeChat. Click here for the full Conference Programme


Friday 14 September 2018

17.00 - Routes reveals the busiest routes in the world

With more than 13.4 million people travelling on the short-haul domestic service, the 450 km journey from Seoul's Gimpo Airport to the island of Jeju off the coast of the Korean Peninsula has once again claimed the title as the most in-demand air route in the world.

The route has an average of 180 scheduled flights per day - that’s one every eight minutes - transporting mainly leisure travellers from South Korea’s dense capital city to the island, famed for its white sandy beach resorts and volcanic landscape.

A total of 13,460,305 passengers flew between Seoul and Jeju in 2017, an increase of 9.4 percent on the previous 12 months when the route was also ranked as the busiest in the world. It carried a staggering 4,369,364 more people than the second busiest, Melbourne - Sydney Kingsford Smith.

Although the US remains the world’s largest aviation market, the analysis by Routesonline found that air services in the Asia-Pacific region dominate the top 100 busiest routes by passenger numbers, accounting for more than 70 percent of the total.

Hong Kong - Taiwan Taoyuan is the busiest international route and features as the 8th most popular overall, with 6,719,029 passengers flying the 802 km in 2017. Hong Kong, the home hub for Cathay Pacific, features in six of the top ten international routes.

The study also found that the Thai domestic route of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi - Chiang Mai is the fastest-growing route in the top 100. Two-way passenger numbers grew by 36 percent year-on-year to almost 2.4 million. 

Read more on this story

15.00 - China Southern retains its position as China's largest airline

More than 97 million passengers flew on China Southern Airlines in 2017. The figure was almost 3 million more than the previous 12 months and ensured the SkyTeam alliance member, which is the official carrier for World Routes 2018, retained its position as the biggest in China.

Overall, the Guangzhou-based airline has grown passenger numbers by 18 percent over the past five years.   

China Eastern Airlines ranked as the second largest by passengers in 2017 with 95.3 million carried. This was a 7.6 percent rise from 2016 and 33 percent higher than the total in 2013. Air China, Hainan Airlines and Xiamen Airlines completed the top five largest Chinese airlines by passenger numbers in 2017.

Top five Chinese airlines by passengers carried (2013-17):

14.00 - Behind the scenes!

World Routes 2018 Build Up

Here is a sneak peek from inside the official event venue for #WorldRoutes - build up started today! We can't wait to see the finished result, our biggest exhibition at a Routes event to date!

Posted by Routesonline on Wednesday, September 12, 2018

13.00 - Make the most of Fast Track

Make the most of your time at #WorldRoutes by participating in the new Fast Track session, taking place from 14:40 –...

Posted by Routesonline on Thursday, September 6, 2018

11.00 - Guangzhou outlines international hub ambitions 

Routesonline caught up with the Guangdong Airport Authority to find out why it is hosting the event and its wider ambitions for the region. 

Why is the Guangdong Airport Authority (GAA) hosting World Routes 2018?
World Routes is recognised as The Olympic Games and World Expo of the global aviation industry. It is the only major gathering in the world which attracts airlines, airports, governments, tourism bureaus and other related policymakers, with thousands of representatives attending the event. GAA recognises the great importance of World Routes and has attended every year.

World Routes 2018 is of great significance for GAA. At present, we are in an important period of rapid and high-quality development and of the Guangdong aviation industry while also working as a world-class airport authority.

On 26 April this year we opened the Terminal 2 and Integrated Transportation Center of Guangzhou Airport and have heavily promoted this new infrastructure. The work has been vital to turn Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport into an international aviation hub, to boost the building of the Guangdong-Hong Kong Macau Greater Bay Area and to promote Guangdong.

Furthermore, the building of T2 and the Integrated Transportation Center is vital to achieve GAA’s strategic goal of becoming a world-class airport authority and helps make Guangzhou Airport a world-class aviation hub. The annual passenger volume of Guangzhou Airport in 2018 is estimated to reach 70 million now that its two terminals are up and running.

Read more about Guangdong Airport Authority's ambitions here. 

10.00 - World Routes essentials - some top tips for delegates

Download the Routes app:  You will have to download a new version of the app for this year’s event, unless you have attended either Routes Europe 2018 or Routes Africa 2018. Click here to download the app or search for “Routes Events App” in your chosen app store. 

Download the Routes app ahead of #WorldRoutes 2018 and start sharing your key messages today: https://goo.gl/HNhCTs 9 days to go!

Posted by Routesonline on Friday, September 7, 2018

Internet connectivity: Be one step ahead of the 'Great Firewall of China' by downloading any presentations and promotional videos before travelling to Guangzhou.

Airport and intra-event transfers: Arrival transfers will be available from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport to official hotels from 7am on Thursday, 13 September until 12pm on Sunday, 16 September. View the full transfer schedule.

Keep your passport on you at all times: In China it is custom to carry your passport with you as proof of ID. We strongly advise you to carry your passport with you at all times throughout your stay in Guangzhou.

09.00 - Meet your World Routes Content Team!

Meet your World Routes Content Team!

Meet your #WorldRoutes Content Team! Wes, David and Lucia will mostly be found in the Keynote Arena, where industry experts will be discussing some of the topics currently impacting route development during the World Routes 2018 conference programme. Find out more: https://goo.gl/epsjFi

Posted by Routesonline on Sunday, September 9, 2018

Thursday 13 September 2018

16.00 - What is Fast Track?

SibaxFollowing its success at the Routes 2018 regional events, Fast Track will take place at World Routes 2018 on Monday 17 September. The session provides delegates with additional opportunities to make quick introductions to their target carriers at the event.

Routes’ Simon Baxendale has put together a series of top tips to help delegates make the most of the sessions:

Plan time effectively: In order to increase the chances of meeting with all their key targets within the allotted time, delegates should make a plan of which airlines they wish to meet with, considering their locations in the Airline Meeting Halls.

Be prepared: Fast Track is designed to facilitate quick introductions. Delegates should use the session to have quick conversations and receive feedback from their target carriers, as there will not be sufficient time to deliver a full presentation. To help ensure each meeting meets their objectives, delegates should prepare a list of questions ahead of the session.

Request a follow-up meeting: Should an organisation wish to continue their conversation beyond the allocated five minutes, delegates should take the contact information for the right person to follow-up with. This will allow them to arrange a time outside of the session and discuss business opportunities further.

Visit the dedicated web page for more information about Fast Track.

14.00 - Behind the scenes!

World Routes 2018 Build Up

Here is a sneak peek from inside the official event venue for #WorldRoutes - build up started today! We can't wait to see the finished result, our biggest exhibition at a Routes event to date!

Posted by Routesonline on Wednesday, September 12, 2018

12.00 - Stay connected in Guangzhou

We strongly recommend that delegates download the following information before travelling to Guangzhou, to avoid technical issues.

• Presentations and marketing collateral
• Promotional videos
• Routes app

Many internet users have used VPNs (virtual personal networks) to conduct business and bypass the firewall. By using a VPN, the IP address changes to another country where a restricted or blocked website can be accessed.

Read more about how you can stay connected in Guangzhou here

10.00 - Weather warning

As you may have seen in your travel preparations, the Guangdong region is currently projected to receive two strong storms in the coming days, with the second storm having the potential to develop into a typhoon.

The storm may yet change course, but as a precaution, we recommend that all delegates monitor the weather and be aware that it might affect their travel plans.

guangzhou weather

The Routes team are working closely with the hosts to ensure that the chosen venues for the event programme are suitable, we will communicate any changes to the programme to delegates via email, the app and on Twitter from the @routesonline account using the #WorldRoutes hashtag.
 
For this upcoming weekend, the weather is currently forecasted to be as hot as 35°C on Saturday, partly sunny with possible heavy rain and wind. On Sunday, typhoon conditions are possible with showers in the morning becoming steady rain in the afternoon.
 
Please factor this into your travel plans and remain vigilant. In terms of travel it is best to be guided by the airlines you are travelling to the event with. For the most up to date weather forecast, delegates can check www.windy.com or www.weather.com

09.00 (CST) - Anticipation builds for the 24rd World Routes!

As the countdown continues, anticipation is building as delegates start to arrive in Guangzhou! World Routes 2018 will welcome 300 airlines, 700 airports and 130 destinations - are you among the 3,000 attendees? Share your journey to China on Twitter using the #WorldRoutes hashtag.

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Follow World Routes 2018 on Twitter


World Routes 2018 news

Analysis: World Routes host Guangzhou in focus
Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport has experienced strong domestic and international growth over the past decade - and it is hoped that World Routes 2018 will help to fuel even stronger expansion. 

World Routes 2018 Marketing Awards shortlists revealed
Discover which airports, tourism authorities and individuals have been recognised in the industry’s most coveted awards.

Meet the route development heroes of 2018
The World Routes Marketing Awards will recognise the contribution of top-performing individuals in the route development community.

How international airlines use WeChat to market to China
Chinese social media platform WeChat has one billion monthly active users. Find out what KLM, Scoot, Finnair and Air France are doing to maximise their presence to China’s outbound travellers. 

Industry insight: Spotlight on China 
With World Routes 2018 taking place in Guangzhou, we’ve analysed China's aviation market, examining the facts and figures behind its phenomenal growth.