Routes Silk Road 2019, the route development forum for the CIS, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Central Asia, will bring together key decision makers from the region’s airlines, airports and tourism authorities for face-to-face meetings, networking opportunities and the conference programme.
Taking place 15-17 July 2019 in Nur-Sultan (formally Astana), the Routes conference programme will feature talks and panel discussions by senior industry experts, including Peter Foster, Air Astana’s President and CEO, who will take part in a CEO keynote interview.
Air Astana dominates the market in Kazakhstan offering more than half of the available seats domestically and 47.2 percent of the total international seats available from Kazakhstan. Foster attributes the growth in transfer traffic to “offering a good product”, Air Astana’s growing reputation in the market, and an efficient cost base that allows it to put good value fares into the market.
Delegates will hear directly from Foster on the airline’s expansion plans over the coming years and how they are addressing challenges with fuel prices and a lack of ground handling.
Other topics to be addressed over the course of the programme include catering for the Russian market, the latest trends in route development in China, and how small airports can raise their profile.
Dilhan Haradasa, Group Head of Airport Partnerships and Incentives at AirAsia Group; Nevzat Arsan, Chief Commercial Officer at AtlasGlobal; and Simon Riha, Chief Development Officer - Flight Operations at Hahn Air Lines, will take to the stage to discuss “Connecting East to West - hub development, bilaterals with Asia and Europe, and Asian growth”.
Representatives from IATA will take part in panel discussions including, and “Doing business in the ‘Stans’ - Barriers to tourism, VISAs, regulations, taxation, and bilaterals”. Rafael Schwartzman of IATA will give a market overview, and an IATA representative will deliver a talk on the IATA Carbon Offsetting Scheme for International Aviation Market (CORSIA) and a sustainable future for aviation.
Speakers confirmed so far include:
- Peter Foster, Chief Executive Officer, Air Astana
- Dilhan Haradasa, Group Head of Airport Partnerships and Incentives, AirAsia Group
- Ed Robertson, Editor, Routes News
- Nevzat Arsan, Chief Commercial Officer, AtlasGlobal
- Simon Riha, Chief Development Officer - Flight Operations, Hahn Air Lines
- Yolanta Strikitsa, Director, Strikitsa Consulting
- Steven Small, Brand Director, Routes
Air Astana will be the official carrier for the event, offering reduced fares for delegates.
Richard Ledger, Vice-president Marketing and Sales at Air Astana, said: "Routes Silk Road is a powerful event in terms of providing a unique platform for airlines, airports and tourism authorities for networking, forging partnerships and building long-term business relationships. It’s a golden opportunity for Air Astana to showcase Astana as the strategic hub in the Heart of Eurasia.
“We are delighted to be the official carrier and to welcome our industry colleagues to Kazakhstan. We hope delegates will grasp the opportunity to be part of our rapidly growing success story and contribute to this high profile industry event."