With millions of jobs and national economies dependent on a strong restart of the air transport sector, World Routes 2021 will bring together decision-makers from airlines, airports, and tourism authorities in Milan this week (10-12 October) to rebuild global air connectivity.
Now in its 26th year, World Routes has made a real impact on the world's route networks with over 3,500 new air services being connected to meetings at the event in the last three years alone. More than 125 airlines will be present in Milan to develop recovery strategies including Air Canada, Air China, Air France, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, easyJet, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Iberia Airlines, International Airlines Group, Jet2.com, JetBlue, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Wizz Air.
Airline CEOs, government ministers, and association leaders will outline actions that the industry must take to accelerate the recovery during a series of conference sessions at the event. High-profile speakers include Jozsef Varadi, Chief Executive Officer of Wizz Air; Jason McGuinness, director of commercial of Ryanair; Garth Lund, CCO of Flair; Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico; Vijay Daryanani, Minister for Business, Tourism, Transport and the Port of the Government of Gibraltar; Luis Felipe de Oliveira, Director General of ACI World and Fabio Lazzerini, CEO of ITA.
Hosted by SEA Milan Airports, in partnership with the Lombardy Region, the Municipality of Milan, ENIT – Italian Tourist Board and Bergamo Airport, World Routes will deliver long-term growth opportunities for the city and wider region. Air transport's contribution to the Italian economy is significant, supporting 714,000 jobs and contributing €46 billion to the economy – accounting for roughly 2.7% of Italy's GDP in 2019. Following the impact of COVID-19, the positive catalytic effects of air connectivity in increasing trade, tourism, investment, labour supply, and market efficiency will be more important than ever in helping Italy to rebuild its economy.
Steven Small, director of Routes, said: “Our role has, and will always be, to bring together the world’s airlines, airports, tourism authorities, and route development stakeholders to build air services for the economic and social good of every destination.”
“By delivering a platform where these stakeholders can meet, World Routes will define the recovery of an industry profoundly impacted by Covid-19. The route development industry is about building relationships that create effective partnerships and successful networks. And, it is those partnerships that this event will support. The innovation, resilience and cooperation demonstrated by the route development community throughout this unprecedented period will continue to be paramount in its road to recovery. By working together, we can accelerate the recovery and build back better.”
Armando Brunini, CEO of SEA Milan Airports, said: “World Routes is an important appointment for our Industry, we can’t wait to meet in person once again with delegates from all over the world to share views on the future of the aviation industry and, of course, do business! In the next years, airlines need to select a network where there is a critical mass of passengers, which is important. And Milan offers this critical mass. Our goal is recovery of connectivity and traffic volumes. We need to work hard with all stakeholders involved to create the right preconditions for a proper restart especially of long-haul traffic with our priorities being America and Asia and first results already arriving. The city of Milan is bouncing back to its usual vibrant and dynamic mood, so we believe to be well placed to be at the forefront of recovery. Milan and Lombardy are the venues of major international events, one of Europe’s recognized centres for finance and business, and an extremely enjoyable city. The region surrounding Milan was the first in the western world to be hit by this devastating pandemic and we are glad that the first post-Covid World routes event happens here to symbolically support the relaunch of aviation.”