PRESS RELEASE: Aviation leaders unite in Istanbul to define future global air connectivity

Marking its 28th edition, the event will be attended by over 2,500 decision makers

According to IATA estimates, over 4.35 billion passengers are expected to travel in 2023. Recognising the critical role of the air transport sector in supporting millions of jobs worldwide, Routes World 2023 is set to convene in Istanbul this week (15-17 October), bringing together more than 2,500 influential decision makers from airlines, airports, and destinations to collectively define the future of global air connectivity. 

Marking its 28th edition, the event will be attended by vice presidents and heads of network planning from 250 leading airlines, who will engage in over 10,000 meetings with airport and destination representatives to identify new route opportunities. Carriers in attendance include Air France, easyJet, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, IndiGo, Japan Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Qantas, Turkish Airlines and Wizz Air. View the attendee list

This will also be the first event that all of China’s largest carriers will attend following Beijing’s decision to remove most of the remaining Covid-related travel restrictions earlier this year. Having held a considerable share of global air passenger demand prior to the pandemic, Air China, China Eastern, China Southern, Hainan Airlines and Shandong Airlines will be evaluating proposals from airports at the event to ascertain which markets to prioritise in their recovery. Routes World 2023 will also welcome more than 50 association and airline leaders, government ministers and expert suppliers to participate in the event’s Conference Programme. The line-up of CEOs includes: 

  • Turkish Airlines’ Deputy Chairman and CEO, Bilal Ekşi, who will outline the carrier’s future growth strategy
  • Pegasus Airlines’ CEO Güliz Öztürk, who will outline how she is building an airline focused on digital transformation, sustainability, diversity, equality, and inclusion—and is taking firm steps towards its environmental and social goals
  • Royal Jordanian’s CEO Samer Majali, who will discuss the carrier’s fleet renewal strategy as it continues to broaden its international footprint

This year’s event will be hosted by iGA Istanbul Airport. Often seen solely as a transit point, iGA Istanbul Airport is seeking to alter perceptions by attracting new carriers and increasing inbound traffic to Türkiye’s largest city. The airport handled some 64 million passengers in 2022, making it the seventh busiest in the world. It has a handling capacity of 90 million passengers at the present time but will eventually be able to accommodate 200 million. 

Steven Small, director of Routes, said: “We are delighted to bring the global route development community to Istanbul for Routes World. The positive impacts of increased air connectivity for a destination are immense and I am confident by hosting Routes World, Istanbul will take advantage of the capacity created by the move to the new airport.”

Selahattin Bilgen, interim CEO of iGA Istanbul Airport, comments: “At iGA Istanbul Airport, we welcome everyone in our beloved city, the global cultural centre where modernity and tradition flourish together in harmony. We are delighted to be the host of Routes World 2023, a globally renowned event bringing together airlines, airports and aviation stakeholders from around the world. This event is a platform to define the future of the aviation industry for years to come, and we are thrilled to be chosen as the centre of it. Routes World will be a world-class event and I look forward to meeting with CEOs and other influential figures in the aviation industry, to align on exciting new projects and opportunities of the future.”

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Routes World 2023 Event Brochure

Routes World 2023 will bring together airlines, airports and aviation stakeholders from across the world to build air services and global economic growth. The event will create a...

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