Aviation leaders gear up for Routes Europe in Poland this weekend

Published on : Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Routes EuropeThe aviation industry is heading to Poland for the 11th annual Routes Europe forum in Kraków this weekend to plan future European air services (23-26 April).

Routes Europe was first held in Warsaw in 2006 to bring together airlines, airports and tourism authorities to discuss air services to, from and within Europe. Kraków Airport will host this year’s event for 1,200 delegates from 110 airlines, 310 airports and 40 tourism authorities at the EXPO Kraków convention centre.

Since joining the European Union (EU) in 2004, the Polish aviation industry has been boosted by the free movement of people and goods. Air passengers in Poland increased by 12.5% to 30.6 million in 2015, with much of the expansion being driven by the low-cost carriers that have entered the Polish market.

Kraków and the surrounding Małopolska region are known for their historical and cultural attractions which drew almost 14 million visitors in 2015. The tourism industry has helped to fuel the 11% increase in Kraków Airport’s passenger numbers which reached 4.2 million in 2015 (the highest in the airport’s history) and they are expected to peak at 4.6 million this year.

With its booming tourism and travel industries, Kraków is an ideal destination for Routes Europe 2016. The location has attracted most of Europe’s major airlines including Air France, Alitalia, British Airways, Iberia, KLM Royal Dutch Airways, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines and low-cost carriers Ryanair, easyJet, Norwegian, Vueling, Wizzair and Jet2.com.

Airlines from outside Europe such as Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Air Canada, WestJet, Qatar Airways, Etihad, All Nippon Airways and China Southern Airlines will also be present.

Delegates will also get the chance to hear from industry leaders at the conference element of Routes Europe, the Strategy Summit. The speakers who will explore the latest airline issues and trends include Fernando Estrada, Chief Strategy Officer at Vueling; Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Finnair; and Jochen Schnadt, Chief Commercial Officer at BMI Regional.

Adrian Newton, Group Director of Aviation and Transport at UBM EMEA (the owner of Routes), said: “The Polish market is important to the aviation industry because it is continuing to develop significantly. This is in the wider context of a mature European market which does not have the same capacity to grow.

“As this year’s Routes Europe host, Kraków Airport is in a strong position to gain more new services which will increase its international route network.”

Dr Jan Pamuła, President of the Board at Kraków Airport, said: ““Routes Europe 2016 is an opportunity to present ourselves as a modern, dynamically growing airport, boosting the attractiveness of the city and the region. We will also show the delegates around the most beautiful sites of Kraków and Małopolska.”

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