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Published on : Thursday, June 9, 2016
As part of an ongoing effort to develop new air service across the globe, Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD) representatives traveled to Dublin, Ireland to participate in the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit, the world’s largest gathering of airline leaders. Miami International Airport was one of only a handful of airports in the world invited to attend the invitation-only event, which drew more than 1,000 delegates.
During the three-day gathering, MDAD Director Emilio T. González led an MIA team that met with high-level executives from Aer Lingus, All Nippon Airways, Atlas Air Worldwide, Cathay Pacific Airways, China Airlines, El Al Israel Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Royal Jordanian Airlines and Turkish Airlines, to discuss starting or expanding air service to Miami. Currently, only Turkish Airlines provides passenger service to Miami, and Atlas Air, Cathay Pacific Airways and China Airlines operate cargo-only flights at MIA.
Participation in the IATA AGM is the latest step in MIA’s strategic plan to become one of the world’s premier global gateways. With the most flights of any U.S. airport to the Latin American and Caribbean region, MIA has successfully negotiated a host of East-West routes in recent years as well. In calendar years 2014 and 2015, MIA added 12 new international routes, most notably in untapped markets such as: the Middle East (Doha, Qatar); Scandinavia (Helsinki, Finland); the capital of the European Union (Brussels, Belgium); and the gateway between Europe and Asia (Istanbul, Turkey). MIA achieved a record eight-percent growth rate in 2015, with the six new passenger carriers added to MIA last year responsible for 25 percent of that growth. In 2015, MIA also became the only U.S. airport served by more than 100 passenger and cargo airlines.
MIA’s European network has grown from nine routes to 19 in the last 10 years, and three more destinations will be added this fall: Cologne, Germany, by Eurowings; and Oslo, Norway, and Copenhagen, Denmark, by Scandinavian Airlines. Cologne will be MIA’s fifth route to Germany, and Oslo and Norway will become the airport’s second and third Scandinavian routes. Additionally, MIA will welcome the return of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines on October 30, for seasonal service to Amsterdam.
MDAD has also partnered with representatives from 39 community and business groups to form the MIA Asia Task Force, in support of its effort to establish first-ever nonstop passenger service between Miami and Asia. In recent months, a number of major carriers in Asia have shown growing interest in launching service at MIA.
“The IATA AGM was an invaluable opportunity for us to demonstrate our commitment to being a true global gateway,” said MDAD Director Emilio T. González. “The strength of the Miami market and our lucrative route network throughout the Americas continue to draw the attention of the world’s top airlines. We were proud to be invited to this year’s AGM and advance our discussions with carriers who are considering air service from MIA to Asia, Europe and the Middle East.”