Aviation Leaders Unite In Langkawi To Capitalise On 2023 Momentum

By TIN Media | Kedah Published 1 month ago on 26 February 2024
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According to IATA, Asia Pacific carriers are expected to return to profitability in 2024. Recognising the critical role of the air transport sector in supporting millions of jobs across the region, Routes Asia is set to convene in Langkawi this week (Feb. 27-29), bringing together more than 900 decision makers from airlines, airports, and destinations to define future air connectivity across the region.

Marking its 20th edition, the event will be attended by a record number of airlines. Vice presidents and heads of network planning from 110 of the region’s leading and fastest-growing airlines will engage in over 3,500 meetings with airport and destination representatives to identify new route opportunities. Carriers in attendance include Air India, AirAsia Group, Etihad Airways, Japan Airlines, Qantas, Thai Airways and Vietnam Airlines. View the attendee list

China served as the primary contributor of tourists for numerous Asia-Pacific countries before the pandemic. Representatives from China’s top 10 carriers by ASK will be in attendance at the event. 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 Asia will also welcome more than 30 association, airline, airport and destination leaders to participate in the event’s conference programme. The line-up of CEOs includes:

Malaysia Aviation Group’s Group Managing Director, Datuk Captain Izham bin Ismail, will outline how fleet investment will fuel the carrier’s future growth strategy 

Riyadh Air’s Chief Operating Officer, Peter Bellew, will discuss key target markets for Saudi Arabia’s newest flag carrier

Airports Council International Asia and Middle East’s Director General, Stefano Baronci, will examine the outlook for the year ahead, including the impact of rising air fares and the need for further liberalization

This year’s event will be hosted by Malaysia Airports and Tourism Malaysia. Having hosted the first three editions of the event (2003-2005), the destination will utilise the platform to increase direct international connectivity to both Langkawi and Malaysia as a whole. 

Steven Small, director of Routes, said: “Malaysia Airports and Tourism Malaysia are long standing partners of Routes. This year marks the 20th edition of the event, we are delighted to be in Malaysia again delivering what will be our biggest Routes Asia event.”

Small added: “Route development has perhaps become more important than it has ever been, with airlines scrutinising opportunities more carefully than ever before. Routes Asia continues to play a vital role in this process, providing a meeting place for airline decision makers to negotiate new and existing air services with their airport and destination partners.”

Mohamed Rastam Shahrom, acting group chief executive officer of Malaysia Airports, said: "Routes Asia has become an indispensable platform for fostering collaboration, exploring new opportunities, and driving innovation within the dynamic aviation landscape of the Asia-Pacific region. With over 3,500 meetings expected over the course of this year’s conference, this is the flagship event for aviation players to collaborate on developing new routes within the region. For Malaysia Airports, we look forward to bringing new airlines to our network of airports, and encourage others to start new routes or return to sunny Malaysia." 

Manoharan Periasamy, director general of Tourism Malaysia, said: “Routes Asia provides an excellent platform for us to showcase Malaysia’s appeal as a premier travel destination. As we gear up for Visit Malaysia Year 2026, airline route development and partnerships will be integral to increasing connectivity and accessibility to Malaysia. Langkawi presents the ideal backdrop for delegates to experience Malaysian Hospitality and tremendous appeal as a leisure and business travel destination, supporting our target of achieving 27.3 million tourist arrivals and RM102.7 billion in tourist receipts this year.”


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