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Routes Americas 2013

Routes Americas boosted by traffic growth and US-Colombian Open Skies Agreement

Vicky Karantzavelou - 08 February 2013, 15:33

An open skies agreement between the US and Colombia entered into force on 1 January 2013, which already encouraged several airlines to unveil plans to add services between the two countries this year.

Routes Americas 2013, which will take place in Cartagena, Colombia from 10-12 February, will see the strongest airline list ever assembled at the event. For the first time, the top 20 scheduled carriers in the Americas will all be in attendance.

Participation in the event is boosted by growing passenger numbers and air links across the region, triggered by strong economic growth and more open markets in a number of key countries. Most recently, an open skies agreement between the US and Colombia entered into force on 1 January 2013, which already encouraged several airlines to unveil plans to add services between the two countries this year.

David Stroud, Executive Vice President Routes, is looking forward to the event: “The Americas is a very dynamic region that is rapidly becoming more connected. We currently witness how growing economic ties between different parts of the region combined with more open markets lead to increasing passenger flows and new air services. This is one of the main reasons why we see the region’s top 20 carriers attending Routes Americas this year. Something exciting is happening in the Americas region, and everyone wants to be part of this growth story.”

Routes Americas, now in its 6th year, is the only annual event designed to facilitate meetings between senior airport executives and airline route decision makers as well as tourism authorities from North, Central, South America and the Caribbean. This year’s event is hosted by Sociedad Aeroportuaria de la Costa S.A, and its partners; Cartagena de Indias, Pro Export Colombia and The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Colombia.

“It is not a secret that Cartagena de Indias is thrilled with the opportunity to host Routes Americas 2013,” commented Ramon Pereira, Legal Representative for Sociedad Aeroportuaria de la Costa S.A (SACSA). Pereiera went on to explain:

“We believe it will provide us with a unique chance to engage with the most important airline industry leaders, tourism consultants and airports, at a time of exceptional change and enhanced opportunities in our city”.

The event is expected to attract over 65 airlines from across the region and beyond, as well as almost 120 airport delegates representing 145 airports. All four US network carriers - US Airways, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and the world’s largest airline, United Airlines - will be in Colombia for the event along with the top US low-cost carriers Southwest, JetBlue and Spirit.

From other parts of the Americas region leading airlines such as Gol, Volaris, COPA Airlines, Aeromexico, Colombia’s home carrier, Avianca-TACA and Vivaaerobus are expected at the event. Moreover, a strong presence from Canada will be present at Cartagena with delegates from Air Canada and leading low cost carrier WestJet. Out of region carriers who have confirmed their attendance in the event include Condor, Norwegian and Turkish Airlines.

Taking place on Sunday 10th February 2013 and open to all attending delegates, the Routes Americas Strategy Summit, which is being held in association with the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA), will open Routes Americas in Cartagena. The Strategy Summit will provide a valuable insight into aviation across the region as panels of leading industry experts take part in a number of moderator-led discussions addressing key air service development issues effecting commercial aviation across the entire Americas.

Attendees of the Summit, which is sponsored by Corporacion Quiport S.A., will hear opening remarks from Minister Sergio Diaz-Granados, Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism for Colombia and keynote addresses from Alex de Gunten, Executive Director of ALTA and Estuardo Ortiz, Chief Operating Officer of AviancaTaca. Four moderator led sessions covering various aviation related subjects affecting the Americas region will then take place including senior level delegates such as Hernan Pasman, CEO of LAN Colombia who was recently added to the programme.

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