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Routes World Gathered Aviation Leaders in Istanbul to Define Future Global Air Connectivity

Issue 20 - 2023
Routes  World Gathered Aviation Leaders in Istanbul to Define Future Global Air Connectivity

Airports, and destinations to collectively define the future of global air connectivity in Istanbul.

Marking its 28th edition, the event has been attended by vice presidents and heads of network planning from more than 260 leading airlines, who engaged in over 10,000 meetings with airport and destination representatives to identify new route opportunities. Carriers in attendance included Air France, easyJet, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, IndiGo, Japan Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Qantas, Turkish Airlines and Wizz Air.  

This was also be the first event that all of China’s largest carriers  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 gathered more than 50 association and airline leaders, government ministers and expert suppliers to participate in the  The line-up of CEOs includes: 

• Turkish Airlines’ Deputy Chairman and CEO, Bilal Ekşi, who defined outline the carrier’s future growth strategy

• Pegasus Airlines’ CEO Güliz Öztürk, who outlined 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 discussed the carrier’s fleet renewal strategy as it continues to broaden its international footprint 

This year’s event was 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. 

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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