Europe’s leading route development forum successfully concluded in Aberdeen, Scotland. The event was attended by 1,200 delegates from the aviation and tourism industries, today Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire councils officially handed over to Kraków Airport and its partners, the Małopolska Kraków Region and the City of Kraków.
Routes Europe brings together around 500 airports, airlines and tourism authorities as well as high-level policy-makers and aviation stakeholders to discuss where airlines will fly in the future. During the three-day event, thousands of pre-scheduled face-to-face meetings are held to develop new air services to, from and within Europe. All of Europe’s major network and low-cost carriers as well as leading global airlines took part in 2015.
Speaking at the official handover ceremony on the final day of Routes Europe 2015 in Aberdeen, Jan Pamuła, President of the Board, Kraków Airport said: “I am very pleased to be hosting next year’s Routes Europe in Kraków. The co-organisation of Routes Europe will be a great challenge for us – the airport, the city and the region. As host, I can promise to you and UBM that we will do our best to make sure the forum is organised at the highest level. We will also give you an opportunity to experience the atmosphere of Kraków and Małopolska – a one-of-a-kind mix of culture and business.”
“Kraków’s attractions are world-famous, and everyone I spoke to at this year’s event in Aberdeen is really looking forward to visiting this historic city,” commented Katie Bland, Director Routes, UBM EMEA. “Kraków Airport has seen continuous growth with more and more routes to major cities across Europe. The airport is in the middle of a major investment programme to increase its capacity to 8 million passengers per year. Routes Europe 2016 will provide an excellent opportunity to showcase the airport’s new facilities and the city’s attractions to over one hundred airlines from Europe and beyond.”
It will be the second time that the event takes place in Poland. The first ever Routes Europe in Warsaw in 2006 welcomed almost 300 delegates. The 11th Routes Europe in Kraków in 2016 is expected to be attended by over 1,200 delegates from the region’s leading airlines, airports, and tourism authorities. The event will help the host deliver on its objectives to improve international air connectivity and access for business and inbound tourism.
The Małopolska Region in Southern Poland has a population of 3.4 million and attracted nearly 10 million tourists in 2014. Kraków, the country’s cultural capital and second largest city, offers over 1,000 cultural institutions including museums, galleries, cinemas, theatres and music venues. Krakow and the region of Małopolska are home to twelve UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the city’s charming old town and Wawel Castle, the historic seat of Polish kings.
Kraków Airport is situated just over 11km from the city centre and has a catchment area of 11 million inhabitants within a two hour drive. In 2014 the airport welcomed over 3.8 million passengers. During the 2015 summer schedule, Kraków Airport provides connections to 60 destinations such as Frankfurt, London, Paris and Rome, operated by 16 airlines. Thanks to a rapidly growing economy and a business-friendly climate, over 4,000 companies with foreign capital invested nearly USD 18 billion in recent years.
Kraków Airport has been taking part in Routes Europe since 2006. In both 2013 and 2014, the airport received commendations in its category at the Routes Europe Marketing Awards.