Guangzhou is set to welcome more than 3,000 delegates from across the globe when the world’s premier air service development event returns to China.

The 24th World Route Development Forum is being held in the city from 15-18 September 2018, providing a global meeting place for airlines, airports and tourism authorities to plan new flights and increase existing services.

World Routes 2018 is being hosted by Guangdong Airport Authority (GAA) and Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, which earlier this year opened its second terminal building.

This major infrastructure development will enable the airport to handle more than 70 million passengers in 2018 and is expected to put Guangzhou in the top ten of the world’s busiest airports over the coming years.

World Routes 2018 presents an unrivaled platform for route development professionals to discuss, develop and plan network strategy. It is timely for the prestigious event to return to China, having previously been held in Beijing in 2009 and Chengdu in 2016.

This year, 21 carriers will be in attendance which have never previously attended a World Routes event, as well as nine of the ten largest carriers in the world, including Delta Air Lines, Emirates, British Airways and Lufthansa.

Notable speakers at this year’s conference include Tan Wan Geng, President & CEO at China Southern Airlines; Seiichi Takahashi, VP Network at All Nippon Airways; Adnan Kazim, DSVP Strategic Planning, Revenue Optimisation & Aeropolitical Affairs at Emirates; and Alexander Featherstone, VP Network Planning at Etihad Airways. Chinese airports and airlines are also well represented.

“China is the world’s second largest aviation market and it is continuing to grow. During 2022, it will displace the USA as the busiest on earth and by 2036 its market will have a colossal 1.5 billion passengers a year,” said Steven Small, Brand Director at Routes.

“Within China, Guangzhou is a powerful driving force of the national economy. It is taking a leading role in China’s national strategy to improve international transport connections, so it is an excellent destination for the world’s aviation industry.”

Mr. Zhang Kejian, Chairman of the Board, Guangdong Airport Authority, said: “The development of Guangzhou Baiyun Airport as a giant international air hub is an essential part of the national Chinese strategy to enhance the status of its civil aviation from ‘large’ to ‘powerful’.”

Founded in 214 BC, Guangzhou is a historic port on the Pearl River near the South China Sea. Known for its perennial blooming plants, the ‘City of Flowers’ has been an integral part of the Guangdong Province’s economic boom since the 1990s. The largest importer and exporter in China with a nominal GDP of 9 trillion yuan (US$1.32 trillion), Guangdong is the top contributor of all provinces to China’s national economy.

World Routes 2018 will support Guangzhou’s economic development by bringing the international aviation industry to the city and highlighting its commercial strength. It is also a great opportunity to showcase airlines the new service facilities in Guangzhou Airport. This will create a blueprint for future cooperation by deepening the industry’s understanding of the transit visa-free policy and the development of the Guangzhou Airport hub.

Those travelling to Guangzhou for the event can learn more about the city, the conference venue and book accommodation by visiting the Routesonline website: https://www.routesonline.com/events/193/world-routes-2018/