Routes Americas: 70+ airlines and 220 airports meet in San Antonio to rebuild region’s air connectivity

Routes Americas 2022 took place this week in San Antonio, hosted by San Antonio International Airport. Over 70 airlines, 220 airports, and 375 organisations met to expedite the region’s recovery and fuel future air service growth. Routes Americas 2023 will take place in Chicago, 21-23 March 2023, hosted by Chicago Department of Aviation.

Routes Americas 2022 took place this week (15-17 February 2022) in San Antonio, hosted by San Antonio International Airport. The event facilitated collaboration between airlines, airports, tourism authorities and other key aviation stakeholders whose conversations and negotiations will expedite the region’s recovery and fuel future air service growth. Over the past three years, more than 875 new air services across the Americas are connected to meetings at the event.

The 15th edition of the event welcomed industry heavyweights from over 70 airlines, who considered air service development proposals from significant airports and destinations.

Airline delegates in attendance included:

  • American Airlines’ MD Global Network Planning
  • United Airlines’ Director, Domestic Network Planning
  • Delta Air Lines’ General Manager, Network Planning
  • Southwest Airlines’ Vice President, Network Planning
  • Air Canada’s Senior Director, Network Scheduling & Charters
  • Avianca’s VP Network Planning
  • TAR Aerolíneas’ Chief Commercial Officer
  • GOL Airlines’ International Business Development Director
  • British Airways’ Head of Heathrow Network Planning
  • Caribbean Airlines’ Chief Commercial Officer

The event also featured a stellar conference programme boasting top figures in aviation who participated in keynote presentations, panel debates, and exclusive airline briefings, providing Routes Americas delegates with cutting-edge insight into recovery strategy and network planning. Other topics explored in San Antonio included the importance of cargo, and an increased need for closer collaboration between tourism and aviation. High-profile speakers included:

  • Honourable Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism & Diaspora Relations, Belize Tourism Board
  • Juan Carlos Zuazua, CEO VivaAerobus
  • Jude Bricker, CEO Sun Country
  • Bjørn Tore Larsen, CEO Norse Atlantic
  • Marc Anderson, President & CEO, Visit San Antonio
  • Bert van der Stege, CCO Swoop
  • Rafael Echevarne, Director General, ACI LAC
  • Peter Cerdá, Regional VP Americas, IATA
  • Rikke Christensen, VP Networks & Alliances, Virgin Atlantic
  • Shane Downey, VP Government Relations, GBTA

San Antonio International Airport, host of Routes Americas 2022, is a major contributor to the economic success of San Antonio and the entire South Texas region, supporting over 97,500 regional jobs and providing nearly $1.6 billion in annual earnings for workers and proprietors in 2019.

“San Antonio is a major tourist destination with unlimited economic growth potential,” said Jesus H. Saenz, Director of Airports, San Antonio Airport System. “As we look forward, we anticipate further airline expansion, not only domestically, but internationally north and south of the borders, into the Caribbean and over to Europe. As such, our airport needs to be ready for the future. We recently released our phased plans for the future and I am thrilled to have this wonderful opportunity to share the dynamic plan with so many industry leaders from across the globe.”

Chicago Department of Aviation to host Routes Americas 2023

Having previously hosted the 2014 Routes World, Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) will host the 16th edition of Routes Americas next year. CDA manages Chicago’s two major airports – O’Hare and Midway. It is making large-scale investment in its airports, such as the O’Hare 21 airport development programme, including expansion of Terminal 5. Meanwhile, at Midway a $400 million modernisation programme includes upgraded concessions, a recently expanded security checkpoint, and enhancements to the terminal parking garage.

“Renowned as a destination to do business, Chicago will be the perfect location to enable the air service development community to continue conversations that will be instrumental in defining future air connectivity,” said Steven Small, Director of Routes. “Routes Americas 2023 will provide a unique opportunity for the city to showcase the significant infrastructure developments to the region’s leading aviation stakeholders.”

Jamie Rhee, Commissioner, Chicago Department of Aviation, commented: “Chicago’s airports play a unique role in the global aviation network and have long-served as economic engines and places of opportunity for our city. We are excited to show Routes Americas attendees recent construction development and the investment in our airports’ future, as well as the sights and attractions of our great city.”

Routes Americas will take place on 21-23 March 2023 at the Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk.

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