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Airline: More than 100 airports and airlines explore route development in London

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More than 100 airlines and airports have been busy discussing and exploring future route network development opportunities in London this week at Airline 2019 – which took place at the CCT Venues, Canary Wharf.

The event was held for the first time last year and this year’s it was attended by 55 airlines and 75 airports from all corners of the globe who all did business with sweeping views of Docklands from the 32nd floor.

Among those attending was Germany’s Nuremberg Airport and head of aviation development and marketing, Christian Kaeser, speaking on the sidelines of the event, reflected on a tough first quarter at the German airport as one of its main operators Germania went bust in February.

The carrier he said was the 3rd largest airline at Nuremberg with a 12 per cent share and the airport has been busy securing routes that Germania operated. TUIfly and Eurowings have taken an additional unit on routes serviced he said.

He said Ryanair will also offer some of the routes in the winter 2019/20 season and will operate to Athens, Tel Aviv (both previously run by Germania) and a twice weekly service to Copenhagen and Naples, which starts next week will be run daily.

Other attending included Pulkovo Saint Petersburg Airport chief commercial officer, Evgeniy IIyin who said the airport will open a new direct link to China this year while the long-term target is a direct connection into the US and the airport is in discussions with potential operators.

He said the US market provides great opportunities and is one of top unserved markets from Pulkovo Saint Petersburg.

Last year, the Russian gateway welcome more than 18 million passengers and IIyin said in 2019, it expects to achieve near double-digit growth in passenger traffic.

Also speaking on the sidelines was Milan Bergamo Airport’s director of commercial aviation, Giacomo Cattaneo. Bergamo is one of the fastest expanding European airports and welcomed 12.9 million passengers in 2018, a new record and in January this year it saw a 2.5 per cent increase in numbers.

Cattaneo said it is now targeting adding some long-haul routes and he also explained the airport will take traffic from Milan Linate Airport later this year for three months when the gateway closes for a runway refurbishment.

Airline will be branching out as later this year it will host its first event outside of London – Silk Sky New Belt & Road Air Hubs – which will take place in St Petersburg, Russia, from 8-10 October and is being hosted by Pulkovo Saint Petersburg Airport.