Air Service World Congress began for ARGS with a long walk-through Heathrow T4, weaving through the queues spilling out of check in lines. This very immediate reminder of the wake of the problems facing airports at the moment, made the agenda seem all the more important and pressing.
The conference began on Wednesday 13th July with a presentation from Paul Bobson and colleagues from Washington Dulles Airport, where they aptly began addressing the geopolitical uncertainties, global economic concerns and the operational failures across the industry. Whilst the outlook seemed somewhat grim, it was fantastic to hear about their 4 new routes to Togo, Nigeria, Jordan and Barbados.
Airports and Tourist Authorities took the centre stage in the 1-2-1 meeting room, a hub of burbling activity throughout the conference. The platinum sponsors of the event, Ontario International Airport and Oakland International Airport were promoting their growth and ideal locations at the event, all eager to see the fruits of their growth at the end of the summer. Washington DC metro area was promoting themselves as America’s fastest growing population during the pandemic, Ontario hailing their interconnectivity to all of California’s major attractions and Oakland’s ideal location to serve the San Francisco Bay area with convenient road and rail connections.
Turkish Airline treated the delegates to a dynamic round up of the pre and post pandemic capacity changes, a great example of an airline that quite literally rolls with the punches and stayed flexible throughout the pandemic; increasing cargo capacity where restrictions inhibited passenger revenue and increasing capacity where the summer peaks were building the quickest.
With the Las Vegas light up signs posted around the conference, a ‘beach bar’ outside and glorious weather in London, it was hard not to feel in the summer spirit. Looking forward to next year’s event!