YVR Welcomes the 16th World Route Development Forum

Sep 20, 2010, 12:00 ET from Vancouver Airport Authority

Significant announcements herald airport incentives, government fuel tax relief and increased airline capacity

VANCOUVER, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ - Vancouver Airport Authority today officially welcomed 3,000 airline, airport and tourism authority leaders to Vancouver for the 16th World Route Development Forum, or World Routes, the world's largest annual air transport event, taking place at the Vancouver Convention Centre from September 19 to 21. Hosted by Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and taking place in the Americas for the first time, World Routes offers an ideal opportunity to showcase Vancouver as a compelling business and leisure destination and key global gateway between North America and the Asia-Pacific region.

World Routes brings together key air service development decision-makers who will shape the future of where and when airlines will operate their services. Over the course of three days, delegates will participate in one-on-one networking meetings to pitch new routes and expanded air services. It is expected that a number of announcements will come out of this forum. A very important one was made last night by British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell, who committed to introduce legislation to eliminate the aviation fuel tax on international commercial flights.

"The Airport Authority and its airline partners are also developing strategies to strengthen Canada's Pacific Gateway and develop YVR as a premier global gateway," said Larry Berg, President and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. "The Airport Authority will offer airlines a five-year incentive program designed to increase routes and capacity to YVR. This program will mean that participating air carriers could add capacity without incurring additional landing and terminal fees. It is expected that the resulting capacity increase will add the equivalent of eight to ten new international daily flights, or approximately 1.1 million additional airline seats over the next five years."

Not only do new air services and increased frequencies offer more options for travellers, expanded air service from YVR contributes substantially to British Columbia's economy. Every new daily international long-haul flight into YVR generates between $5 million and $8 million in wages and contributes between $8 million and $15 million to B.C.'s gross domestic product annually.

"World Routes offers us an opportunity to tell the YVR story to airlines that don't currently fly here - a story of low-cost and high-service, entrepreneurial spirit and passenger travel innovation," said Larry Berg, President and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. "Our goal is to build YVR as a global gateway of choice. The elimination of the aviation fuel tax is a significant component of our strategy."

The forum is co-hosted by Routes Development Group Limited (RDG), a U.K.-based events and consultancy services firm focused on air service development through Routes events, routesonline.com and its consulting arm, Airport Strategy & Marketing Ltd. (ASM).

Nigel Mayes, Managing Director of Routes, said "We are delighted to be here in Vancouver, where World Routes is being held for the first time in North America. This year, we have more airline delegates attending than ever before with some 450 delegates representing over 250 airlines. The event also sees a new dimension to our products, with lots of innovations, such as a cargo conference being co-located with the event for the first time and a bigger range of strategic meeting opportunities. We have added more content to World Routes, all of which is ultimately focused on ensuring that even more route development takes place at the event."

About Vancouver Airport Authority

Vancouver Airport Authority is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that operates Vancouver International Airport (YVR). Canada's second busiest airport, YVR welcomed 16.2 million people in 2009 and handled more than 258,000 aircraft landings and take-offs on its runways. Sixty-seven airlines serve YVR, connecting people and businesses to 119 destinations in Canada, the U.S. and around the world. The Airport Authority is committed to creating an airport that British Columbia can be proud of: a premier global gateway, local economic generator and community contributor.

SOURCE Vancouver Airport Authority