World Routes signals growing interconnection

 
  Chengdu, a hub city in Southwest China’s Sichuan province, is attracting more world attention as it plays host to an increasing number of international events.
  The latest global event held in the city was the 22nd World Route Development Forum, which is also known as World Routes, one of the biggest annual events for the global civil aviation sector.
  The four-day event, which concluded on Sept 27, drew 3,500 representatives from airlines, airports, government depart-ments and international organizations, and was the largest in scale in its history.
  It offered a platform for route develop-ment professionals to meet, plan and discuss new and existing global air ser-vices.
  The agenda included keynote speeches, a strategic summit, a world tourism sum-mit, face-to-face meetings, exhibitions and folk performances.
  The exhibition area totals more than 40,000 square meters. The exhibition hall specified for Chengdu covered 1,400 sq m, which fully displayed the city’s flight net-works, aviation economic development, as well as tourism and culture.
  The event bore fruitful results. The Chengdu city government, together with Sichuan Province Airport Group, signed agreements with six airlines to open nine non-stop air routes departing from Chengdu during the World Routes.
  The six airlines are Air China, Hainan Airlines, Beijing Capital Airlines, Tibet Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines and Sichuan
  A foreign delegate at World Routes shares a light moment with an ethnic group delegate from Sichuan. Photos provided to China Daily
  Delegates have one-on-one meetings at World Routes 2016 in Chengdu, Sichuan province, on Sept 25.
  Top choice for intl events
  Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, has become a top destination for international conventions and exhibitions to be held in western China.
  The city played host to the World Routes 2016 in late September, becoming the second city on the Chinese mainland to hold the event, following Beijing in 2009.
  Launched in 1995, World Routes is considered the Olympics or World Expo for the worlds’ civil aviation circle. The event has been held in cities including Abu Dhabi, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Dubai, Vancouver and Beijing, all famous international cities.
  To win the right to host World Routes, Chengdu beat a number of competitive rivals, including Paris and Seoul.
  “The fact that Chengdu won the bid to host the World Routes over five other strong rivals demonstrates its comprehensive strength and the world’s expectation to share the opportunities offered by Chengdu,” said Katie Bland, director of routes at UBM Live.
  “The city has been attracting worldwide attention with its huge market potential and development opportunities; it provided a perfect platform for the 2016 event,” she said.
  Chengdu has rich experience in hosting such events as World Routes.
  In April 2012, the city held the 10th Route Development Forum for Asia, a leading annual event for the civil aviation sector in Asia, with the number of exhibitors reaching a record high.
  In May 2015, it held the Airport Cities Asia Pacific Conference and Exhibition 2015, attracting nearly 600 delegates from across the world.
  In the past five years, Chengdu has introduced on average more than 10 new international conventions each year, including the 2013 Fortune Global Forum, the 12th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention, and the ninth World Biomaterials Congress, G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting, the 12th Michelin Challenge Bibendum, and the 2016 Chengdu Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fair.
  Airlines. According to the agreements, they will open the direct routes within one year, strengthening Chengdu’s connection to Europe, Oceania, North America, Africa and the Middle East.
  Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO of Ethio-pian Airlines, said Chengdu is a perfect destination due to its large population and good geographical location.
  “The new route will open a gateway to western China. I hope it will further boost the bilateral development between Asia and Africa in tourism, trade and invest-ment,” he said.
  Adrian Newton, an executive at UBM EMEA, which organizes the forum, said it was a wise choice to have Chengdu as
  the host city.
  “The number of delegates this year was the largest in World Routes’ history, surg-ing some 40 percent year-on-year, which shows Chengdu’s appeal to the world,” he said.
  Newton said Chengdu is playing an important role in China because of its great potential in economic development and the aviation industry, as well as its rich tourism resources.
  “Chengdu has more than pandas; it also has the basic conditions to become an international metropolis. I believe the opening of the nine non-stop air routes will further improve its status as an inter-national aviation hub,” he said.
  Raymond Ng, general manager for Asia at Vancouver Airport Authority, often comes to Chengdu on business, as there is a flight linking Chengdu to Vancouver.
  Raymond said he appreciated the good service the host city offered during the event.
  “The hotel is close to the exhibition center, the food is delicious, and the activi-ties are well-organized,” he said, adding that people in Chengdu are always nice to visitors.
  He said the current flight between Chengdu and Vancouver performs very well, and his airport is negotiating with Sichuan Airlines on turning it into a direct flight.
  Sean Zhao, marketing director for Chi-na at Travel Texas, came to World Routes to explore the western China market and conduct market research.
  “Texas is rich in tourism resources. Although there isn’t a flight linking Chengdu to Texas, it is easy to transfer from San Francisco to Texas,” he said.
  In June 2014, United Airlines launched a thrice-weekly nonstop route between San Francisco and Chengdu. It is the first nonstop route connecting the Unit-ed States to a city in China’s central and western regions.
  Zhao also mentioned that he and his counterparts thought the exhibition ser-vices were friendly and professional.
  It is expected to hold about 520 major conventions and exhibitions this year, of which 20 percent are international events. The city’s revenue from these events is expected to hit 77.92 billion yuan ($12 billion), up 10 percent from last year.
  Chengdu is upgrading its service and infrastructure to meet the growing demand for international events, according to the Chengdu Bureau of Exposition.
  The Western China International Expo Center, which has 200,000 square meters of indoor exhibition area and 100,000 sq m of outdoor exhibition area, has completed construction in August. It will be used as the permanent site for the Western China International Fair as well as a platform for other large-scale exhibitions and high-end business activitie
 
  Chengdu, a hub city in Southwest China’s Sichuan province, is attracting more world attention as it plays host to an increasing number of international events.
  The latest global event held in the city was the 22nd World Route Development Forum, which is also known as World Routes, one of the biggest annual events for the global civil aviation sector.
  The four-day event, which concluded on Sept 27, drew 3,500 representatives from airlines, airports, government depart-ments and international organizations, and was the largest in scale in its history.
  It offered a platform for route develop-ment professionals to meet, plan and discuss new and existing global air ser-vices.
  The agenda included keynote speeches, a strategic summit, a world tourism sum-mit, face-to-face meetings, exhibitions and folk performances.
  The exhibition area totals more than 40,000 square meters. The exhibition hall specified for Chengdu covered 1,400 sq m, which fully displayed the city’s flight net-works, aviation economic development, as well as tourism and culture.
  The event bore fruitful results. The Chengdu city government, together with Sichuan Province Airport Group, signed agreements with six airlines to open nine non-stop air routes departing from Chengdu during the World Routes.
  The six airlines are Air China, Hainan Airlines, Beijing Capital Airlines, Tibet Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines and Sichuan
  A foreign delegate at World Routes shares a light moment with an ethnic group delegate from Sichuan. Photos provided to China Daily
  Delegates have one-on-one meetings at World Routes 2016 in Chengdu, Sichuan province, on Sept 25.
  Top choice for intl events
  Chengdu, capital of Sichuan province, has become a top destination for international conventions and exhibitions to be held in western China.
  The city played host to the World Routes 2016 in late September, becoming the second city on the Chinese mainland to hold the event, following Beijing in 2009.
  Launched in 1995, World Routes is considered the Olympics or World Expo for the worlds’ civil aviation circle. The event has been held in cities including Abu Dhabi, London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Dubai, Vancouver and Beijing, all famous international cities.
  To win the right to host World Routes, Chengdu beat a number of competitive rivals, including Paris and Seoul.
  “The fact that Chengdu won the bid to host the World Routes over five other strong rivals demonstrates its comprehensive strength and the world’s expectation to share the opportunities offered by Chengdu,” said Katie Bland, director of routes at UBM Live.
  “The city has been attracting worldwide attention with its huge market potential and development opportunities; it provided a perfect platform for the 2016 event,” she said.
  Chengdu has rich experience in hosting such events as World Routes.
  In April 2012, the city held the 10th Route Development Forum for Asia, a leading annual event for the civil aviation sector in Asia, with the number of exhibitors reaching a record high.
  In May 2015, it held the Airport Cities Asia Pacific Conference and Exhibition 2015, attracting nearly 600 delegates from across the world.
  In the past five years, Chengdu has introduced on average more than 10 new international conventions each year, including the 2013 Fortune Global Forum, the 12th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention, and the ninth World Biomaterials Congress, G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting, the 12th Michelin Challenge Bibendum, and the 2016 Chengdu Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fair.
  Airlines. According to the agreements, they will open the direct routes within one year, strengthening Chengdu’s connection to Europe, Oceania, North America, Africa and the Middle East.
  Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO of Ethio-pian Airlines, said Chengdu is a perfect destination due to its large population and good geographical location.
  “The new route will open a gateway to western China. I hope it will further boost the bilateral development between Asia and Africa in tourism, trade and invest-ment,” he said.
  Adrian Newton, an executive at UBM EMEA, which organizes the forum, said it was a wise choice to have Chengdu as
  the host city.
  “The number of delegates this year was the largest in World Routes’ history, surg-ing some 40 percent year-on-year, which shows Chengdu’s appeal to the world,” he said.
  Newton said Chengdu is playing an important role in China because of its great potential in economic development and the aviation industry, as well as its rich tourism resources.
  “Chengdu has more than pandas; it also has the basic conditions to become an international metropolis. I believe the opening of the nine non-stop air routes will further improve its status as an inter-national aviation hub,” he said.
  Raymond Ng, general manager for Asia at Vancouver Airport Authority, often comes to Chengdu on business, as there is a flight linking Chengdu to Vancouver.
  Raymond said he appreciated the good service the host city offered during the event.
  “The hotel is close to the exhibition center, the food is delicious, and the activi-ties are well-organized,” he said, adding that people in Chengdu are always nice to visitors.
  He said the current flight between Chengdu and Vancouver performs very well, and his airport is negotiating with Sichuan Airlines on turning it into a direct flight.
  Sean Zhao, marketing director for Chi-na at Travel Texas, came to World Routes to explore the western China market and conduct market research.
  “Texas is rich in tourism resources. Although there isn’t a flight linking Chengdu to Texas, it is easy to transfer from San Francisco to Texas,” he said.
  In June 2014, United Airlines launched a thrice-weekly nonstop route between San Francisco and Chengdu. It is the first nonstop route connecting the Unit-ed States to a city in China’s central and western regions.
  Zhao also mentioned that he and his counterparts thought the exhibition ser-vices were friendly and professional.
  It is expected to hold about 520 major conventions and exhibitions this year, of which 20 percent are international events. The city’s revenue from these events is expected to hit 77.92 billion yuan ($12 billion), up 10 percent from last year.
  Chengdu is upgrading its service and infrastructure to meet the growing demand for international events, according to the Chengdu Bureau of Exposition.
  The Western China International Expo Center, which has 200,000 square meters of indoor exhibition area and 100,000 sq m of outdoor exhibition area, has completed construction in August. It will be used as the permanent site for the Western China International Fair as well as a platform for other large-scale exhibitions and high-end business activitie.