Malaysia: ‘Routes Asia’ to develop new air services

Kuching – The 12th Routes Asia, the largest route development forum for the entire Asia region, will open this weekend in Kuching, capital of the State of Sarawak in Malaysia.

This year’s event, which will take place from 9 to 11 March, is hosted by the Ministry of Tourism Sarawak and co-hosted by Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB). The hosting of one of Asia’s most important civil aviation events is testimony of the growing importance of Kuching as an international air hub and destination.
Routes Asia will bring together around 800 delegates representing 100 airlines, almost 230 airports and almost 60 countries to develop new air services to, from and within the Asia-Pacific region.

The event attracts the highest level of decision-makers, including around 100 industry leaders and senior policy makers.

Sarawak’s Minister for Tourism Datuk Amar Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg said: “The interest showed by the aviation community in coming to Kuching has been tremendous. We have had some serious enquiries from several airlines wanting to fly to Kuching from China and Routes Asia 2014 would be a perfect backdrop to turning these plans into reality.”

Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad, Managing Director of MAHB added: “We hope Routes Asia 2014 will showcase Kuching’s unique advantage of being able to cater to both the business and leisure tourism sectors. I hope you will also get to savour the warm and friendly hospitality that Kuching is famous for.”

“As one of the largest and fastest growing aviation markets in the world, Asia-Pacific is a key strategic priority for Routes,” said Adrian Newton, Group Director Transport and Technology at UBM Live continuing: “This dynamic region is forecast to require over 10,000 new aircraft over the coming 20 years to accommodate an average traffic growth of nearly 6% per annum. Malaysia’s and Kuching’s importance for aviation and tourism are growing fast, and we are delighted to be organising the region’s most important route development event in a destination with such potential for new air services.”
The region’s leading airlines will be represented by senior delegations in Kuching, including Malaysia Airlines, China Southern, Cathay Pacific, Air China, AirAsia Group, Japan Airlines, Spring Airlines, Jetstar Airways, LionAir and Scoot. In addition several out of region carriers have also confirmed their attendance at the event including LOT Polish Airlines, British Airways, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines and Etihad Airways.

The Routes Asia Strategy Summit, which will take place on 9 March, will see an impressive line-up of senior industry executives, including Azran Osman-Rani, CEO of AirAsia X; Tara Naidu, Chief Commercial Officer, Air India Express; Andrew Cowen, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Hong Kong Express; Tan Sri Bashir, Managing Director, Malaysia Airports Holding Berhad; and Girish Nair, Chief Commercial Officer, GoAir.