Barcelona takes over running of World Routes for 2017

  • Barcelona to run World Routes for 2017.
  • Three thousand aviation professionals to attend the 2017 event.

World Routes, the air service development forum, was handed over to the city of Barcelona from China’s Chengdu yesterday.



The service aims to unite leading airlines, airports and stakeholders in order to discuss and improve their future combined air services.

Chengdu’s Shuangliu International Airport ran the event this year, with Barcelona City Council taking over the reins for 2017.

World Routes 2017 is predicted to draw more than 3,000 aviation professionals from 300 airlines, 700 airports and 130 tourism authorities.

Adrian Newton, group director at UBM EMEA (the organiser of World Routes events) said: “Hosting World Routes will help the Government of Catalonia and Barcelona City Council to win new air services which will stimulate the local economy and tourism. World Routes will also support Barcelona’s quest to become the main aviation hub for southern Europe.”

“Barcelona’s international popularity makes it a highly attractive market for the aviation industry and our delegates will find a great deal of value in the event.”

Background on the host city

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Barcelona has been a tourism mecca since the redevelopment of the city for the 1992 Olympic Games in the city with 7.8m visitors recorded in 2015; that figure represents an increase of 6.1m since 1990.

In terms of business, the capital of Catalunya recorded a growth in exports of 6.1pc last year to €63.8b. Foreign investment in the capital is also up 58pc to €4.8b.

In terms of air travel, the knock-on effects have been notable. In the last decade seats sale have risen from 9.6m to 19m with Ryanair, easyjet, Norwegian and Vueling, feeding into this growth. Barcelona Airport is the tenth busiest in Europe and handles 39.7m passengers a year.

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Looking at the wider picture in tourism in Spain, the Mediterranean country has had a yearly average increase of 6.9pc over the last decade. The predicted growth for 2016 is 15.9pc, the biggest year of growth since 2007.

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Maria Sinnott

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