More than 500 airline delegates from 300 carriers will be in Las Vegas for this week’s event as World Routes lands in the USA for the first time.
Speaking at a press conference held in the new Terminal 3 at Las Vegas McCarran airport ahead of the opening of World Routes, vice-president commercial at Routes Nigel Mayes said: “We are expecting 2,800 delegates to attend World Routes. The core delegates have been a lot stronger than previous years.
“The airline numbers are as strong as we’ve ever had. And the seniority [of delegates] has gone up again.”
Bringing the event to the USA has resulted in a strong presence from delegates in the region. Mayes says there are 43 American airports attending the event for the first time, taking the total number to 135.
Exhibitor numbers have gone up at this year's event to 133, including first-time exhibitors such as Brand USA.
Mayes has not seen any impact on this year’s event from the US government shutdown. “It hasn’t impacted our delegate numbers at all. It's quite fortunate it's happened so close to the event, as everyone already had their visas and it doesn’t affect the FAA."
Mayes also thinks this year’s event will see a bigger emphasis on growth from the European and US carriers. He notes that since the global recession much of the focus on growth has come from Asian carriers, while for European and US operators it was more about holding onto existing services. "I think you'll see some of the European carriers talking [more] about new routes," he says.
He also expects plenty of interest in the fast-growing Latin American market during the event and says this is reflected in a stronger presence in delegates from the region.