Airports and airlines have already started to book their places for Routes 2000, which opens its doors in Amsterdam on 18 September. But this year's registration comes with a difference as Routes goes online.

For the uninitiated, the Routes event was founded six year's ago by Airline Business and the UKAirport Strategy &Marketing (ASM), with the aim of creating a forum for airlines and airports to come together to discuss network strategies. The event centres on one-to-one meetings, with each participating airline manning a desk ready to discuss business proposals with the airport marketeers.

Airports bid for time slots in which to make their presentations and this year that process has moved online. As soon as they have registered, delegates can now select their preferences from the latest list of airline attendees, updated live as on the web site as they commit.

So far this year, some 130 long haul and regional airline route planners have committed to attend, putting Routes 2000 on course for a target of a record 150 airline desks. A strong mix of majors, independents and regionals are again present in the mix, but also with a growing interest from the charter and cargo sectors. Condor, now part of Germany's C&N Tourisitc and the UK's JMC Airlines are among first-time attendees. Asian flag-carriers are also making a stronger showing with Air New Zealand, Asiana, China Airlines and Pakistan International now on the airline list.

Since the first event in 1994, Routes has grown exponentially. Last year in Rome, delegate numbers topped the 400 mark, with over 200 airports and 100 airlines represented. This year's event, hosted by Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, is on course to expand further.

The Airport Awards will again be presented on the first night, after the Routes gala dinner, although here too there are some new innovations. While the Awards themselves remain largely unchanged, the judging will now be carried out by the airlines at Routes based on the presentations that they have received over the first day. So effectively all the airports represented will be in the running and the judging will come direct from the airlines themselves.

Delegate places are still available for both airports and airlines, with carriers entitled to their first place free of charge. For further information visit the web site at:

Source: Airline Business