ABERDEEN has been chosen to host a major conference on the development of new airline routes throughout Europe which is set to attract an estimated 1000 delegates to the city in 2015.
The Routes Europe 2015 event will be held at the city’s Exhibition and Conference Centre from 12 to 14 April, 2015, in a major boost for tourism in the North east of Scotland.
Routes Europe is the continent’s largest route development forum and enables the aviation industry’s decision makers from across Europe to examine air services, discuss new market opportunities and potential new destinations
The announcement was welcomed by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. She said: “The Scottish Government is working to secure more direct international flight s from Scotland and hosting events such Routes Europe supports this ambition. This event is a great opportunity to showcase the continuing strength of the economy of the North-East and the dynamic nature of Aberdeen International Airport as one of the fastest growing airports in the UK.
“It is also an opportunity to showcase what Scotland as a whole has to offer airline operators, namely an ambitious, forward-looking country keen to do business with our international neighbours.”
Local political leaders also welcomed Aberdeen’s successful bid to host the prestigious event.
Councillor Barney Crockett, the leader of Aberdeen City Council, said: “Routes Europe is quite simply the most prestigious and significant conference in its class. As the beating heart of Europe’s oil and gas economy, Aberdeen has taken a big step forward onto the travel and tourism industry stage in attracting this huge travel event. Part of the attraction of the City has clearly been the Team Aberdeen approach and I thank all of our partners. The airport plays a central role in our economy and I believe the conference opens a way to extend Aberdeen’s offer of air travel.”
Councillor Peter Argyle, the chairman of Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee, said: “Bringing this significant tourism event to the North east is an excellent achievement, and another demonstration that local authorities and their partners are working hard to make the most of what the area has to offer.”
He added: “It is another chance to highlight to those in the travel trade and airline industry just what we have to offer in this area and try to secure even more of the global tourism market. We hope that one of the outcomes will be increased flights and routes to and from Aberdeen International Airport, with one of the major benefits being increased visitors to the region.”
Steve Harris, chief executive of VisitAberdeen, said Aberdeen was one of the few cities in Europe to have shown sustained year on year growth. And he continued: “To have 1000 of the European aviation industry’s most senior decision makers coming here, to see not only our vibrant economy but our historic city and fabulous countryside, is a wonderful opportunity. We will be able to demonstrate to airlines the business opportunities that links with Aberdeen could bring them and any new routes that we can gain as a result will benefit us all and further strengthen our industries.”
• Picture shows: David Stroud, Executive Vice President of Routes; Cllr Peter Argyle, Chair of the Infrastructure Services Committee Aberdeenshire Council; Ed Gillespie, Chairman AECC Board; Steve Harris, Chief Executive, VisitAberdeen and Cllr Barney Crockett, Leader of the Council, Aberdeen City Council