Hyderabad to host Routes Regional Asia in 2009


Hyderabad : Hyderabad will host Routes Regional Asia, the biggest and the most prestigious event of global civil aviation industry, in March 2009, and will become the first Indian city to do so.

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Routes Regional Asia will be attended by representatives from 100 airlines and 150 airports from across Asia.

GMR-Hyderabad International Airport, which will become operational in March next year, has won the mandate to host the event in a stiff global competition involving Beijing Airport and two airports of Australia.

The event will be attended by airline route planners, senior representatives from the airports, government officials, tourism authorities, industry related exhibitors and observers among others.

About 500 delegates are likely to attend the event, which will also mark the first anniversary of the opening of the Hyderabad international airport.

Route Development Group, a UK-based company, organises regional Route Development Forums in four regions of Asia, Africa, Europe and Americas every year to help the stakeholder in formal and informal networking.

T. Srinagesh, the chief executive officer of GHIAL, Tuesday told a news conference that this would provide the best opportunity to not only market the upcoming airport but also Hyderabad as a destination among the top decision makers in the aviation sector.

Eric Layden, vice president (emerging markets and government relations) of the Routes Development Forum, said: "There is enormous increase in the middle class income group and demand for national and international air travel has never been higher," Eric said.

He pointed out that 73 million passengers used the airport system in India during 2004-05 and it was predicted to reach 100 million by 2010. The country has 16 international and 87 national airports.

He described the growth of airlines in India as astonishing and said that they already had 400 Boeing and Airbuses and the Indian government was willing to continue to liberalise the air services.