MANCHESTER, England -- Puerto Rico's economy will receive a boost from the aviation industry when its top decision makers gather in San Juan for the ninth Routes Americas air service development forum on February 17-19.
Routes Americas brings together leading airlines, airports and tourism authorities to discuss air services to, from and within the entire Americas region. Eighty-five airlines including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Air Canada, JetBlue, British Airways and Iberia have registered along with 225 airports and 40 tourism authorities.
This year's event will be hosted by Puerto Rico Tourism Company with the support of Aerostar Airport Holdings LLC and Meet Puerto Rico. It has surpassed previous events with more than 700 delegates expected – an eight percent increase on Routes Americas 2015 in Denver, USA.
Puerto Rico's aviation market is growing with 8.8 million passengers last year. Iberia will reinstate a service to Madrid in May and Norwegian recently started new routes from San Juan to Stockholm, Copenhagen, Oslo and London Gatwick. This puts the island in a strong position to strengthen existing routes and gain more new services.
Routes Americas is the perfect opportunity to showcase local attractions and San Juan International Airport (the largest and busiest airport in the Caribbean). Since it took over operations in 2013, Aerostar Airport Holdings LLC has invested $750 million in the airport, focusing on remodelling terminals, improving passenger flows and increasing its commercial offer.
In addition to providing a meeting forum for route development professionals, the event's 'Strategy Summit' conference will give delegates the opportunity to hear from leading industry experts.
Katie Bland, director of Routes, said: "Routes Americas is the only forum that brings together so many leading airlines and airports from the entire Americas region, so it's a fantastic opportunity for Puerto Rico to influence the aviation industry's most senior decision makers."
Ingrid Rivera Rocafort, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, said: "We are definitely very pleased and excited to be hosting Routes Americas 2016. The event provides the perfect venue to showcase Puerto Rico's unique identity as a travel destination as well as the Island's remarkable potential as the bridge between North and South America, and as a central traffic hub for the Caribbean. Routes America offers participants the perfect opportunity to increment networking databases, share knowledge and exchange valuable ideas, generate further leads and continue the expansion of both leisure and business travel into Puerto Rico's regional and international airports."
Agustín Arellano, chief executive officer of Aerostar Airport Holdings LLC, said: "Hosting Routes Americas 2016 along with the Puerto Rico Tourism Company is a great achievement for Puerto Rico and San Juan International Airport. It demonstrates the prominence of the destination among the Caribbean, Latin American and US market. It also gives us all the opportunity to work together developing new routes and destinations, to build trust relationships in the aviation industry and to showcase a renovated airport with more amenities and better services."