at ACI EUROPE Airport Exchange

Too lazy to read Then watch the TV show!
(If not too lazy PDFs available at end of article)

Airport Exchange 2009,, Ralph Anker, Editor Copenhagen Airport, Ole Wieth Christensen, Head of Route Development Interview
Airport Exchange 2009, Vueling, Alex Cruz, CEO Interview Airport Exchange 2009, airBaltic, Richard Roberts, SVP Strategic Network & Fleet Planning interview
Airport Exchange 2009, Ryanair, Ken O’Toole, Director of Route Development Interview Airport Exchange 2009, Aeroport de Bordeaux - Jean-Luc Poiroux, Commercial Development Director Interview
Airport Exchange 2009, US Airways, Brian Council, Manager International Route Planning Interview Airport Exchange 2009 Aena Interview
These (very) short, snappy, interviews were filmed at the 2nd Joint ACI EUROPE/ Network Planners Marketplace staged at Airport Exchange in Barcelona earlier this week. at ACI EUROPE Airport Exchange: the best slides

BEST SLIDE WINNER: “Potential criteria for the selection of new bases in Europe.” Well if you didn’t come to our event, this is the kind of stuff you missed from the top man himself –Alex Cruz, CEO of Vueling, Europe’s third largest bona fide low cost carrier.

This week was ‘live’ in Barcelona presenting and chairing at ACI EUROPE’s annual Airport Exchange conference, hosted this year in partnership with Aena. We were running the second Network Planning Marketplace session with guest presentations from Vueling, Ryanair, US Airways, airBaltic, and Copenhagen airport.

COMMENDED: 10 routes up for grabs from Copenhagen (what are you waiting for??) Thanks for this one to Ole Wieth Christensen, head of route development, Copenhagen Airport (seen here being interviewed in the exhibition earlier by the “TV Anker”).’s editor sets scene

After’s editor Ralph Anker set the scene by presenting an overview of some of the key trends in European air travel demand during the last 12 months, the delegates heard from Alex Cruz, CEO of Vueling, now Europe’s third largest genuine low-fare airline. Managing to outgraph even our own editor’s presentation, Alex explained how the newly-merged airline (it recently combined with clickair) was looking to take advantage of its prominent position in the Spanish market and how it was evaluating future options.

BASEJUMPING: The potential for a doubling: 40 Ryanair destinations that could become bases… factors included “will Aena extend its 2009 incentive scheme?” And: “will Fraport invite Ryanair to Frankfurt Main!!!!”

Ryanair and US Airways; same business, different models

Ryanair’s new route director Ken O’Toole and Brian Council, manager international route planning, US Airways, in the ‘chat show’ with’s Ralph Anker.

Providing a total contrast to each other, Ryanair and US Airways then explained the issues that drove their new route development. For Ryanair airport costs are everything, while for US Airways and its transatlantic routes these represented only 7% of total costs. What both carriers did share was the firm view that airports could help themselves by doing proper research on what markets they had to offer prospective airline partners.

COMMENDED: Ways to get an airBaltic route – 60 business cases are being investigated – at least 10 are promised.
So how do you get a US Airways service now? With the recent news that five European routes have been suspended, focus will be on Star Alliance hubs that can “absorb schedule depth from US Airways hubs other than Philadelphia”. In this shot taken in the exhibition, Gatwick’s new owner, GIP’s Michael McGhee, is introduced to US Airways’ Brian Council by Ralph Anker.

airBaltic; looking at 60 potential markets, new Q400s coming soon

A special presentation by Richard Roberts, SVP strategic network and fleet planning, gave a revealing insight into how an airline based in economically-challenged Latvia had become the dominant carrier in the region by transforming itself from a point-to-point carrier into a hub carrier (or “network low cost carrier”). In just 18 months the airline had managed to grow its transfer traffic from just 10% to 50%, helped greatly by the support provided by Riga Airport. Richard revealed that the airline was evaluating around 60 new possible destinations, of which at least 10 were likely to be started in 2010 when the airline would also take delivery of its first Q400s. and Copenhagen; a Dutch-Danish ‘marriage’ that works

Finally, delegates heard from Arian van der Werff, Manager Business Development at, and Ole Wieth Christensen, Head of Route Development at Copenhagen Airport, about how the Dutch carrier had managed to respond rapidly to the collapse of Copenhagen-based Sterling last October to open a base at the airport within a matter of weeks. The airline based three 737s at the airport this summer and will do so again next year when it plans to take advantage of the new lower-cost CPH Swift facility aimed at serving airlines with a simplified business model.

BASEJUMPING and “non-base hubs”.’s Arian van der Werff introduces a new much-needed definition.

The story in pictures

ignacio-static.jpg “The largest airport’s organisation in the world” hosted event attended by 1,006. and ACI EUROPE would like to thank Ignacio Biosca, head of international relations, Aena, for the generous hospitality along with the other friendly organisations and sponsors belonging to the Barcelona Route Development Committee. The social/networking included a stunning evening at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya.

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