‘The Magnificent Seven’ network planning high flyers react to individual nominations for this year’s World Routes Marketing Awards
Having heard from the airports nominated for this year’s World Routes Marketing Awards, this week it is the turn of those that are up for the ‘Individual Award for Outstanding Contribution to Route Development’ category. This is the second time that the Routes organisation has presented this award, with last year’s winner having been Léon Verhallen, Head of Aviation Development, Brussels Airport. The contenders up for this year’s prize include: Gabriel Schmilovich Isgut, Director Network Strategy, Development, Planning & Traffic Rights, Vueling; Jonathan Cheong, Head of Aviation Business Development, Adelaide Airport; Wilco Sweijen, Director Route and Business Development, Amsterdam Airport; Jesper Klausholm, Head of Airline Relations and Marketing, CMO, Billund Airport; Neringa Öhrström, Aviation Marketing Manager, London Stansted; Kristi Bennett-Holmes, C.M. Deputy Director of Aviation – Commercial Development, New Orleans Airport; and Jasper Spruit, VP Traffic Development, Avinor.
Gabriel Schmilovich Isgut: Director Network Strategy, Development, Planning & Traffic Rights – Vueling
“Being nominated for this award is a great honour and a great responsibility at the same time. This recognition is quite special for me and the network team as it highlights the challenges that we face every year; the very tight deadlines, the analytical complexity whilst offering fast solutions to ensure continuous improvements of the network both from the profitability and sustainability as well as from the customer, operational and organizational point of view,” comments Gabriel Schmilovich Isgut: Director Network Strategy, Development, Planning & Traffic Rights, Vueling to anna.aero about the achievement of his nomination for the individual title at this year’s World Routes. “During 2017, we designed a more robust network, more resistant to the operating challenges of our environment; 105 aircraft, 350 routes were operated (14 of them, new), the total capacity was increased by 5%, aircraft productivity was up by 4% and seasonality had been reduced. I hope to have the recognition of the industry and be able to achieve the Individual Marketing Award 2018, which undoubtedly will be a recognition to the entire Vueling Network Team.”
Jonathan Cheong, Head of Aviation Business Development – Adelaide Airport
“I am excited that Adelaide Airport has been shortlisted in the ‘4-20 million’ passenger category for the World Routes Marketing Awards 2018, and I am humbled with the individual award nomination,” comments Jonathan Cheong, Head of Aviation Business Development, Adelaide Airport. “In the year ending June 2018, more than one million international passengers passed through the Adelaide Airport and this is the first time this milestone has been reached. Over the last 12 months, Adelaide Airport welcomed the introduction of Fiji Airways (Nadi), Jetstar (Hobart), FlyPelican (Newcastle), QantasLink (Kangaroo Island); Air New Zealand upgauging from A320 to Dreamliner; and increased capacity from Qatar Airways, Cathay Pacific and Malaysia Airlines. We thank our great airline partners for introducing new services and added capacity to our market. This is truly appreciated. We would also thank our partners; South Australian Tourism Commission and Tourism Australia for their contribution which allowed us to experience these successes.
Wilco Sweijen, Director Route and Business Development – Amsterdam Airport
“It is without a doubt a great honour to be on this year’s shortlist for the Individual Routes award,” comments Wilco Sweijen, Director Route and Business Development, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. “This announcement has made me look back and reflect on all that has happened over the years, and in my case it has been very many years. My route development career started over 20 years ago, and I saw traffic volumes at Schiphol grow from 31.6 million in 1998 to nearly 70 million this year. In 2017 we welcomed the 326th destination to our network. I take great pleasure, and pride, in working with a great team at Schiphol. We have done our best to ‘Master the Dutch Sky’ and since 2016 we have welcomed a total of eight new airlines, 37 new destinations and 87 new routes. It is great to be part of that and it gives me an appetite for more.”
Jesper Klausholm, Head of Airline Relations and Marketing, CMO – Billund Airport
“It is a real honour to be nominated for this award,” comments Jesper Klausholm, Head of Airline Relations and Marketing, CMO, Billund Airport. “Personally, I have headed the Airline Relations and Marketing team at Billund Airport for 10 years, and it is certainly down to the team work that I have received this nomination. In the period I have been working with route development at Billund we have grown by 80%. My background is a strong interest – almost geeky I will admit – in the aviation industry, I love plane spotting! Furthermore, I have a MSc in Air Transport Management from Cranfield University which is the core foundation for my aviation career. I love route development, and while Billund has celebrated many new services and greeted an array of new carriers in recent years, myself and the airport are still hungry for more.”
Neringa Öhrström, Aviation Marketing Manager – London Stansted
“I am incredibly honoured to have been shortlisted for the ‘Individual Award’ at this year’s World Routes Marketing Awards,” comments Neringa Öhrström, Aviation Marketing Manager, London Stansted. “We have had an incredible year at London Stansted Airport, launching five new carriers in the short space of five months and it has been fantastic seeing the extensive collaboration between different departments including Operations, Commercial and Communications during the various on-boarding phases as well as launch events. Key direct destinations added during 2018 and extensively promoted through strategic marketing programmes include – Dubai with Emirates; New York Newark, Boston, Washington Dulles and Toronto Pearson with Primera Air; Reykjavik/Keflavik with WOW air as well as Corsica with Air Corsica. With the arrival of new airlines, a growing long-haul network, and a £600 million pound investment programme underway, the airport is really taking off and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”
Kristi Bennett-Holmes, C.M. Deputy Director of Aviation – Commercial Development – New Orleans Airport
“It is such an honour to be recognised in this capacity among so many talented individuals around the world,” comments Kristi Bennett-Holmes, C.M. Deputy Director of Aviation – Commercial Development, New Orleans Airport. “New Orleans is the gateway to one of the most exciting cities in the world and has witnessed record-breaking passenger counts during the past three years, serving over 12 million total passengers in 2017, an increase of 7.8% over the previous year. The success we have experienced would not have been possible without the economic growth of our region, the support of our community, and the amazing talent we have on our team. It truly takes a coordinated effort to facilitate the launch of new air service. In 2017, the airport’s recruitment efforts resulted in eight new destinations and two new airlines with British Airways and Condor re-establishing transatlantic service that had not existed since the early 1980s. As of May 2018, passenger counts had increased by 12.6% year-over-year, with total capacity increasing by 12.4%. New Orleans is the largest commercial airport in the State of Louisiana, serving over 84% of all passengers.”
Jasper Spruit, VP Traffic Development – Avinor
“What a sensation it was to get the message from Routes that the Avinor team is nominated for the fourth time in a row for the World Routes Marketing Awards. But wait, to get a second e-mail with a message I had to read twice! A personal nomination as well,” comments Jasper Spruit, VP Traffic Development, Avinor. “Indeed, I have worked hard the last few years and got a lot of attention during the journey with Avinor, but wow – this was a surprise! When reflecting on the main achievements of the journey, it has been to build an internationally recognised team, plus to increase and steer a sustainable growth in Avinor’s network of airports. We are a great team, and this nomination does not just reflect my achievements, but of all those involved along the way.”