Colombia is quite literally open for business. With an historic open skies agreement with the US having now come into full effect after years of negotiations, there is now unlimited scope for routes and frequencies between the two countries and the chance for new carriers to enter the market.
This is good news, given that the US is already Colombia’s top aviation market, and Colombia is the US’s second biggest market in South America after Brazil, and several carriers have already grasped the opportunity to open new routes.
One of the beneficiaries has been Cartagena, which welcomed a new jetBlue service from New York JFK in November, and hosting Routes Americas will give delegates a chance to find out more about this UNESCO heritage city whose business and tourism opportunities we explore in detail in this edition of Routes News.
But there is good news for non-US airlines too. Colombia is a keen supporter of liberalisation of its aviation market. Today its three biggest carriers – Avianca, Lan Colombia and Copa Colombia – are all either foreign-owned or part of larger merged groupings, giving more scope for Colombia to increase its international connections.
Colombia is a signatory of the Latin American Civil Aviation Commission Multilateral Open Skies Agreement, which seeks to open up more routes between Latin American countries and is gaining momentum, with Brazil having signed up late last year.
Brazil also features heavily in this Americas themed edition, with a special report looking at the opportunities offered by its hosting of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympics, and we speak to TAP Portugal’s Fernando Pinto about why the market is so important to the Portuguese flag carrier.
Elsewhere, it seems that the need for airlines to consolidate to ride out difficult times has never been stronger, with Virgin Atlantic’s tie-up with Delta and discussions between American Airlines and US Airways continuing. We take stock of this trend and ask where the next big mergers are likely to happen.
The year may be young, but if it continues like this, it will be an exciting 12 months for aviation.
In this issue...
On the move
Work in progress
Oliver Clark talks to TAP Portugal CEO, Fernando Pinto, about his plans for the airline following the rejection of the latest privatisation plan.
Michel Tohane, network development manager, Nice Côte d’Azur airport.
Rocío Blázquez Reyes, Aeromexico, VIP sales Europe and Asia.
Gary Noakes reports on the growth potential of one of Colombia’s most prized tourism destinations, Cartagena.
Isle of plenty
ASM’s Ralph Anker explores the network development of the biggest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife.
It may have secured its first Emirates service late last year, but Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport is not resting on its laurels, writes Steven Thompson.
Ronald Kuhlmann reports on jetBlue’s innovative business model and its impressive growth over the last decade.
The sporting life
Brazil’s hosting of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games in 2016 offers plenty of opportunities and challenges for airlines.
Routes News takes a look at the latest innovative ways airlines and airports are using social media.
On the right track
With a second international airport under development and the modernisation of Tribhuvan Airport ongoing, Nepal hopes to offer a more attractive proposition for airlines, writes Mark Smullian.
A tale of two airports
Dr John Kasarda reports on the impressive recovery of Belo Horizonte’s Tancredo Neves Airport from a traffic nadir to become a thriving international gateway.
Mergers and acquisitions
Lida Mantzavinou examines the major airline restructures and consolidations of the past year and gives her predictions for the future shape of the market.
Routes update pages
View from the top
Dr Ghassan Aidi, president of the International Hotel and Restaurant Association (IH&RA), talks to Routes News about the latest trends in the global hospitality sector.