Vladimir Zubkov, Secretary General of TIACA, and Steven Small, Managing Director of Routes signed a TIACA/Routes/ASM Cooperation Agreement in Budapest, Hungary, on 20NOV19, thus taking a
step closer to bringing a more permanent cargo focus into air service discussions which have in the past been mainly passenger driven.
It all started when Vladimir Zubkov went to the annual World Routes global event in 2017; a 3-day meeting attended by 3,000 delegates from 700 airports in 110 countries, as well as 300 airlines
and around 130 tourism authorities. World Routes is the platform where airlines, airports and aviation stakeholders come together and route development professionals discuss, develop and plan
their network strategies. Given the historical airport focus on tourism and passenger airlines, cargo has often been treated as a by-product up to now. TIACA spotted the potential for this to
change for the better.
“Steven [Small] and I, we met two years ago in BCN where there was the Global Congress, and when I saw the magnitude of this show and the effect it has on the industry, I came over during the
reception and said, ‘Steven, I think there is a way we can do something together!” The following year, TIACA’s Steven Polmans attended the Routes global event and the two Stevens came to a
definite decision. Vladimir Zubkov, together with ASM’s Managing Director, David Stroud, then worked to formalize the agreement which was presented for signature at the TIACA conference in
Hungary on 20 NOV 19.
At the signing ceremony, Steven Small pointed to the main theme coming up over and again at this year’s TIACA: the need for collaboration. “Routes brings airlines and airports together to
negotiate new opportunities. This partnership will really heighten collaboration between the two organizations [TIACA and Routes] and ASM, our consultancy organization. I think there is really a
lot TIACA which can bring to the development community, as we hope we can help and support TIACA members as well.”
For Vladimir Zubkov, the focus and chances for success will be on the Routes regional
events that take place in the four regions: Africa, America, Asia, and Europe. Next up is Routes Africa 2019 in Mombasa, Kenya, from 08-10 DEC 19.
“We can offer our expertise in the air cargo business to Routes, and we are especially interested in the regional issues, because the global event is really grand and it is therefore
difficult to attract attention of the participants to the cargo issues, but on a regional scale, I believe that we can really do something together.”
Steven Small concurred that cargo is an increasingly important component of any route negotiation, and confirmed that their focus would really be on the regional events to really ensure cargo
integration in all planning discussions: “It’s actually about the value of cargo to that wider economic area in which an airport serves and therefore what the route has an influence to, and
so in those negotiations that take place at our events, increasingly cargo is a component, whether it’s a freight route or actually within the belly. And so we are looking at ways in which we can
encourage more interaction between TIACA’s members and the Routes events, and ensure that those conversations, whether they be between airport and airport in their preparation of what that route
should look be, or in final discussions [with] an airline incorporate the benefits of cargo opportunities.”
This is a very positive step where two important organizations start to streamline their activities, and one that should be replicated across further complimentary and sometimes parallel
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