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Airlines Fuel City Break Market

Airlines Fuel City Break Market ( City Break 2008 discusses the state of the aviation sector

Reed Travel Exhibitions’ business-to-business show dedicated to the city break market, City Break 2008, commenced with a lively panel discussion on the state of the aviation sector.

With the growth of the European city break market attributed to the low-cost airlines, the panel discussion was a fitting subject area for the gathered professionals. Overseen by respected aviation consultant, John Strickland, Director of JLS Consulting, senior representatives from key European airlines – Arian van der Werff from, Vladimir Ognjenovic from JAT Airlines and Michael Whitfield from Easyjet – made up the panel.

Collectively representing a range of opinion from traditional carriers to focused and pan-European low-cost carriers, the panel, concentrating on ‘route development in a challenging climate’, addressed the crisis conditions facing the airline sector:
Fuel prices and the global credit crunch
The growing tax burden on airlines
The sensitive issues of airlines and the environment.

The panel explained some of the aspects of the low-cost model and looked at positive opportunities including lessons that traditional airlines can learn from low-cost carriers and the promotion and marketing of new routes to city destinations.

The consensus among the panellists was that whilst fuel prices were spiralling, acting to cut costs would be the key to survival for airlines. Panellists concurred that it would be the strength of a company’s balance sheet that would determine its financial future.

Despite the bleak economic backdrop, there was confidence that airlines could continue to grow by choosing their new routes carefully and adding capacity on the most successful routes. However, the issue of rising airport costs and governments’ propensity to increase taxes on flight tickets became a topic of discussion.

The airlines raised their concern that, whilst taxes were being levied and justified on environmental grounds, there was no evidence of the funds generated being invested in research into alternative fuel sources or improving engine efficiency.

Traditional airlines were also learning from the low-cost sector’s rigorous focus on cost and sales techniques such as online bookings.

Despite the negative financial climate, the panel discussed the possibility of opening new routes. It was agreed that not only was two-way traffic flow important to the success of a route, but marketing support by the local city and its partners was imperative. The airlines pointed out that risk sharing is an ongoing requirement that goes well beyond the initial launch of a new route.

The widely reported issue of carbon emissions generated by airlines was also addressed, with panellists confirming that low-cost carriers in particular were investing in new planes which are more fuel efficient and have lower carbon emissions. Improvements were needed on the part of airports and air traffic control to reduce taxiing time on the ground and to reduce circuitous flight routings, both of which increase fuel consumption.

John Strickland said: “Despite extremely tough market conditions our panellists expressed confidence about the future. Each of the participating companies is opening new routes and believes that by using sound business management and choosing the right markets it will survive.”

Mark Walsh, City Break Show Director said: “The climate for airlines has changed dramatically since the start of the city break phenomenon in 2000. Eight years on, the market has matured to such an extent that secondary cities too are seeing huge growth in their inbound tourism. The airlines have given a strong message to all cities that the short break market is key. Creating a win–win situation through partnership marketing and sharing risk will ensure that both airlines and cities continue to benefit from the short break tourist.”

Notes to editors:

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser. In 2006 Reed brought together over six million industry professions from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held in 34 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, and organised by 37 fully staffed offices.

Reed organises a wide range of events, including exhibitions, conferences, congresses and meetings. It’s portfolio of over 460 events serves 52 industry sectors, including: Aerospace and defence, building and construction, design, electronics, energy, oil and gas, entertainment, food and hospitality, gifts, healthcare, IT/telecoms, jewellery, manufacturing, marketing and business services, pharmaceuticals, property, publishing, security, sport and recreation, transport and logistics, travel.

Working closely with professional bodies, trade associations and government departments Reed ensures that each and every event is targeted and relevant to industry needs. As a result, many Reed events are market leaders in their field.

Reed Exhibitions is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc, a FTSE-100 company and world-leading publisher and information provider. In 2005, Reed Elsevier made adjusted profit before taxation of £1,002 million on turnover of £5,166 million.

Reed Travel Exhibitions organise 15 events worldwide: World Travel Market, Arabian Travel Market, C.I.S. Travel Market, EIBTM, British Travel Trade Fair, Asia Pacific Incentives&Meetings Expo (AIME), International Golf Travel Market, Top Resa, ICCA Exhibition, in association with the ICCA Congress, International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), La Cumbre, City Break, China Incentive, Business Travel&Meetings Exhibition (CIBTM), Gulf Incentive Business Travel& Meetings (GIBTM) and Asia Luxury Travel Market (ALTM).

For further press information, please visit the Reed Travel Exhibitions’ website at

For further information please contact +44 (0) 207 403 8894 e-mail or visit

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