In October representatives from 350 airlines and 650 airports will congregate in Kuala Lumpur for the World Route Development Forum to be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. This is the first time an Asian city is hosting the event. Better known as Routes, it is the largest gathering of airline decision makers from all over the world. The event revolves around formal, pre-arranged one-to-one meetings between representatives of airlines and airports.
The tagline The World is coming to KUL was adopted for Routes KL 2008 to underscore the scale and the significance of the event, as well as to emphasise the long term aspirations of KLIA to become an international air hub.
Venue chosen for the event is the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre a purpose-built convention and exhibition centre. Designed to be a city within a city this 40 hectare (100 acre) site includes the KLCC Park and the Petronas Twin Towers. Dato Seri Bashir Ahmad, managing director of Malaysia Airpots said, “Malaysia Airports is delighted to be the host for 2008 and to be given the chance to welcome international delegates to discuss routes opportunities. This presents a great opportunity for us to showcase Malaysia’s attractions and also our airports’ strength, especially KL International Airport (KLIA) after having won the World’s Best Airport award for the third time in a row.”
Since its inception in 1995, this annual forum has gained popularity as evidenced by the increasing number of delegates each year. The size of delegates at last year’s forum reached an unprecedented level of approximately 2,000 delegates which underlines how popular this event has become over the years since Routes 2002 in Athens, where 1,000 delegates participated in the forum immediately after the September 11th tragedy.