While I look forward to every Routes event, the arrival of Routes Africa 2016 in June was particularly timely.
On Thursday of that week, the British public voted on whether or not to leave the EU. By Friday morning, we discovered that the vote to leave had been cast and Brexit was our unknown future. The country was in shock.
But by Saturday lunchtime I was at Routes Africa in Tenerife and by Sunday evening I had spoken to several delegates about what it meant for the future of the UK, European and global route development market.
And I began to relax when I realised that most of them were pretty placid about the decision.
I believe this is for two reasons. First, in an industry where anything from terrorism to natural disasters are very real threats, the political manoeuvrings of the UK are treated with some perspective.
Second, there must be real hope in the industry that negotiations are conducted in a spirit of common sense and compromise, allowing for a sensible deal for all to be agreed. You can read more about the impact of Brexit on page 32.
Should the negotiators need reminding of the importance of strong route development, our first-hand report of Kazakhstan’s strategy is on page 24, while a review of HNA Group (page 16) again shows what big business today’s airlines are.
The final argument to maintain strong aviation links must surely be the popularity of the impending World Routes 2016, which will be attended by more than 3,000 delegates. Our review of the host city Chengdu (page 37) shows what people can look forward to, while the report on Routes Africa’s Strategy Summit and other sessions (page 13) reveals the quality of debate.
Perhaps it is up to Routes delegates to show just how much can be achieved when negotiations are conducted properly for everyone’s benefit. Certainly World Routes 2016 provides the best opportunity to do so.
editor, Routes News