The first Routes Silk Road, the route development forum which connects Asia, the CIS, Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East will open this weekend in Tbilisi, Georgia. The event will bring together leading airports, airlines, tourism authorities, policy-makers and aviation stakeholders to develop new air services to, from and within the region, which is home to around two thirds of the world's population.
Hosted by United Airports of Georgia and supported by the Georgian National Tourism Administration, Routes Silk Road will take place in the Georgian capital on 6 - 8 July 2014. Over 250 delegates are expected to attend Routes Silk Road, representing over 45 airports and 35 leading airlines which connect the region, including Etihad, Air China, China Southern, Turkish Airlines, Aeroflot, AirAsia X, easyJet, Air Astana, Air Baltic, Czech Airlines, Air Arabia, Wizz Air and Atlasjet.
Kate Aleksidze, CEO of UAG commented: "It is an absolute honour and we fee truly privileged to host Routes Silk Road 2014 in Tbilisi. Georgia has achieved some outstanding results over the last decade in terms of PAX growth, which has been trebled since 2005. We believe that hosting Routes Silk Road gives UAG and its stakeholders a unique opportunity to promote the country as destination and generate further growth of the aviation industry in both the country as well as all over the region."
Katie Bland, Director Routes for UBM Live said: "Like the Silk Road of old, today's air services facilitate trade and commerce between the many peoples of this vast and diverse part of the world. It is for this reason we are bringing together the leading airports and airlines which connect the 4.5 billion people of Asia, Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East regions. Routes Silk Road aims to further improve the connections between the major cities in this important region, and the decisions taken here will help shape air transport in the region for years to come."
One of the highlights of the event will be the Routes Silk Road Strategy Summit which will take place on Sunday 6 July and in the morning of Monday 7 July and will open with a keynote address from Giorgi Kvirikashvili Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia. Around 20 high-level industry leaders will speak at this hard hitting conference covering some of the hot topics affecting the industry today, including Kate Aleksidze, CEO of United Airports of Georgia; Yevgen Treskunov, EVP Strategy and Development, Ukraine International Airlines; Iase Zautashvili, General Director, Georgian Airways; Mete Erkal, General Manager, TAV Georgia; Arman Khachaturyan, CEO, National Competitiveness Foundation of Armenia and Daniel Burkard, Director of External & International Relations and Deputy Airport Director at Domodedovo Moscow Airport. Attendees will also hear a keynote presentation from Alla Peressolova, Programme Manager Silk Road of the UNWTO who will be holding their Silk Road Task Force alongside Routes Silk Road.
Located at the crossroads between Europe and Asia, Georgia is a bridge connecting several important economic regions including Europe, the Newly Independent States (NIS), Turkey, the Caucasus and Central Asia region. Its geographic location makes the country the transportation hub for commerce and job creation.