Chiang Mai to host world airlines

GUANGZHOU, 19 September 2018: Routes, a global aviation route developer, confirmed its premier event covering Asia will be hosted in Chiang Mai in 2020 following a successful bid by Airports of Thailand.

Chiang Mai was identified as the host city for Routes Asia 2020, during the World Routes event held in Guangzhou, China, earlier this week.

Routes Asia will head to North Thailand’s historic city of Chiang Mai in the spring of 2020 (dates yet to be confirmed).

Chiang Mai is the second largest city in Thailand with the country’s fourth largest airport in terms of passenger traffic after Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and Phuket international airports.

The announcement followed a meeting between, AOT vice president of business development and marketing, Supak Phuangvarapun and Routes brand director, Steven Small.

AOT manages six international airports in Thailand and previously hosted Routes Asia in Pattaya in 2006.

Thailand’s long-term aviation plan incorporates steps to add capacity at AOT’s six airports as well as diverting traffic from Bangkok’s over crowded gateway airports to regional centres such as Chiang Mai.

Supak commented: “We believe that hosting this event will have a great impact, not only for AOT, but also for Thailand’s economy overall. Air transport is one of the most powerful means to drive regional economic development and Routes events are where the world’s network planners meet to discuss future air services.”

Chiang Mai’s airport is already expanding fast and approaching its maximum flight ceiling, but there are plans to build a second airport around 30 km from the city’s southern boundary on the way to Lampang.  The present airport is within the city limits with flights landing and taking off over a busy district just 7 km from downtown Chiang Mai.

Chiang Mai, 700 km north of Bangkok, is the largest city in North Thailand attracting 10 million visitors a year, both domestic and international. However, the government has identified the city as an emerging convention and events destination following the opening of a convention centre in 2012.

While it has achieved success attracting domestic meetings the facility is still struggling to attract international events. Routes Asia 2020 will be one of the first major events linked to aviation and the timing for Chiang Mai could not be better as the city embarks on public transport improvements and the development of a second airport.

Routes events are dedicated to the development of new air services and focus on five ‘regional’ route development forums held between February and July in the Americas, Asia, Europe and Africa. The flagship World Routes event takes place in September.