Chengdu prepares for World Routes in 2016

The Chinese city of Chengdu has reported it is preparing to welcome the international aviation industry for the 22nd annual World Routes forum, the company said.

World Routes moves to a different location every year to highlight different aviation markets. It is the only route development forum that brings together aviation professionals to discuss new air services on a global scale.

Chengdu is located in western China and has a population of over 1.4 million. It is home to 271 Fortune 500 companies, including IBM, Intel and Microsoft. Chengdu´s GDP increased by 7.9 percent in 2015 to CNY1.08 trillion, which is 1.1 percent above the national average.

The tourism industry in China has led to high demand for air services. Between 2012 and 2015 Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport´s passenger numbers increased by 40 percent from 30 million to 42 million. During this time dozens of new international routes were launched to cities including Vancouver, Frankfurt, Doha, London, Melbourne, San Francisco, Moscow and Paris. Passenger numbers are expected to reach 47 million by the end of this year.

The government aims to create a CNY one trillion (USD153.8 billion) aviation market by 2020 and a national construction program will increase the number of Chinese airports to 260, one of which will be in Chengdu.

Chengdu Tianfu International Airport (currently under construction) will have the capacity to handle 40 million passengers when the first building phases are complete.