A delegation from Birmingham has headed east to showcase the region to Asia’s leading airlines.
With work taking place to extend Birmingham Airport’s runway bringing the Far East within reach for the city, a delegation is heading to the ‘Routes Asia’ conference in Mumbai.
It is led by Martyn Lloyd, Birmingham Airport’s commercial director and Neil Rami, chief executive of Marketing Birmingham, plus aviation specialists from the airport who are meeting several airlines during the three-day conference to highlight the region.
The Routes Asia conference is an annual event designed to bring airlines and airports together. Birmingham is hosting a stand in the main conference arena for delegates to meet the team and find out more about the sirport and city.
Mr Lloyd said: “The best way to build new contacts and showcase the region to new carriers and tourism bodies looking for new markets is to directly meet and discuss ideas. When highlighting the region’s perfect location and strong commerce opportunities to overseas carriers, we’re often met with surprise that there is such an obvious alternative for forging new links in the UK - other than just London.
“Never has it been more vital for us to offer direct connectivity to high value markets in Asia as the Midlands attracts more and more investment from the East - and this time next year we will create opportunities for airlines to fly directly into Birmingham from the whole of Asia with the opening of the extended runway.”
Marketing Birmingham operates the city region’s inward investment programme, Business Birmingham. Mr Rami said: “Birmingham is attracting more overseas investment than ever before but, to continue this trend, it is important to establish more routes into the city from our key markets. By targeting potential investors from the likes of North America, India and China, interest from businesses in these locations is increasing. We must be ready to meet their demand for direct flights to secure these investments and grow the local economy.”
Mr Lloyd added: “It’s vital that the Government recognises the importance of regional connectivity to support the UK’s economic growth. We want to see a government strategy that supports a network of national airports, like Birmingham, to allow business to connect with world and provide us with government support that overseas airlines would value.”
The airport team is currently developing a response to outline how Birmingham Airport can help to meet future demand. This work will form the basis of responding to the Airports Commission, assigned by government to identify how the need for additional capacity should be met.