Commercial aviation forum AIR Convention Asia launched in Bangkok, Thailand on May 1, 2019. Inviting hundreds of aviation professionals, decision-makers and influential companies, the event is the biggest commercial aviation forum held in the country.
“With 2019 promising to be the 10th consecutive year of aviation industry solid profit and Asia Pacific region standing as one of the key potential aviation regions of the world, it couldn’t have come at a better time to explore Asia Pacific markets in all their diversity,” explains the event organizer Skaiste Knyzaite.
AIR Convention Asia conference was officially opened on May 2, 2019, by the invited guest Chula Sukmanop, Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand. He warmly welcomed the participants, gave a quick overview of Thailand aviation industry and expressed his hope for solid and sustainable aviation development within the region.
John Schubert, Managing Director − Marketing Asia Pacific and India, Boeing, continued the conference overview panel. The expert predicted solid economic market growth through 2019, largely driven by the emerging markets, like South Asia, China, Southeast Asia, Middle East and Africa. According to Boeing estimations, Asia will need around 16,930 new airplanes valued at $2.7 trillion from 2018 to 2037 with Southeast Asia market accounting for a quarter of them.
Gediminas Ziemelis, Chairman of Avia Solutions Group, shared his thoughts on the state of claim compensation market. Mr. Ziemelis believes that now is the best time for airlines to review their financial operations and stay stable in the long-term.
A busy schedule of the first conference day included several streams like Airline Business, MRO, AIR Tech and Consumer Behaviour and was followed by the lavish party in honour of Annual Aviation Industry Awards Asia. This year, the awards were focusing exclusively on the best players and businesses in Asia to reveal the best of the best within two main sections: Business of the Year and Passenger Choice. The winners were chosen by over 150,000 voters who cast their votes in the two round competition.
The award for the best Asian Full Service Carrier of the year went to Malaysia Airlines – the carrier that has shown outstanding performance in terms of customer experience this year. The airline also gained special recognition for its marketing framework and memorable digital campaigns.
In the low-cost category, AirAsia took the award. Asian largest low-cost airline got ahead of all other competitors with Thai Lion Air, Nok Air, VietJet, IndiGo and others among them.
Suvarnabhumi Airport became Asian Airport of the year. The “Land of gold” in translation from Sanskrit, Suvarnabhumi airport is currently on the cusp of a vast expansion programme, intended to increase capacity to accommodate 65 million passengers by 2021. London Heathrow Airport also got the award, in the “Airport to Live In” category, which celebrates the greatest capacities and comfort.
The Asian MRO of the year category had 4 finalists chosen during the last round of voting. Leaving the competitors behind, FL Technics won the award. The company has recently opened the new warehouse in Singapore, and is constantly expanding its activities in the region.
CAE Kuala Lumpur was awarded “Asian pilot training center of the year”, being recognized for training standards excellency.
“5 Star suite above the clouds” award was developed to recognize the best aircraft design in the business – ranging from spacious layouts to the seats that feel like a passenger is flying in a 5 star suite, to the most comfortable cabin designs. The majority of voices in this nomination went to the Boeing 777.
The airline gold standard category recognized the carriers that make traveling from A to B feel like a vacation itself. Whether traveling first class or economy, this award recognizes an example that other companies can only hope to achieve – and the winner Qatar Airways definitely complies with the standards.
From quality of service to the food that makes your mouth water, the Restaurant in the sky category awarded the airline providing the best catering in the sky. With the finalists Emirates, Qatar, Singapore Airlines and Turkish Airlines, eventually Turkish took the award.
The top-notch in-flight entertainer award honoured the airline providing best in class entertainment that makes the hours pass by in a blink of an eye. The competition was terminated in favour of Garuda Indonesia offering best in-flight connectivity and most advanced entertainment tech.
Over the course of three days, AIR Convention Asia welcomed over a thousand attendees from 124 global airlines, 165 companies, and 30 airports, becoming the biggest commercial aviation forum ever held in Thailand.