Europe and North America in Quito’s sights

Andrew O'Brian, president and chief executive of Quiport, has told Routesonline that Europe and North America are among the group’s focus during Routes Americas this week.

“We really believe in Europe,” he said. “We recently secured Condor, which will operate from Frankfurt to Quito via Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.

“We’ve also just closed Air Europa from Madrid. But we think there are more opportunities with the German and UK markets so we’re exploring those avenues.

“We also have a really strong market on the tourist side with the US and, as Quito and Ecuador continue to invest in their brand, we find that America carriers are interested in coming.”

O’Brian said the arrival of JetBlue has made other carriers in the US and Canada sit up and take note. The airline started flying to Quito from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International in 2016.

Routes Americas is taking place in Quito this week and is hosted by the Municipality of Quito, Secretariat of Productive Development and Competitiveness, Quito Turismo and Corporación Quiport.

“We tried to bring Routes here about three years ago and were unsuccessful. However, we worked with local authorities including Quito Turismo Board and the City of Quito to put the right bid together,” O’Brian said.

“It is a great opportunity to showcase Quito and to showcase Ecuador. Ecuador is not a country that is on the main travels of tourists around the world. Everyone knows about the Galapagos Islands but Quito has so much to offer. This chance to host brings in a lot of high-level delegates and allows us to better position ourselves on the map.

“We have more than 600 delegates here covering the entire Americas region, as well as Europe and other destinations. We have the perfect opportunity to showcase the city and the tremendous hospitality here.

"It will get us in the minds of the big decision-makers who are here and hopefully be able to convert the experience of hosting into more air services going forward.”

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.