PRESS RELEASE: Routes Africa 2016 to be held in Tenerife

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Routes Africa has brought together leading airlines, airports and tourism authorities to discuss air services to, from and within Africa since 2006. Around 250 route development professionals are expected to attend the 11th annual forum.

Tenerife is the largest of the seven Canary Islands with a population of 888,184. It was the last of the Canary Islands to fall to Spain in 1496 and subsequently became an important trading centre. Although part of the European Union, the Canary Islands are physically closer to Africa, with Tenerife lying just 300km off the coast of Morocco.

Historical trade links to Africa were strengthened by the creation of a common economic development area between the Canary Islands and neighbouring African countries. The project is supported by the European Union and has led to trade agreements with Morocco, Mauritiana, Senegal and Cape Verde.

There are over 200 Canarian companies operating in Africa and €224 million worth of goods were exported to the continent between January 2015 and November 2015.

Aviation is vital to Tenerife’s economy, transporting over 12 million air passengers to the island every year. Tenerife’s long-term aim is to become a logistical stepping stone to Africa, connecting the continent to Europe and the Americas through the expansion of its air route network.

Routes Africa is an important part of Tenerife’s activities to achieve this aim. The event will provide the opportunity to showcase the year-round sunshine and stunning beaches, mountains and national park that attract six million tourists to Tenerife every year, making it one of Spain’s top destinations. The event will also highlight the island’s potential for investment as a hub for passengers, goods and data thanks to its special fiscal advantages.

Tenerife’s thriving tourism industry will grow over the coming years as development projects upgrade the island’s infrastucture. A new cruise terminal will open at Santa Cruz Port in September 2016 and there are plans to invest €120 million in the construction of a new terminal at Tenerife South Airport. Five new five-star hotels will open over the next two years and there is also a drive to renovate existing hotel stock on the island.

Katie Bland, Director of Routes, said: “West Africa is an important trading partner for Tenerife due to its geographical position, and there is huge potential to develop more air service to the African continent. Hosting Routes Africa will support Tenerife’s strategy to become an aviation hub connecting West Africa to Europe and North America.

“The team at Tenerife Tourism Corporation are hugely proactive in air service development and a key partner of Routes. We look forward to working with them even more closely towards Routes Africa 2016 and to uniting the route development community from across the African continent and beyond in a stunning destination.”

Carlos Alonso, President of the Tenerife Government, said: “We are delighted and very honoured that Tenerife is hosting this prestigious event.

“Routes Africa is an exciting opportunity for us to showcase our island to key aviation industry leaders from across the world as a business hub for Africa and a gateway to four continents.”

For more information about Routes Africa 2016, go to the event website:

Routes Africa 2016, Tenerife, 26-28 June 2016.


Notes to Editors

About Routes
  • Routes events are unique forums dedicated to the development of new air services. Five ‘regional’ route development forums are held between February and July in the Americas, Asia, Europe, Africa/Middle East and Silk Road/Russian Commonwealth, and the flagship World Routes event takes place in September.
  • The events revolve around pre-scheduled meetings and an exhibition and conference which are delivered in partnership with host stakeholders. Hosts tend to be a collaboration between airports, tourism authorities and investment partners (the bidding process takes place two to three years before the event takes place).
  • Routes was founded in 1995 as part of the UK‐based consultancy ASM which specialises in route development for airports, airlines and tourism and travel organisations. asm‐ Routes and ASM are part of the UBM EMEA division of UBM plc.

For further information contact:

Karen Reeves
Communications & Content Marketing Manager
Routes, UBM EMEA
T: +44 (0)161 234 2721
M: +44 (0)796 6405 105
E: [email protected]

Karen O'Neill

Karen has fifteen years'experience in roles covering media relations, public affairs, social media and marketing. She joined Routes in January 2016…