Q&A: Paul Winfield, Routesonline

15 September 2010 (Last Updated September 15th, 2010 18:30)

Pressures on time and development costs mean that airlines and airports need to get more out of industry events than ever. Routesonline, a social network for people in the airline industry, can make route development easier for both parties. Paul Winfield, head of Route Exchange, tells Ellie Broughton about the website that gets to the heart of network planning operations.

Q&A: Paul Winfield, Routesonline

Ellie Broughton: Can you give us a brief overview of what Routesonline is about?

Paul Winfield: Routesonline is the prime website for the route development community, allowing users to build their route development network before, between and after Routes events. It is the industry's source of daily news, data and analysis, as well as event information. This information is distributed through two platforms: The Hub, our weekly route development e-update, which is sent out every Friday, and Route Exchange, a means of allowing airlines and airports to trade for capacity.

How does Route Exchange contribute to that network?

Route Exchange is a unique platform that allows airlines to source data from airports regarding their capacity, on a general level or for specific aircraft. Airports are able to bid for global airline availability and learn about the needs of airlines when analysing potential new routes. This gives airports the opportunity to send tailor-made route proposals for the respective target aircraft and market. The information allows airports and airlines to understand each others' requirements when planning new route networks.

Route Exchange has already led to route announcements: Aer Lingus introduced a London Gatwick to Vilnius service in 2009, and easyJet has announced the introduction of flights to Zagreb Airport from Paris Charles de Gaulle and London Gatwick from 2010 and 2011 respectively.

"The site is used by more than 11,000 route development professionals, representing more than 350 carriers from all across the globe."

Why is Routesonline such a good opportunity for network planners?

The site is used by more than 11,000 route development professionals, representing more than 350 carriers from all across the globe. There is also a dedicated section for start-up carriers. Our daily news and weekly route development updates provide insightful commentary as well as traffic and scheduled analysis from route development experts. In addition, Routesonline has another tool, Campaign Manager, which allows the site's airport users to send their bespoke market information, such as traffic data and new incentive schemes, to our airline database.

Route Exchange now has more than 145 airlines actively requesting data for new routes for their next planning cycle, with carriers such as Etihad Airways, United Airlines and easyJet all taking advantage of the platform.

What new features are planned for the future?

Route Exchange is currently a platform for airlines to source proposals for their capacity. We plan to make some exciting changes to Route Exchange ahead of World Routes in Vancouver, which will broaden the spectrum of tools and make them available to a larger range of Routesonline users.

Routesonline will be at stand N32 at World Routes on 19-21 September 2010.