By Aneil Patel
Over 450 airport and airline representatives gathered in Atlanta this week for the ACI-NA Small Airports and Marketing & Communications Conference/JumpStart Air Service Development Program. The ACI-NA JumpStart® Program is the premier airport-to-airline networking program designed to bring airports and airlines together for face-to-face meetings with a 16-year track record of success.
This year’s event will connect over 46 airline route planners from 21 airlines with more than 830 scheduled one-on-one meetings. This number does not take into consideration of the many side-meetings being conducted throughout the conference that is not on the official meeting schedule. With every legacy carrier from the US and Canada, and a number of low cost carriers in attendance, it’s sure to be a busy one and half days of meetings.
Airports across all hub sizes had more scheduled meetings this year with an average of 6 meetings. A total of 148 airports, participated in this year’s program. Airports in attendance included 12 large hubs, 24 medium hubs, 41 small hubs, 52 non-hubs and 19 Canadian airports. Small and non-hub airports have seen a steady increase both in terms of the number of airports in attendance and the number of meetings scheduled. The increased attendance from small and non-hub airports is what differentiates JumpStart from other similar industry events.
In addition to the one-on-one meetings, airports and airlines will be able to take advantage of the many networking opportunities such as the JumpStart reception held on Wednesday, networking breaks, and the host airport reception to watch “America’s team,” the Atlanta Braves, and the Pride of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Pirates, battle on the mound!