Skip to content

Routes Americas 2019 : Mission accomplished - Air transport industry charmed by Québec City 

19 feb

Québec City, February 19, 2019 – Québec City certainly impressed the hundreds of decision-makers and air transport industry professionals who gathered in the area from February 12–14 for Routes Americas 2019, the largest route development forum in the Americas. Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB), as the event’s host, took the opportunity to showcase its cutting-edge facilities and highlight the region’s business and tourism potential. By the end of the conference, YQB had already signed a tentative agreement with the airline Canada Jetlines Ltd., strengthened its business and trust relationships with airlines from around the world, and paved the way for successful collaborations, all to the benefit of its 1.75 million passengers.

Routes has confirmed that YQB has set the bar high for the company’s future forums and that delegates fell in love with the Capitale-Nationale region: “We arrived in Québec City at a key moment for our hosts. YQB has made huge investments in its infrastructure and is contributing to the success of a region that is experiencing exceptional economic growth. More than ever, YQB is ready to handle growing passenger traffic and welcome new air routes,” stated Steven Small, Brand Director for Routes.

“We thank Routes for choosing YQB and the Québec City region for their 12th Annual Forum. Being able to host Routes Americas has boosted the reputation of YQB and the Québec City area. YQB is one of the fastest-growing airports in Canada. This year alone, we experienced a 6.2% increase in passenger traffic. Over the past several years, we made investments to transform our airport, develop world-class facilities and double our passenger capacity. We are known for our exceptional passenger experience, and are ready to face global traffic that is expected to double in the next 15 years. We are also excited to begin the next step in our growth: building a U.S. Customs pre-clearance area, a project supported by many airlines” stated Gaëtan Gagné, President and CEO of YQB.

To that end, Geneviève Guilbault, honorary president of the event, deputy premier of Québec, Minister of Public Security and Minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale region, stated in her speech that “a pre-clearance center will inevitably benefit the region’s tourism and economic development. It will be a true asset to the growth of our companies, to our exports and to our passengers travelling directly to the United States.” Minister Guilbault was accompanied by Caroline Proulx, Quebec’s Minister of Tourism, who attended the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the event. 

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Canadian Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, also recognized the importance and reach of Routes Americas 2019 by speaking about the economic opportunities related to tourism. This initiative aligns closely with her Canadian tour to develop the new federal tourism strategy.

More than 80 airlines, 300 airports, 50 tourism offices and key players gathered to discuss the future of air services and the challenges they face. In particular, they discussed the growth of low-cost airlines, the integration of new airport technologies to improve and customize the passenger experience, and the competition caused by new digital platforms. 

A shared success

Many partners have helped to create this successful event: Québec City Business destination, the Secretariat to the Capitale-Nationale, the Alliance de l’industrie touristique du Québec, Air Canada, Indigo, Aer Rianta International, GardaWorld, Norton Rose Fulbright, Pomerleau and Deloitte.

The highlights of the event


About Routes

Routes events are unique forums dedicated to the development of new air services. They revolve around pre-scheduled meetings, an exhibition and a conference. Regional route development forums are held between February and April in the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe, alongside the flagship World Routes event.

About Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB)

YQB is managed by Aéroport de Québec Inc., the private corporation responsible since November 1, 2000 for the management, operation, maintenance and development of Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB). Around a dozen carriers use YQB to offer connections to North America, Central America, the Caribbean, Mexico and Europe, and daily flights to the main hubs in eastern North America.


Recent awards: 

  • 2018 – Airport Innovation and Excellence Award – Canadian Tourism Awards
  • 2018 – Excellence in Communication Practices – ACI-NA
  • 2018 – INOVA Award from the Urban Development Institute of Québec
  • 2018 – Level 2 Airport Carbon Accreditation certification
  • 2018 – Grands prix du génie-conseil québécois – mechanical and electrical building engineering 
  • 2018 – Employee Recommended Workplace Awards, presented by Morneau Shepell and The Globe and Mail
  • 2017 and 2015 – Priority Pass Lounge of the Year Awards – Best lounge in North America 
  • 2017 – Élixir PMI-Montréal award for outstanding management of the YQB 2018 project
  • 2017 – Boomerang Award – website or application – service of the year award for the “YQB, Aéroport de Québec” mobile app
  • 2016 – Boomerang Award – website or application – service of the year award for the “” website
  • 2016 – Priority Pass Lounge of the Year Awards – Highly Commended
  • 2013/2011/2010 – Best airport in North America in the 0 to 2 million passenger category, Airport Service Quality (ASQ)



Twitter : QuebecYQB
Facebook :
Web :



Laurianne Lapierre
Advisor, Communications and Media Relations
Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport
Phone: 418 640‑2700, extension 2624