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Low-cost carrier Air Tran debuted at the airport in 2002, service that grew out of conversations that first began at a similar event called Jump Start that competes with Routes."They'll tell you the first meeting with Milwaukee at Jump Start is where the seed was first planted and that's where they decided to take a look at Milwaukee," says Pat Rowe, Mitchell's Airport Marketing and Public Relations Director.
"So, we need to look forward on expanding – both European and long-haul routes," he adds during a short break between sessions with airports.
His advice for airports hoping to land the fast-growing carrier?
And the effects from those Vegas speed dates could eventually be felt at an airport near you.
PHOTOS: Airline speed-dating: Behind the scenes at World Routes 2013It's all part of the annual 19th annual World Routes conference, a forum that pairs airport and airline executives.
That could mean "50 trips that (an airline) won't necessarily have to make" to meet with prospective airports.
Norwegian Air Shuttle, a European discount carrier that's growing at a breakneck pace, reserved three tables for this year's Routes."We have nearly 300 aircraft coming in the next 10 years," Thomas Ramdahl, Norwegian's Senior Vice President for Network and Scheduling."California success story One airport that successfully used Routes to win a spot in Norwegian's route network is California's Oakland International Airport.Norwegian announced just last month that it will begin flying from Oakland to both Oslo and Stockholm on the carrier's new Boeing 787 Dreamliners starting this May."That development in Oakland is huge for us," says John Albrecht, Oakland International's Aviation Marketing Manager."Twenty minutes is a short time to present yourself.So it's important for the airports to be well prepared."Norwegian was a hugely successful company in Europe and when they placed the order for the aircraft, you look at the map and realize there's only so many places they're going to fly it to."So Oakland and Norwegian first met at Routes in Berlin back in 2010, the beginning of three years of conversations that finally led to September's announcement that Norwegian's Dreamliners would soon by flying to Oakland.