Dieter Vranckx joined Belgian flag carrier Brussels Airlines in 2018, first as CFO, and since the beginning of this year as CEO. He has a vast experience in different areas of the airline industry, as he started his career at Sabena in 1998 and has been part of the Lufthansa Group since 2001, heading several departments at SWISS and Lufthansa across the world.
Steve Sisneros’ career at Southwest Airlines began in 1995. After two years, he became the District Marketing Manager for the Mid-Atlantic/New England area in Baltimore/Washington. In 2003, Steve joined the Airport Affairs Team as a Regional Leader and over the next eight years, was responsible for Southwest’s airport relationships in the Northeast. In 2011, he became a Director of Airport Affairs, which led to Senior Director in 2017, and Managing Director in 2018. Steve is also a Licensed Commercial Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor.
Kerstin Lomb is responsible for all marketing and communications related activities of the German-Turkish leisure carrier. Before joining SunExpress, Kerstin founded Prosperity Factor where she helped start-ups to validate business models, advised on their business planning and funding. She supported large enterprises with tailored change, marketing and innovation management programs, which enabled the organization’s digital transformation on an executive level. Kerstin has over 25 years of experience in global strategies (digital, marketing, communications and market development).
Akira brings over 30 years of experience in aviation and has held multiple leadership roles within the company, including his previous role as VP of Products and Services. Akira has been named one of Asia’s Best Marketer and is recognized as one of the 50 Most Influential Global Marketing Leaders. He currently serves as an advisory board member of the CMO Council for Asia Pacific, and a member of APEX (Airline Passenger Experience) board of directors. Akira is also the author of a book on Japanese corporate groups.
In almost six years as the Communications Director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, Richard Stephenson has managed some of the biggest challenges the industry has seen, including the repatriation of almost a quarter of a million people following the collapse of Monarch and Thomas Cook. Richard will talk about his work leading the multi-award-winning strategic communications function at the UK CAA and will share his reflections on the current challenges facing the industry. During his career, Richard has held senior communications roles in high profile businesses including as a group strategic communications advisor at Centrica plc, director of corporate affairs at AXA, and group director of public relations at Royal Mail Group. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in Her Majesty The Queen’s New Year Honours in 2019 for his public and charitable service. He was also named as the ‘Communications Professional of the Year’ by CorpComms Magazine in November 2019.
Michael Keating is a seasoned specialist in the pilot selection and recruitment with 16 years of experience in selecting commercial pilots for a number of airlines. For many years he was the head of pilot selection for one of the world’s largest wide-body airlines and has been the Director of Flight Crew Recruitment for OSM-Aviation for the past years. Michael has a background as a military combat pilot and as a flight commander in an F16 squadron followed by many years as a first officer a captain and a check pilot in a major European legacy carrier flying both short- and long haul. Michael has an extensive managerial background and a Master of Business degree (MBA) in Aviation Business including HR Management and is a member of the British Psychological Society. Having recruited thousands of pilots and with more than 40 years in the industry, Michael has the insight and background to share his experience.
Peter assumed the role of head of training on the 1st of March 2020. Reporting directly to the Director of Operations, the role maintains oversight of delivery against Legal and Regulatory requirements, the client’s demands, and the business needs. Previously, Peter was employed as a Training Standards Captain with a particular focus on Boeing clients, products, and courseware whilst maintaining training and examining role for the B737 and A320 operators. Before joining L3Harris, Peter worked for operators in the UK and the Middle East in operational and senior management roles, managing safety, and operational performance. Peter has operated rotary and fixed-wing aircraft in a number of environments and worked with National Aviation Authorities, commercial and military operators at the executive level as an advisor on regulatory change and implementation strategies.
Pastor Lopez is President of GA Telesis MRO Services Business Units and has been with the company since July 2017. As President of GA Telesis MRO Services Group, Lopez has full profit and loss responsibility for his divisions with management oversight of the Fort Lauderdale and Miami facilities. Prior to his current position, Lopez served as Chief Executive Officer of Pemco World Air Services and was responsible for developing and establishing strategies to increase shareholder value in the aircraft MRO and the Cargo Conversion/STC Engineering business segments. Later, Lopez would successfully lead the sale and subsequent transition of PEMCO to the ATSG group. He also held executive positions with AAR in the Landing Gear and Aircraft Component divisions. Lopez holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Florida International University, MBA from the University of Miami, and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certificate from Villanova University.
Federico has over 15years of experience in the Aviation Industry. He has covered several roles both in the Airport and in the Airline business having growing responsibilities in the Commercial and Marketing Development. After starting as Revenue Manager he moved to Strategic Marketing and Planning in Alitalia with leading and coordinating tasks across Network, Sales, and Marketing. Following his professional interest in the International Aviation world, Federico moved to ADR – Rome Airport Company as Route Development Manager Europe at FCO airport. Over the last years, Federico has been appointed as Head of Airline Traffic Development having the responsibility to manage and expand the Airline business for both airports managed by ADR (Rome FCO and Rome CIA.
Professor David Yu is the only Senior ISTAT (International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading) Certified Aviation Appraiser in China and N. Asia and one of around 20 globally. He is a professor of practice in finance at New York University Shanghai and Stern School and is a recognized expert and thought leader in cross border investing, financing, valuation, real assets, and aviation. David Yu writes as a contributing writer or editor to many industry publications including Forbes, Nikkei Asian Review, Airline Economics, Airfinance Journal, etc. and a business commentator for media. He acts as a board director or advisor of companies and funds including an airline. He has a Ph.D. in Finance from the University of Nottingham Business School.
Ruud Ummels is managing director at consultancy firm To70 Aviation. Ruud has a broad knowledge in aviation, ranging from the airport and airspace planning and optimization studies to policy advice and the analysis of aviation’s environmental impacts. Ruud has led over 200 projects in over 25 countries. Having spent six years in the Asia-Pacific region, he has helped deliver significant growth at airports such as Melbourne, Bangkok, Singapore, and Shanghai. His recent experience includes leadership roles for the airport master plans at Amsterdam and Brussels, aircraft noise studies for Dublin, and airspace studies in the Netherlands, London Gatwick, and Istanbul. In addition to 15 years consulting experience, he is an elected member of ACI World Business Partner Advisory Board, and a member of ACI-Europe’s Environmental Strategy Committee and Aircraft Noise Task Force, he is an ACA verifier (having worked in all ACI regions on ACA projects) and he has lectured at the Universities of New South Wales and Delft.
Geert Van Damme is responsible for ensuring that all commercial strategies and targets are met across the various fields of APU services in the EMEA region. In 1993, Geert graduated with a Master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering and started his career in Line & Base Maintenance at Lufthansa Technik Brussels, Belgium. Five years later he switched to a Program Management position at Snecma Services Brussels. In 2003 he moved to the Sales department where he became MRO Sales Manager. From 2008 to 2013, Geert held both Commercial and Business Development Director’s positions. After this experience in Belgium, he became an MRO Sales/Engineering Support Director, and later CFMi Sales Director “Middle East”, at SAFRAN – CFMi Sales head office in Villaroche, France.
Francis Bavahe has 21 years spent in the Aircraft Maintenance field, is actually, the Maintenance Nominated Post Holder at Camair-Co, Airlines based at Douala, Cameroon, Central Africa. He owns a Certification in Supply Chain Management from IPPMR, Houston, USA as CPP (Certified Procurement Professional). Francis BAVAHE started his career in the Aeronautical field in 1993. He moves from Powerplant & Avionic officer to Reliability & Technical Publication Supervisor in the Engineering Department of Cameroon Airlines. In 2011 he was hired as Engineering Manager at Camair-Co CAMO then Project Manager and then Head of Planning and Control Department. In 2017 he was promoted Head of CAMO, Maintenance Nominated Post Holder.
Francisco has a multidisciplinary profile: Telecommunication Engineer with a Ph.D. in Acoustic Engineering and Neuroscience, MBA, and violin teacher. He’s an entrepreneur and intrapreneur at Airbus where he was working for almost 12 years in Spain, France, and Germany, in Innovation, Business Transformation, Procurement, and Contracts, for the Airbus divisions Commercial, Headquarter and Defence and Space. Francisco has been named no. 34 in the top100 ranking of the 2018 Spanish Economic Leaders for Tomorrow by Choiseul. Currently, he’s working at the Business Incubator, one of Airbus’ innovation vehicles where he’s creating new revenue streams supporting the strategic growth and bringing new tangible value to the company. Moreover, he’s one of the directors of Founder Institute Munich, the world’s largest pre-seed accelerator founded in Silicon Valley in 2009.
Mikko Turtiainen joined Finnair in 1999 and since then gathered extensive experience in sales and business development divisions within Finnair and the airline industry. His history at Finnair includes Sales responsibilities in Finland, North America, and Asia. He started the Shanghai route for Finnair successfully. He has also worked for Revenue Management Pricing, as well as led the Finnair Cargo Sales organization. Currently, Mikko is heading up the global sales organization as well as the team responsible for the Finnair brand. As part of the Commercial Leadership team, he also contributes to the commercial strategy laying out the overall direction of Finnair.
Francesco Baccarani has joined SGI Aviation in 2008. Started as a Technical Manager, he currently holds a position of VP Technical and is responsible for lease return inspections management and delivery to next lessee, asset management with a focus on engines, cash flow, and risk assessment analysis. His career in Aviation Engineering spans nearly two decades. Francesco Baccarani is also an avid presenter at conferences related to aviation engineering and engines.
Eric Jones began his career attached to Naval Squadron VXE-6 repairing LC-130 Hercules aircraft on the Antarctic Continent. He earned three Antarctic Service Medals and his FAA Aviation Maintenance Technician Certificate (AMT). He is a Certified Flight Instructor/Instrument (CFII). With a 25+ year career in aviation technical operations, Eric Jones worked for United and Southwest Airlines. He has been a Lead, Overhaul, Line Service, and Field Service Technician. He holds Run/Taxi Certifications, Airworthiness Release Qualifications, ETOPS, and Category III Navigation Certifications. Prof. Jones is now Associate Professor and Department Chair at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Aviation Maintenance Science Department in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Through a diverse range of experience across the aviation industry from consultancy, corporate management to line operations, Laphang Chung developed a professional trait blending strategic thinking, tactical planning, and real-time improvisation. Balancing between formulating big picture perspectives and endeavouring to understand the unique challenges facing each domain expert, Laphang strives to achieve practical and win-win solutions for his clients. He believes that a holistic approach to aviation operations, from air to ground, is imperative to achieving positive passenger experience – goal of business and commercial aviation.
Vikas Manra is currently working with Gulf Air as Head of Global Business Development & Distribution where he is leading a super dynamic team to shape distribution strategy for the airline integrated with business improvement strategy. Prior to this, he has worked with a number of leading Global brands across Aviation and Hospitality domains including Qatar Airways, Austrian Airlines, Nikko Hotels & Starwood where he has spent more than 23 years in areas of Global Sales Transformations, Commercial strategy including Ancillary & Partnership Sales, Distribution, Commercial processes and systems, Business consulting, NDC & Corporate Sales. With an always innovating “Never Impossible” attitude & a strong hunger to look for alternatives, he has been able to steer new business ideas and implement projects and strategies that have shaped and impacted the organizational commercial future. Key Mantra for success – Keep things simple and efficient to drive costs down and revenues up. There is always room for improvement
Involved with aviation since 1994, where he started working in PMI to this date as Fleet Manager and Training manager in major airline John has been permanently involved in the industry. He developed his career in aircraft cleaning, many positions in handling and executive aviation handling, air broker, and later, after completing the commercial pilot course and airplane ATPL, flying cargo, executive aviation, military pilot, and airlines. During his time in Air Europa, he has participated in various technical programs in support of operations management. Since October 2016 to date, he holds the position of TRE/TRI/LTC, Fleet Manager for the B737 and Deputy Head of Training.
Anne Larilahti has held the role of VP Sustainability at Finnair since 2019. She is responsible for leading the company’s sustainability efforts on a broad range of topics from accessibility and diversity to climate and material management. Anne has been working in several leadership roles in sustainability, marketing, and business development, mostly in the ICT industry, but also with four years in sports and tourism. Anne Larilahti is also the chairwoman of the board of Finnish Business and Society, Finland’s largest sustainability network. She holds a MSc(econ) degree from the University of Tampere.
Bjorn Hassert is a senior strategy executive and experienced aviation manager. In his current role, he works with Brussels Airport Company as their Head of Strategic Planning. Bjorn leads a team responsible for strategic planning, airport planning and design management. Previously, he has been in corporate, commercial, and operational roles with leading airlines and airports worldwide. His career ambition is to bring some of that long-gone magic back into aviation and to help build impactful industry ecosystems, bringing customers safely and conveniently to their cloud nine.
Jesús Caballero is an aeronautical engineer, specializing in airports. In 2020 he was awarded the best Aeronautical engineer of the year by the Spanish Official Aeronautical Engineer School. Jesús Caballero has been the Managing Director of Seville Airport since 2013. During his management, in 2018 Seville Airport became the best regional airport by ACI (Airport Council International), and in 2019 the best global regional airport by CAPA (Centre for Aviation Pacific-Asia). Jesús Caballero started his career in 2005, at Madrid Airport as an airfield maintenance engineer, then he moved to Barcelona Airport working in airfield maintenance, and in 2008 he joined at Malaga Airport. In 2009 he became the Managing Director of Melilla Airport.
Thomas Bulirsch started his career in aviation 20 years ago. He specializes in aircraft interiors and plastics for the aviation industry. As Founder and CEO of aviationscouts GmbH Thomas Bulirsch is focusing on the strategic development of the company, as well as on Sales and Marketing. Since aviationscouts GmbH has been the exclusive sales partner for Simona Boltaron in Continental Europe where the company is responsible for aviation key accounts such as Interior OEMs and airlines.
Enzo Zangrilli has covered a multitude of roles in the aviation industry: he has been Senior Executive for easyJet, Alitalia, Menzies Aviation, Aviapartner and private aviation companies in the Middle East, is responsible for contracts, procurement of airport services and addressing the economic regulation in both Airlines and Airports alike. Most recently he has been Commercial Director for Trieste Airport and he has set up his own Consultancy Services Company, 1Aviation.
David Goodger leads Oxford Economics’ work in tourism forecasting and economic impact analysis sector as Director of Tourism Economics in Europe. He has been instrumental in developing Oxford Economics’ tourism forecast models and continues to contribute to updates of the global tourism forecasts for 185 countries and 300 cities; as well as air passenger forecast database; and hotel performance forecast models developed in conjunction with STR.
Alessandro Fidato is an Italian civil engineer with more than 25-year experience in the transport industry. He started his career in high-speed railway construction and then moved to Rome Airport (AdR), where he was responsible for projects related to airport expansion plans. In 2010 he joined Naples International Airport as Infrastructure and Operations Director and became Chief Operating Officer in January 2018. Since 2019 he is the Chief Operating Officer and Accountable Manager for SEA Milan Airports (Municipality of Milan and 2i Aeroporti). He is a member of the ACI Europe TOSC and a member of EASA SAB.ADR.TEC.
Adnan Karaismailoğlu joined Turkish Airlines in 2011 and has led several multi-million dollar digital and infrastructural transformation and innovation projects. Currently, he is responsible for business intelligence, digital innovation, business development, infrastructural and organizational development departments leading the transformation journey of Turkish Cargo in all of these areas. He is now leading the design and construction of SmartIST, newest and modern technological mega-hub for Turkish Cargo in Istanbul Airport, which will be one of the biggest cargo terminals in the world once completed.
Siddhartha Butalia is a published author, a futurist, and a speaker on travel & tourism. He began his career in advertising at Ogilvy and JWT, working on campaigns that won awards at Cannes and the Asia Pacific AdFest. As a Tata Administrative Services Officer, he developed the internationalization strategy for the ‘Tata’ brand in the US, UK, China & Africa; was Brand Manager for Tetley Tea in the UK; and Marketing Director at Taj hotels, where he launched the Vivanta brand (now a Harvard Case Study) and contributed to the Tata group’s European Union agenda.
Pascal Parant currently serves as Vice President, Marketing of AAR CORP.Mr. Parant joined the company in 1999 and has held several positions in different divisions that have given him a global view of the company. He became Vice President, Marketing in January 2007. In this role, Mr. Parant is building long-term relationships with existing clients and attracting new airline and OEM customers. In addition, he acts as a liaison between different AAR business units, increasing the flow of timely information across international locations and with customers. Mr. Parant is a graduate of ESTACA (92), a French Aeronautical Engineering School. Mr. Parant has been a board member of Air Mediterranee, a French Charter Airlines, since 1997 till 2016. Mr. Parant was elected in 2012 to the board of USAIRE, an association of American and European member companies focused on aerospace and advanced technologies, and became President in October 2014.
Dr. Subhajit Bose is a senior management professional with 22+ years of experience in aviation, transportation, logistics, supply chain, consulting, and IT industries. His recent experience includes 10 years at Emirates airline, where he headed Management Consulting & Market Intelligence functions and subsequently, Strategic Planning, Analytics & Business Development functions.
Recognized as one of the travel industry’s 30 under 30, Matthew Gardiner is a marketing and e-commerce leader with experience managing global campaigns and both distribution and brand partnerships. Matthew has previously worked for a variety of travel industry companies from global brands to start-ups. In addition, Matthew is the London Director of, travel industry networking group, Travel Massive, and is a member of the Institute of Travel and Tourism’s Education and Training Committee. In 2019 he was part of Clayton Christensen’s final Disruptive Strategy cohort at Harvard Business School.
Yarin Spivak is senior finance, strategy, and planning professional. He has extensive experience in planning and implementing economic and financial models for multi-$M transactions, both domestic and abroad. With deep knowledge and years in the business, he has experience in aircraft purchase, aircraft leasing, aircraft & engine sale, leaseback transactions, and more.
Jonny Andersen is an aviation executive with 25 years of global experience and expertise in leading change, directing airport and ground operations, providing business transformations and managing infrastructure projects. He has worked as CEO of Kenya Airports Authority and as Director National Airports at Avinor in Norway with the responsibility of running six airports in Norway. During his course of employment, he also held the position as Senior Vice President Ground Operations at AirBaltic in Latvia. He is a guest lecturer at the University of Geneva, teaches airport strategy for IATA clients around the world.
Andreas Spycher is the Principal at Mastercard and based in Singapore. In this role, his focus lies on leading the development of Mastercard Data & Service solutions in the airline, hotel, and travel operator industry. Prior to joining Mastercard, Andreas worked at two major card-issuing banks. He launched multiple co-brand card programs and integrated airline miles programs into banking portfolios.
Mohamed Atti is an aviation professional specializing in executive affairs, project & risk management, station startups, airport operations & management, corporate security, and event management. Atti brings 15+ years of aviation experience in various roles across global carriers and aviation industry players such as Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, Qantas Airways, Swissport, and now Malaysia Airlines leading the airport operations team in Auckland.
Femi Olowoyeye works in operational safety, aircraft maintenance, and ground operations for airlines, MRO, and finance/insurance communities. His expertise includes safety oversight and external auditing, project management, strategic planning, technical operations, commercial negotiating, financial control, and international joint venture development.
Andrija Brstina has 17 years of experience in aviation. He started the career at JAT Airways (nowadays AirSerbia), in 2003. He had various operational roles within JAT Airways before moving to Etihad Airways. In 2015, he moved to Abu Dhabi, where he is situated at the moment. Now he specializes in designing and optimization of airport operations, project & risk management and business analysis. A large part of Andrija’s portfolio is disruption management. Finally, he is heavily involved in ORAT to Midfield Terminal Building, which will be the new home of Etihad Airways Hub.
Prior to his position at Jazeera Airways, Ratan Ratnakan developed extensive experience spanning over 30 years, with Emirates, Qatar Airways and Oman Air in the Gulf Region. He is professionally skilled in Revenue Enhancement, Network Planning, Distribution, and Managing Interline relationships. His demonstrated history in the aviation industry has resulted in contributing to Jazeera Airways increasing its global footprint with success and contributed to the Airline’s positive bottom line.