Strategy Summit Speakers

Kate Aleksidze

CEO, United Airports of Georgia

Kate Aleksidze is the CEO of United Airports of Georgia, LLC managing the activities of the company from November 2010. She has an extensive background in international and national public service and was World Bank expert of enhancement of law journal and adviser of the structure and composition of the Editorial Council at the Constitutional Court of Georgia in 2007. She was deputy-head of the Legal department of JSC Madneuli, preparing all the legal documents, conclusions and statements as well as managing relationships with shareholders and register of the shares. Previously Mrs. Aleksidze was the head of the “public service for everyone” project at the State Chancellery of Georgia where she was developing the new recruitment system for the public service.

Mrs. Aleksidze has also been involved in teaching and training processes. She was a member of the International Trainer’s Pool, delivering soft skills training to law students in different European countries and was delivering training in human resources and office administration for the Central Election Commission Administration. She was also a lecturer on the Caucasus School of Business MBA program, delivering lectures in Business Law and Legal Environment to Masters Degree Students and at the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs, School of Public Administration. 

Participating Talks and Sessions

Arman Khachaturyan

CEO, National Competitiveness Foundation of Armenia

Dr. Khachaturyan has over ten years of leadership and dynamic reformer experience at corporations and public sector transforming executing large and complex transformations and positioning organizations for future success. He has a strong and progressive transformational leadership background in telecom, postal, retail, tourism, aviation and health care sectors, implementing corporate, organizational and regulatory change enhancing organizational performance and operational excellence, revamping human resources and culture. Through a demonstrated ability to facilitate public-private dialogue, me mobilized targeted investments, managed multi-million dollar projects, lead multinational teams and built talented workforce and teams to resolve multiple and complex tasks in challenging environments.

Dr. Khachaturyan holds a PhD degree in Economics from the University of Siena, Italy.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Mete Erkal

General Manager, TAV Georgia

He was appointed General Manager of TAV Georgia in June 2010.  Mete Erkal graduated from Southern Illinois University,USA,  Department of Finance in 1993. Mr. Erkal was a Management Trainee at  Blinder & Robinson Co., in St. louis, United States and served as New york and Paris Routes Manager at Turkish Airlines prior to 1995. He served as the Deputy General Manager of Sales and Services in the privatization of Havaş Yer Hizmetleri A.Ş. (Havaş Ground Handling) and in its partnership with Swissport from 1995 until 1999, and as the Commercial Director at Çelebi Hava Servisi A.Ş. (Çelebi Ground Handling Services) between 1999 and 2002. Working as the Marketing Director of ATA Holding for three years prior to joining TAV Airports, Mete Erkal served as the Operations Coordination Manager of TAV Airports Holding from 2008 to 2009, and as Deputy General Manager (Acting General Manager) of TAV Georgia between September 2009 and June 2010. Mr. Erkal was appointed as General Manager of TAV Georgia in June 2010. He is also a member of the American Marketing Association.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Vasili Kornev

Deputy Managing Director Operations, Minsk National Airport

Mr. Kornev was born in 1955 in the Voronezh Region, the Russian Federation. In 1974 he graduated from V.P. Chkalov Aviation College of Voronezh with the speciality of “Aircraft radio-electrical equipment installation”.

Since 1974 to 1976 he had been serving in the units of Balkan fleet.

In 1982 he graduated from Kiev Institute of Civil Aviation Engineers with the speciality of “Economics and Management of Air Transport”, and in 2001 – from the Academy of Public Administration under the egis of the President of the Republic of Belarus with the speciality of “International Marketing”.

Mr. Kornev started the working career at Minsk National Airport in 1982 in the capacity of Executive Controller in Transportation Management Department, later in the capacity of Head of Shift. Since 1996 to 2004 he had been the Head of Resources Management and Sales Department in airline “Belavia”.

Since 2005 Mr. Kornev has been working in RUE “National Airport  Minsk” – firstly as Lead Quality and Standardization Specialist of Airline Services Department, later as Head of Quality Control Department, then as Head of Airline Services Department. In September 2011 he was appointed to the position of Deputy Managing Director on Operations. 

Participating Talks and Sessions

Yevgen Treskunov

Executive Vice-President Strategy & Development, Ukraine International Airlines

From 1997 - 2000, Yevgen Treskunov worked as Economic and Planning Division Manager for the Airports Authority of Ukraine. From 2000 – 2003, he worked as Deputy Head of Strategic Development and Standards Support Department, Civil Aviation Authority of Ukraine (Ukraviatrans, nowadays State Aviation Administration of Ukraine) and from 2003 - 2012, Deputy Director General for Strategy, Executive Committee member for Aerosvit Ukrainian Airlines. As of 2012 he was appointed Executive Vice-President of Strategy & Development, Executive Board memberUkraine International Airlines and Chief Information Officer.

He has a CEng in Airport Design and Maintenance from the National Aviation University, Ukraine, an      

MSc in Management of Foreign Economic Activity, National Aviation University, Ukraine and an MSc in Air Transport Management from the School of Engineering, Cranfield University, United Kingdom.

He is an associate member of The Royal Aeronautical Society, U.K (AMRAeS)


Participating Talks and Sessions

Dr Kostas Iatrou

Managing Director, Air Transport News

Dr Kostas Iatrou is the founder, Managing Director of AirTransportNews. He holds a PhD in Air Transport Management from Cranfield University, UK. He is co-author of the book “Airline Choices for the Future: From Alliances to Mergers”. He has participated both as moderator and as speaker in numerous air transport conferences all over the world including ICAO, IATA, AFRAA, ATRS and ACI. He is Visiting Lecturer at Cranfield University and at the Aviation MBA of LUISS business school and was Assistant Visiting Professor at Daniel Webster Aviation College. His articles have featured in numerous air transport publications, such as the Journal of Air Transport Management, the Journal of Air Transportation, the Journal of Airport Management, the Annals of Air and Space Law of McGill University, Aerlines and he is Associate Editor of Journal of Air Transport Studies. He is a Member of the Networking Committee of ATRS and was the Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the 12th ATRS World Conference. Finally, he is the Secretary General of Hellenic Aviation Society. In 2009 was deputy Mayor of Ekali, Greece, where he lives with his wife, Evgenia and his sons, George and Yiannis.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Taleb Rifai

Secretary-General, UNWTO

Taleb Rifai is Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). He began his four-year term on 1 January 2010 and has been elected for a second four-year term, starting January 2014, by the 20th Session of UNWTO General Assembly held in August 2013.

Mr. Rifai has an extensive background in international and national public service, the private sector and academia. Positions held include: Assistant Director General of the International Labour Organization (ILO), several ministerial portfolios in the Government of Jordan (Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Minister of Information and Minister of Tourism and Antiquity), CEO of Jordan’s Cement Company, Director of the Economic Mission to Washington DC and Director General of the Investment Promotion Corporation of Jordan.

Mr. Rifai was involved in research, teaching and practicing Architecture and Urban Design in Jordan and the USA. He has a Ph.D. in Urban Design and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, an M.A. in Engineering and Architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago, and a BS.c. in Architectural Engineering from the University of Cairo in Egypt.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Daniel Burkard

Director, External & Internal Relations and Deputy Airport Director, Domodedovo Moscow Airport

Daniel Georg Henry Burkard, born in 1967 in Munich, after having worked in advertising for Red Bull and other consumer brands, 1994 joined British Airways, initially working in alliances,

In 1995 he started up BA’s operations in the Baltic states and created a sales operation. Returned to Germany be became key account manager for financial institutions and travel agency chains before in 1997 British Airways put him in charge of their business in Ukraine. In 1999 Daniel was promoted to a job based in Moscow, that saw him look after the airline’s commercial activities all across Eastern Europe.

Between 2002 and 2005 Daniel Burkard was elected for three consecutive terms as chairman of the Airline Committee in the Russian Federation, a permanent working group of the non-Russian airlines in Russia, which operates under the umbrella of the Association of European Businesses.

In 2005 Daniel moved to the East Line Group, becoming the first and only western foreigner in the top management team, founding the Domodedovo Airport Development Joint Stock Company. Later he worked on new aviation business as director for business development at Eastern Europe’s largest airport. His core activity, also since having been appointed director external- and international relations in 2011 and deputy airport director in 2012 is around enhancing the competitive situation of Moscow Domodedovo Airport by attracting new aviation business. Network development, advertising, sales promotions, public relations and especially international relations for the airport group are also part of his responsibilities.

Since June 2012 Daniel Burkard is member of the board of ACI Europe.

Daniel Burkard studied business management and history in Munich, is a graduate of the Bavarian Academy of Advertising and completed further management studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He is a fully trained fire fighter and volunteer paramedic and lives south of Moscow.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Yolanta Strikitsa

Managing Director, Strikitsa Consulting

MBA from California State University Hayward (USA), BA from Gnesinykh State College (RF). During the last 15 years Yolanta has dedicated herself to management consulting and executive search. She has been living and working in USA, Russia and UK, where in 2003 she set up her own business. Prior to Strikitsa Consulting, Yolanta has been working for Morgan Chase, Leucadia National Private Equity and Price Waterhouse. Yolanta is fluent in English, Polish and Russian.

Strikitsa Consulting has been specializing in executive search and consulting services to airports and airlines from 2003 and have completed assignments in UK, Europe, Russia & CIS and SE Asia.  

Participating Talks and Sessions

Frans Van Vuure

Senior Architect

Frans van Vuure received his Master of Architecture from the Architecture Academy in Amsterdam in 2000. He joined UNStudio in 2008, bringing a long time experience of translating design concepts into technical and feasible construction processes.
Apart from his knowledge of complex geometries, interiors and fine detailing, he is an equipped communicator of what the intrinsic quality of an architectural design means.Since he joined the studio he coordinated a variety of complex projects. He worked as Senior Architect/ Associate on our successful PPP/DBFMO, the head office for the Education Executive Agency in Groningen. His most recent work include the Kutaisi International Airport, a fast-paced project for which planes were landing just 9 months after the start, and several office and mixed-use buildings in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Next to his responsibility relating to the design quality, Frans is responsible for the technical and managerial aspects of the projects on which he works. He organizes and manages the project teams keeping intense contact with our clients and advisors throughout the full project process. He is also part of the UNStudio Architectural Sustainability Platform which researches and shares knowledge of implementing active and passive sustainable and attainable features in architectural and urban projects from concept design on into the construction process.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Vladimir Kamynin

Aviation Business Development Director, Airports of Regions


  • State Flight Academy of Ukraine, Engineer – Pilot
  • MBA, Strategic Management, Plekhanov Russian University of Economics 
  • The Academy of National Economy under the Government of the Russian Federation DBA
  • European Institute of International Management DBA


In the airline business:  Pilot, Marketing Manager, Commercial Director, GM

In the airport business:  Head of Sales, Marketing Director (Moscow Domodedovo Airport), Director, Aviation Business Development

Participating Talks and Sessions

Yuliya Crane

Senior Consultant, ASM Ltd

Yuliya works in the UBM (previously RDG) group for over 8 years, starting her career at Routes in a business development capacity focusing on the CIS region and transferring to ASM to utilise analytical skills and background. Her expertise includes route development strategy studies, route forecasting, airline business cases and demand analysis, airline relations, client management and target delivery. She is a trainer in ASM’s training programme.

Prior to the aviation sector, Yuliya worked as a researcher and lecturer in the University of Salford, where she also completed a PhD in Economics. She speaks English, Russian and Ukrainian.

Participating Talks and Sessions

John Bell

International journalist & broadcasting expert and tourism consultant

John Bell has been a journalist for prominent media for twenty years, specializing in travel and transport. Starting with the BBC in London, he produced and reported for their travel and transport programmes on radio and television. Moving to Channel 4, he edited their first programme on independent travel, “Travelog”, which ran for 10 years reporting from such places as Bhutan and North Korea. John has edited the CNN International “Hotspots” worldwide travel show and also makes frequent appearances on BBC radio.

John is the former Chairman of the British Guild of Travel Writers, Vice-President of European Travel Press and Vice Chairman of his London Tourist Board, where he helped develop the low cost marketing tools which he uses worldwide when working with tourism bodies, governments and the UNWorld Tourism Organization with whom he works closely on media, marketing and major crises such as the Tsunami. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Member of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Presently, he writes for many national newspapers including The Independent and Mail on Sunday in the United Kingdom and The Age in Australia. He is an expert on both travel and aviation and is a visiting Lecturer in Tourism Marketing and the Media at London Metropolitan University, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia and SOAS at the University of London

Participating Talks and Sessions

Davit Mamulaishvili

Head of Ground Operations and Customer Services, Wizz Air

Davit Mamulaishvili was born on 21 February 1983 in Batumi, Republic of Georgia. He is a citizen of the Republic of Georgian and holds Georgian passport. Davit is engaged and does not have any children at the moment.

Currently Davit is working for Wizz Air as the Head of Ground Operations and Customer Services and living in Hungary. He is the legal postholder ground operations of the company. He is responsible for several areas of airline operation on the ground ranging from safety and quality of service to customer satisfaction and ancillary revenue.

Davit has lived in Georgia (14 years), Turkey (1 year), Bulgaria (6 years), the US (3 years) and Hungary (last 7 years). He has received high school diploma from Riafaidin Sahin high school in Batumi (1995 – 2000). Davit holds bachelor’s degree with double specialization in Business Administration and Political Science/International Relations from the American University in Bulgaria (2000 – 2005). He received MA degree in Political Economy from the Central European University in Budapest Hungary (2007 – 2008). In the last years of his studies (2009 – 2012) Davit was PhD fellow candidate in Political Economy at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, but elected to discontinue his studies and pursue other career interests.

Davit had worked for in Sofia, Bulgaria (2005 – 2006), Procter&Gamble in Tbilisi, Georgia (2006 – 2007), Central European Management Intelligence in Budapest, Hungary (2009 – 2011), and is currently working for Wizz Air Hungary Kft, as the Head of Ground Operations and Customer Services, also in Budapest, Hungary (2011 – present).

Davit speaks 5 languages fluently (Georgian – Native, English – Full proficiency, Russian – Full proficiency, Bulgarian – Full proficiency and Turkish – Intermediate proficiency) and is also able to communicate in 2 other languages (Serbian – Poor and Spanish – Poor). He is interested in post-communist transition studies, business-government relations, psychology of selling and sports.

Michael Miller

Head of Content and Industry Relations, Routes, UBM Live

Michael Miller is Head of Content and Industry Relations for Routes, which is part of the Transport and Technology division of UBM; a leading global event marketing and communications services business. Mike leads the creation and development of Routes conferences at events worldwide, and is responsible for relations with aviation, travel and other industry groups.

Mike has 25 years experience in the aviation industry as both a journalist and consultant prior to joining the Routes team in 2014. He has managed nine aviation publications, mostly under the Aviation Week banner at McGraw-Hill, and has had aviation clients in Europe, North and South America, and Asia. Clients have included Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, US Airways, JetBlue Airways, Bombardier, ALTA and the government of France. He oversaw the creation of the ALTA Airline Leaders Forum. Michael also was Vice President, Strategy, at the American Aviation Institute and President of Miller Air Group. He has been interviewed several hundred times on aviation issues by CNN, BBC, CNBC, NBC, Al Jazeeera and others. He is based in Orlando, Florida.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Mike St-Laurent

Senior Consultant, ASM

Mike joined ASM as a Senior Consultant earlier this year after a long career with Air Canada. He has over 34 years of airline industry experience, and has held key positions in Network Planning, Scheduling, Strategy, and Revenue Management.

During his career Mike was instrumental in the planning and launch of many successful new Air Canada routes. In his Network Planning role, he managed the airline’s international route schedule and was responsible for optimizing network profitability, managing the commercial relationships with partner airlines, producing financial evaluations of fleet and network changes, and participating in bilateral negotiations. He also has years of experience in fleet planning, traffic and revenue forecasting, marketing, yield management, and aircraft scheduling.

In his current role Mike provides route development expertise to ASM’s clients, engaging with airlines to secure new routes and new airlines for their airport, city and region.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Nicole Boussioti

Regional Head, Member and External Relations, IATA

Nicole Boussioti is Head Member and External relations IATA Europe since 2011;  she has over 20 years of experience in the aviation industry; she worked as IATA Area Manager, dealing  with airlines and other industry stakeholders such as travel agents,  freight forwarders, airports and civil aviation authorities. She led the implementation of complex projects such as simplifying the business – including electronic ticketing in the markets under her supervision.

In her current position she is responsible for the advocacy of key IATA positions to national governments and regulatory authorities in Europe working with a multinational team of IATA professionals.

Her educational background is Political science and Public Administration holding 2 Masters from Universities of Paris-Sorbonne and  Paris II. She is based in Madrid Spain.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Balázs Bogáts

Head of Airline Development, Budapest Airport

Balázs Bogáts has 14 years experience in the airline industry. After a decade in various roles in the commercial department at the Major Ground Handling Company, he joined Budapest Airport in 2011 as the airport’s Concessions Manager. He was immediately set the task of developing concessions, aero charges and improving the incentive schemes.

As of March 2014, he is Head of Airline Development for Budapest Airport, responsible for strengthening relations with existing airline partners and developing associations with new carriers. 

Participating Talks and Sessions

Iase Zautashvili

General Director, Georgian Airways

Born in Georgia, Tbilisi in 1974, Iase Zautashvili has a law degree from the Tbilisi State University and a Masters in
Economics from the Tbilisi Business and Social-Economic Management University.

From 1994 to 2004, he worked as IRS Commissioner for the Ministry of Finance and from 2005 to 2010 as General Director for the Georgian Air Service. As of 2011, Iase Zautashvili is the General Director for Georgian Airways.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Alla Peressolova

Programme Manager, UNWTO Silk Road

Ms. Peressolova is the Manager of the UNWTO Silk Road Programme, a collaborative platform composed of 31 Member States. The Programme aims to raise the profile of Silk Road tourism while driving development that is sustainable, responsible and internationally competitive. Ms Peressolova is also responsible for UNWTO’s activities with the major international tourism fairs and has managed several communications and awareness campaigns for UNWTO, including Protect Children from exploitation in tourism and six International and Regional Tourism Communications Conferences (TourCom) 

Participating Talks and Sessions

Giorgi Sigua

Head, Georgian National Tourism Administration

Mr. Giorgi Sigua was born in Tbilisi on the 22th of September 1981. At the age of 16 he started studying Microeconomics and Management Facility at Tbilisi State University, improving his journalist skills simultaneously: in 1997-98 and 2002-2003 he was working as the correspondent in written press and television.

Having graduated in 2002, Mr. Sigua decided to accomplish his media education, so he was studying of the Faculty of Journalism in Tbilisi in 2004. At the same time he acquired practical experience in Tbilisi Council working as the Chairman’s assistant.

In 2006 he had acquired BBA in International Economics and Business Management in Belgium and learned Flemish language and culture there. After that he was also working on the different positions in the Premier Palace Hotel in Kiev, Ukraine. In 2007 he accomplished this experience with studying Management of 5 Star Luxury Hotels and Resorts in Switzerland.

In 2008-2009 Giorgi Sigua learned Spanish and Catalan in Spain, working as the private entrepreneur there. He has also learned German in this time.

In 2009-2010 he was representing the Georgian Chamber of Commerce in Kiev and working as deputy manager in “Burson-Marsteller” which is global public relations and communications firm headquartered in New York City.

In 2011-2012 Mr. Sigua lived in the USA working in PR-sphere and cooperating with the political coalition “Georgian Dream”. In 2013 he came back to Georgia and was appointed as the assistant to the chair man Regional Police and Self-Government committee, currently Mr. Sigua holds a positing of the head of Georgian National Tourism Administration.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Maksat Chakiev

Deputy Minister of Culture, Information and Tourism, Kyrgyzstan

Maksat Chakiev, current Deputy Minister of Culture, Information and Tourism of the Kyrgyz Republic, has extensive experience in both the public and private sector, having previously performed as an expert in territorial branding and marketing in the International Business Council.

With a degree in Marketing from the Jusup Balasagyn Kyrgyz State University, Mr. Chakiev is a specialist in tourism branding and marketing, governance and public relations, and has been 

Participating Talks and Sessions

Guram Jalaghonia

CEO, Georgian Civil Aviation Authority

Participating Talks and Sessions

Giorgi Kvirikashvili

Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia

Participating Talks and Sessions