Routes Asia 2015

The route development forum for Asia

Kunming, Yunnan, China
15 – 17 March 2015

Strategy Summit Speakers

Xiuzhi Zhang

CEO, Spring Airlines

Ms. Xiuzhi Zhang is the CEO and co-founder of Spring Airlines, one of China’s first private airlines and the country’s sole Low Cost Carrier. Since 2004, Ms. Zhang has been instrumental in helping Spring develop a strong market presence in China’s booming aviation sector catering not only to China’s first time flyer market but also offering a new range of travel products targeting the increasingly more sophisticated and price-conscious business segment. A staunch advocate of the low-cost aviation model, Ms. Zhang has defied the critics and illustrated that not only could the LCC model work in China – it could thrive!

Ms. Zhang has been quick to take advantage of the favourable market conditions in China, guiding the company on a path of rapid growth and expanding its fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft in order to build a network that now covers all China’s major business and tourist routes. She also sees an important part of her role as developing strong working relationships with regional governments across China, creating mutually beneficial partnerships that not only help stimulate economic growth but provide Spring with access to China’s future economic powerhouses. Taking the airline international is also a critical part of the company’s revolutionary strategy. Ms. Zhang worked to ensure that Spring became the first private carrier to be granted a license to fly internationally by the Civil Aviation Authority of China in 2010. Today the company flies to Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Korea, Malaysia and destinations across Japan.

Prior to her current role, Ms. Zhang served as Vice President of Spring International Travel Service in charge of the company’s charter operations. Within two years of joining the firm in 1992 she helped the company become the dominant player in the domestic travel industry – a position the company retains to this day.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Adrian Newton

Group Director, Aviation & Technology, UBM EMEA

Adrian Newton is Group Director of the Aviation and Technology division of UBM EMEA; a leading global events-led marketing and communications services business. Based in London he is responsible for an international portfolio of products which serve professionals within the air route development, airport, air traffic control, digital marketing, IT and eCommerce communities through a combination of trade shows, conferences, websites and consultancy services.

Adrian has over 17 years experience working within the business-to-business media sector. His career started with the UK’s leading publisher of magazines and information services for the construction sector and since 2003 he has worked for UBM. During his tenure at UBM he has managed a wide variety of brands serving a diverse range of markets including security, occupational safety, leisure, healthcare and construction.

Xia Xinghua

Chairman, China Civil Airports Association

Xia Xinghua, male, Han Nationality, born in August 1952, home town: Jiangyin, Jiangsu province

Mr. Xia started his career in December 1970 and joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) in June 1973. Mr. Xia is a Master’s Degree holder majoring in Corporate Management from Shanghai Fudan University. He is a senior economist.

Mr. Xia joined No. 14 Aviation School in December 1970, serving as mechanist, mechanician, political instructor of the Political Department and secretary of the CPC Committee of the School in succession.

Mr. Xia moved to CAAC’s Shanghai Administration in November 1980, working in the Organizational Office of the Political Division and then becoming secretary of the CPC Committee, deputy director, director, deputy director of the Political Division and concurrently Chairman of the CPC Committee of Shanghai Administration’s Headquarters, director of the CPC Committee Office of CAAC’s East Regional Administration and concurrently Chairman of the CPC Committee of the East Regional Administration’s Headquarters and Chairman of the CPC Committee of the East Regional Administration’s Air Navigation Centre in succession.

Mr. Xia then transferred to the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) in July 1994, serving as DG of the Department of Institutional Reform, Laws & Regulations and Corporate Management, Airport Department and Department of Policies, Laws and Regulations in succession.

Mr. Xia became DG of CAAC’s East Regional Administration and concurrently Chairman of the Administration’s CPC Committee in April 2001.

Mr. Xia was appointed member of CAAC’s CPC Committee in July 2009 and was further named as Deputy Administrator of the CAAC in August 2009.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Senthil Balan

Regional Group Head, Route & Fleet Planning, AirAsia

Senthil Balan is presently the Regional Head of Network, Fleet and Traffic Rights for AirAsia Group. The role oversees fleet, hub, route planning, schedule management and traffic rights management across all the various AirAsia Group airline including both short haul (AirAsia Malaysia, AirAsia Indonesia, AirAsia Thailand, AirAsia Philippines, AirAsia Indonesia, AirAsia India) and long haul (AirAsia X) affiliates.

Prior to this role, he was the Commercial Director at AirAsia X, overseeing Revenue Management, Marketing Communication, Distribution, Route Planning, Ancillary and Charters. Senthil has been in AirAsia X since its inception in 2007, joining the team in April 2007. During his time, he has helped with the start-up AirAsia X working in various cross functions roles, including being the Head of Route Planning before taking up the Commercial role in 2012.

Prior to AirAsia X, Senthil has worked in Malaysia Airlines between 2004 and 2006 driving initially their Investor Relations Program before moving into the Corporate Turnaround Management Office to oversee the profitability turnaround initiatives.
Prior to AirAsia X and Malaysia Airlines, Senthil has had stints in Astro All Asia Networks (satellite TV company based in Malaysia), Ernst and Young and; and online startup venture.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Dr Adam Wu

Chief Operating Officer, China Business Network

Dr. Adam Wu is the Chief Operating Officer of the China Business Network which "brings the world to China and takes Chinese to the world". CBN is a consortium of organizations specializing in business consultancy and facilitating services for a large number of Chinese and foreign authorities, state owned enterprises, commercial companies and other organizations worldwide.

Dr. Wu has been directly involved in advising foreign tourism authorities and travel businesses, at the same time supporting Chinese official delegations, investors and business groups going to other parts of the worlds to explore investment opportunities, as well as for official visits such as supporting the Chairman of CNTA attending the Ministers Summit of UNWTO and organizing special events that caught the world attention such as the Olympic Torch Relay.

Dr. Wu jointly set up the overseas office of the China Business Network which has been focusing on developing vertical portals on the China Wide Web for specific sectors such the World Travel Online which is dedicated to the provision of the most up to date information in Chinese about travelling overseas to both the travel trade as well as millions of Chinese travellers. The “World Travel Online” has been awarded as "The Best Website for Outbound Travel from China” and also won the prestigious CTW Golden Award.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Michael Burke

Assistant Director, Commercial, Hong Kong Airlines

Michael is an internationally experienced, results oriented business leader.

With an extensive commercial background, he has a proven track record in sales and marketing, network planning, revenue management and alliances, consistently over-delivering aggressive revenue targets internationally in tough business environments. He has also had oversight for Finance, Reservations and Airport functions during his career.

He is currently directing all commercial revenue strategy and activities for Hong Kong Airline’s aggressive growth in China and South East Asia and its’ future global ambitions, balancing conceptualizing high level and highly complex problems with detailed analytical delivery skills.

Previously he built, led and managed strong, high performance teams in the UK, US, India and China over a 16 year career with Virgin Atlantic, with a strong focus on operational excellence, quality of service delivery and employee engagement while developing new and profitable revenue streams by successfully managing all key relationships with partners and suppliers, overcoming any cross-cultural boundaries in the process.  He has thus developed a keen understanding of diverse cultures and the unique challenges of doing business in a dynamic global marketplace.

The high-profile nature of being the Chief Representative for the Virgin brand in the two key emerging markets of India and China afforded him a wide exposure to many top-level CEO’s and visiting dignitaries such as Government Ministers & Trade Delegations and enabled him to build strong relationships with local Chambers of Commerce, Tourism Authorities and Trade bodies in the region.  During his time in Shanghai he served as both the Chairperson of the European Chamber of Commerce’s Aviation Working Group as well as being an Executive Committee member of the British Chamber of Commerce and these both gave him wide exposure to local Government departments.

He graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Transport from the University of Plymouth, UK in 1995 and has attended Harvard Business School’s Global Strategic Management program due to his acute interest in geopolitical matters and business’s place within them. 

He currently serves as an Industrial Advisor to the Hang Seng Management College’s BBA in Supply Chain Management Program in Hong Kong and has a growing command of both spoken and written Putonghua.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Vinoop Goel

Regional Head of Airport, Passenger, Cargo & Security Departrment, Asia-Pacific, IATA

Vinoop Goel is the Asia-Pacific Regional Head of Airport, Passenger, Cargo & Security Department for International Air Transport Association (IATA). He is based at their Asia Pacific regional office in Singapore.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the trade association for the world’s airlines, representing some 240 airlines or 84% of total air traffic. IATA supports many areas of aviation activity and helps formulate industry policy on critical aviation issues.

Vinoop leads a team that is responsible for all IATA's activities in the Asia-Pacific region relating to airports – including Infrastructure, Capital expenditure and charges, Fuel supply, Passenger experience, Baggage services, Cargo, Ground handling, Security and Facilitation. In this capacity, Vinoop works with airports, governments and other aviation stakeholders in the region to improve the end-to-end passenger and cargo journey.

Prior to IATA, Vinoop headed Northwest Airlines’ IT division for the Asia-Pacific region and oversaw the implementation of new technologies ranging from back-office to passenger and airport processing.

Vinoop has a degree in Computer Science and Engineering from IIT, Delhi in India. He has about 24 years of aviation industry experience including a 15 year stint in Japan and has been with IATA since 2005.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Mark Clarkson

Business Development Director, ASPAC, OAG

Mark has responsibility for the combined Asia Pacific sales operations for OAG, with the core focus to lead, develop and implement sales strategies to deliver revenue growth and the expansion of the business in the ASPAC region.

Mark was previously Commercial Director at OAG and responsible for all commercial activities including customer relationship management, new product development and strategic partnerships.

Prior to joining OAG in 2012, Mark spent six years with consultancy firm Airport Strategy and Marketing (ASM) as Vice President, where he was responsible for delivering client projects including new route development and network strategies.

Participating Talks and Sessions

David Stroud

Managing Director, ASM

David Stroud is the Managing Director of ASM, the world’s leading route development consulting company.

He has over 20 years of aviation industry experience in the fields of route development, marketing, and airport infrastructure development. Formerly of BAe Systems, Manchester Airport and London City Airport, David has been a senior manager with ASM and Routes since 1998. As part of Executive Management team of UBM Aviation and Senior Management team of UBM Live London, David led the Routes business and integration of Airport Cities into the company.

In June this year, David took up the post of Managing Director, ASM, leading the company into the New Era of Route Development.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Andrew Herdman

Director General, Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA)

Andrew Herdman has held the position of Director General of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) since November 2004.

In this role he is committed to expanding the role of the Association as the leading trade organization for international airlines based in the Asia-Pacific region, addressing a wide range of both regional and global policy issues affecting the industry. AAPA works closely with regulators and other industry associations with the aim of fostering the sustainable growth of international civil aviation.

Prior to joining the AAPA, Andrew held a number of senior positions with the Swire Group, the parent company of Cathay Pacific Airways, with other diverse interests in aviation, property, beverages, marine services, trading and industrial sectors, predominantly based in the Greater China region, most recently as Director Corporate Affairs at Swire Pacific and a Director of the parent holding company, John Swire & Sons.

Mr. Herdman spent much of his earlier career in a variety of senior aviation-related roles with Cathay Pacific Airways and its associated companies, including: Managing Director, Cathay Pacific Catering Services, Managing Director of Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Ltd (HAECO), Chairman of Xiamen-based TAECO; Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo; Director and General Manager of ABACUS, and a board member of Worldspan.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Andrew Cowen

Deputy Chief Executive, HK Express

24 years in the aviation industry initially with British Airways before focusing on the emerging low cost and business aviation airline sectors. Today, as Deputy Chief Executive, Andrew is leading the transformation of Hong Kong Express into a low cost carrier. 

Andrew typically works very closely with airline shareholders/senior management ‘on the ground’ and for extended periods of time. Holding top-level management positions, his usual role is to guide and direct the creation of new aviation businesses, typically new LCCs, taking them from concept through to launch, and then on through their early growth stages.

Andrew is utilising his LCC background to lead the transformation of Hong Kong Express, into Hong Kong’s low cost airline. HK Express, an existing airline previously operating B737-800s has completed its transition to A320s, and now operates 5 aircraft with a further 6 to be delivered in 2014. Commercial relaunch of the airline has taken place and HK Express is rapidly growing its international network. It now serves 8 destination from Hong Kong – Tokyo Haneda, Osaka Kansai, Tai Chung, Kunming, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Kota Kinabalu (Sabah), and Penang with further new route launches imminent. 

Andrew regularly chairs and speaks at industry conferences, as well as delivering seminars/training in all aspects of aviation to aviation industry leaders.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Conrad Clifford

Regional Vice President, Asia Pacific, International Air Transport Association (IATA)

Conrad Clifford is the Regional Vice President for Asia Pacific at the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Conrad is responsible for IATA’s activities across the Asia Pacific region, focusing on serving the regions airline members’ and stakeholders’ needs. He will place a key priority on further developing IATA’s partnerships across the region, enabling IATA global standards and perspective to deliver maximum value to the safe, sustainable and profitable development of aviation. He joined IATA on 1 February 2014. Prior to joining IATA, Conrad has a career in aviation spanning more than 33 years. He has CEO’d a startup, a domestic, a regional and an international carrier. He has an intimate knowledge of top brand carriers having worked for Cathay Pacific, Virgin Atlantic and Emirates. Conrad has lived and worked in Asia, Africa and Europe and has a broad and

Prior to joining IATA, Conrad has a career in aviation spanning more than 33 years. He has CEO’d a startup, a domestic, a regional and an international carrier. He has an intimate knowledge of top brand carriers having worked for Cathay Pacific, Virgin Atlantic and Emirates.Conrad has lived and worked in Asia, Africa and Europe and has a broad and

Conrad has lived and worked in Asia, Africa and Europe and has a broad and in-depth knowledge of strategy and business planning, pricing and revenue management and airport operations.

Conrad, a British national, was born in the United Kingdom in 1958 and graduated from Cambridge University. He has obtained an MBA from Durham University Business School. He has broad international working experience and is able to converse in Mandarin Chinese and some French, German, Korean, Thai. Conrad is married with two sons. He enjoys outdoor activities like jogging and playing golf.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Dean Wicks

Chief Flights Officer,

The travel industry is firmly entrenched within Dean’s heart and soul having worked within the business for over 20 years, the last 14 of which with an online travel and distribution focus in the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions. Before joining Wego in early 2011, Dean was Head of Marketing and Air Product for ZUJI/Travelocity in Australia and New Zealand, and instrumental to the growth of one of Australia’s leading online travel agencies.

As Chief Marketing Officer and VP of Airline Relations at Wego, Dean developed a solid global marketing strategy, specifically tailored to suit individual markets in line with Wego’s localisation strategy, increasing overall traffic and brand performance while sourcing new and exciting initiatives to ensure Wego remains a market leader in the online travel realm.

Dean’s great relationships with the aviation industry was integral in building Wego’s solid partnerships with airlines right around the world, rapidly growing Wego’s airline inventory which was acknowledged in early 2013 with his promotion to Chief Flights Officer. He now continues to build and manage Wego’s airline partnerships and develop new strategies to support their business, increase their online exposure, and widen their market reach extensively.

Dean has more travel stories than any guidebook and is very familiar with almost every airport and airline in the world. He hails from Sydney, Australia and is now based in Singapore at Wego’s head office, having had extended periods in Europe, North America, the Middle East and other Southeast Asian cities

Participating Talks and Sessions

Mario Hardy


Mario Hardy was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) on November 1st, 2014. He previously joined the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) as the Chief Operations Officer on January 15th, 2014.

PATA is a not-for profit membership association that acts as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism within the Asia Pacific region. The Association, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2011, provides travel industry leadership and counsel to over 90 government, state and city tourism bodies, nearly 50 international airlines, airports and cruise lines, and many hundreds of travel industry companies across Asia Pacific and beyond.

Mario is also past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PATA Foundation, a non-profit organisation with a mission to contribute to the sustainable and responsible development of travel and tourism in Asia Pacific through the protection of the environment, the conservation of culture and heritage, and support for education.

He is an entrepreneur, serial angel investor with close to 30 years of combined leadership, corporate development and change management experience.

Prior to PATA, Mario worked 14 years for UBM/OAG a business with a focus on data analytics and events for the aviation sector and occupied several leadership roles in London, Beijing and Singapore.

He began his career with People's Express Airlines in 1985, before joining Canadian Airlines in 1987 where he spent 12 years in a number of sales, marketing and operational roles, leading to his appointment in a senior management role heading the Group Sales & Charter division in 1997.

Mario has a BSc from the University of Montreal, a Public Relations Certificate from L'École des Hautes Études Commerciales de Montréal and an International Trade Certificate from the O'Sullivan College of Montreal.

He is a true global citizen who lived on 3 continents, 7 countries and has over 10 years experience working in Asia. A seasoned traveler with a goal of visiting over 100 countries engaging with local communities. Passionate about travel, innovation, design and technology; you will often find him reading, FastCompany, TechCrunch, Mashable, National Geographic, watching TED Talks, or searching for the latest innovations on Kickstarter or Indiegogo.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Bertrand Pabon

Marketing Strategy Director, ATR - Avions de Transport Regional

Bertrand Pabon was appointed to his position within ATR in January 2011 and provides market research, business intelligence, marketing plan and sales support.

Bertrand Pabon has been involved in aviation since 1999 when he joined Air France in long term network and fleet planning department. He took part in long haul fleet renewing process, alliances and partnerships development. With an accurate view of strategic topics, he then joined operational activities through various management positions during the most exciting and challenging years of last decade, leading restructuring projects in various domains.

Mr Pabon graduated from french “Grandes Ecoles” ISAE in Toulouse and holds a master degree in Air Transport and Aerospace Economics from Toulouse School of Economics.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Xu Hongwei

Senior Manager Business Development,

Mr. Xu Hongwei currently works as Senior Manager of Business Development at and has eight years experience in the civil aviation industry.

He started his career in Cargo International Air Transportation positioned as Station Manager and Revenue Management Cord Member. He then moved on to work for Shenzhen Airlines before moving to in November 2014.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Li Xiangdong

Deputy General Manager, China Eastern Yunnan Company

Li Xiangdong is the Deputy General Manager at China Eastern Yunnan Compnay.

From1985-1990, he worked as a Radio Operator for the Civil Aviation Administration Anhui Bureau, before moving on to work for China Eastern Airlines Anhui Company in Flight Operation as Deputy Chief Dispatcher. He then moved on to work in the Marketing Department for China Eastern Airlines.

He began his career working for China Eastern Airlines Yunnan Airlines in 2010.   

Participating Talks and Sessions

Gerard O. Panga

Tourism Attaché, Philippine Consulate General, Philippine Tourism Office in Shanghai, China

Gerard O. Panga currently works as Tourism Attaché, Philippine Consulate General at the Philippine Tourism Office in Shanghai, China. 

Before this time, he worked as Philippine Tourism Representative at the Manila Economic & Cultural Office, Tourism Center in Taipei, Taiwan and from 1994 - 2004, he worked for the Philippine Convention & Visitors Corporation (PCVC).

He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Tourism from the Asian institute of Tourism, University of the Philippines.

Participating Talks and Sessions