World Routes 2015

The 21st World Route Development Forum

Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
19 – 22 September 2015

Strategy Summit Speakers

Edward Senzo Mchunu MPL

Premier, Province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Edward Senzo Mchunu was born in April 1958 at eNhlwathi in the area of KwaHlabisa, eMkhanyakude District. Currently he resides at Empangeni, and is married to Mrs Thandeka Mchunu who is also the Mayor of uThungulu District Municipality. They have been blessed with four (4) children, two girls and two boys.

He started his primary schooling at iNhlwathi Primary School, and secondary education was completed at Mbopha Secondary School in KwaHlabisa. He completed his high school education at Amakholwa High School, Sinathing in Pietermaritzburg. Because of the apartheid education system, most rural schools did not offer high school education and learners were forced to migrate to urban areas in to complete their matriculation.

In 1981 he registered for a Bachelor of Pedagogics (B Paed.) degree through the University of Zululand. In the first two years he obtained Secondary Teachers' Diploma in 1982. In October 1984 just before his final fourth year exams, the University closed down following protracted student protests on campus. His chances to complete his studies there ended when he was denied any possibility of re-registering at the university. To register with the University of South Africa, the University of Zululand could only issue a letter of disclaimer saying that the university could admit him at their own risk. In 1986 he completed his Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree through the University of South Africa with majors in Education and International Relations. In 2002 Mchunu enrolled with the University of Free State for a two-year Masters Programme in Political Transformation, of which one year was completed.

In 1985 Mr Mchunu began his teaching career at St Augustine's High School at Nquthu which was a legendary rural boarding school. In 1988 he was transferred to Eshowe and taught at Impande High School until the advent of his fulltime political career in 1991.



He was appointed as a scribe of the Regional Interim Committee of the ANC in Northern Natal.


He was elected as the first Regional Secretary of the Northern Natal Region of the ANC.


He was re-elected as the Regional Secretary of Northern Natal in the second regional conference.


He was re-elected at the third regional conference of Northern Natal as Regional Secretary


He was re-elected for the fourth term as the Regional Secretary of the Northern Natal Region of the ANC

Dec 1994

He was elected as the first Provincial Secretary of the ANC in KZN following the merger of three regions in the Province. This was a two-year term.


He was elected Regional Deputy Secretary


Ordinary member of the KZN Legislature

1999 to 2002

Chairperson of the Agriculture Portfolio Committee

2002 to 2004

Chairperson of the Social Development Portfolio Committee

2004 to 2009

Chairperson of the Education Portfolio Committee

May 2009 to September 2013

MEC for Education in KZN

March 2013 to date

Provincial Chairperson of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal

Sept 2013 to May 2014

Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Province

May 2014

Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Province

The Premier of KwaZulu-Natal Province has the following responsibilities:-

  • MEC for Royal Household
  • Chairperson of the Provincial HIV and Aids Council
  • Chairperson of the Provincial Human Resource Development Council
  • Chairperson of the Council on Climate Change
  • Chairperson of the Provincial Co-ordinating Forum
  • Political Champion of the Provincial Planning Commission
  • Member of the Presidential Infrastructure Co-ordinating Council
  • Member of the National Executive Committee of the ruling party, the African National Congress.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Michael Mabuyakhulu

MEC for Economic Development Tourism and Environmental Affairs, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Michael Mabuyakhulu holds an Honours Degree in Management and a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from the University of Wales. He is currently working on his Masters in Business Administration. He has also completed an Advanced Business Programme (NQF 7) through the Durban University of Technology.

In 1982 Mabuyakhulu began his career as a Production Manager for Mintex on the north coast where he was elected as a President of the Engineering Sector of the Metal and Allied Workers Union of South Africa. In 1984 he was appointed as the Regional Secretary of the powerful National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA) in northern KwaZulu-Natal –the position he held until 1994. As a trade unionist, Mabuyakhulu developed a reputation as a skilful negotiator and efficient administrator amongst businesses.

During the 1980s Mabuyakhulu also played a leading role in the peace process in the province –being instrumental in facilitating political negotiations between the African National Congress and the Inkatha Freedom Party. After the first democratic elections in 1994, he left the trade union movement and became a Member of the Provincial Legislature. Between 1994 and 1999 he was Convener of the ANC Caucus within the Economic Development and Tourism Portfolio Committee. He also served on the Public Accounts and Premier's Portfolio Committees.

In 1999 he was appointed to the Cabinet of KwaZulu-Natal as MEC for Economic Development and Tourism – becoming the youngest Member of the Executive Council.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Tebogo Mekgoe

Chief Operations Officer, Airports Company of South Africa Limited

Tebogo Mekgoe is a University of Cape Town graduate with a BSc in Mechanical Engineering. In June 2000, Tebogo joined Airports Company South Africa as a trainee engineer in the Maintenance and Engineering department at the then Johannesburg International Airport. From that position, he progressed to Head of Department: Surface Maintenance, where he gained valuable people and asset management skills.

In 2005, Tebogo took on the role of Airport Manager at East London Airport. East London provided an exciting experience as his responsibilities spanned across all aspects of managing an airport and leading people.

 Tebogo returned to O.R Tambo International Airport as Assistant General Manager in 2007, a position he held for five years. As Assistant General Manager, Tebogo’s approach was to integrate smooth operations with continuous improvement. During that time, he was the Project Leader of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Operations team. One of his major roles in that position was as lead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup project, with the key deliverable of preparing the airport for this massive, global event.

In 2012, Tebogo was promoted to General Manager of O.R. Tambo International, where he was tasked with leading Africa’s flagship airport. His responsibilities ranged from stakeholder management to strategy setting and implementation to employee enablement. One of his key focus areas during that time was driving business model innovation.  

On 1 April 2014, Tebogo was appointed Airports Company South Africa’s Chief Operating Officer. Tebogo is the first to hold the position of Chief Operating Officer at Airports Company South Africa. Under this portfolio, Tebogo’s role is to ensure efficient and effective operations management, optimise operational processes, implement strategy into operations, manage the strategic assets of the company, drive key change and transformation initiatives, and ultimately help the business to innovate and grow.

In his time with Airports Company South Africa, Tebogo has completed a Diploma in Advanced Airport Operations from International Airline Transport Association and an Executive MBA through the University Of Cape Town Graduate School Of Business.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Dipuo Peters MP

Minister for Transport, Republic of South Africa

Elizabeth Dipuo Peters was born in Kimberley in the Northern Cape Province on 13 May 1960. She is the Minister of Transport in the Republic of South Africa  having been appointed by President Jacob Zuma to this portfolio in 10 July 2013. Before this, she served as Minister of Energy from 2009-2013 following a stint as the Premier of the Northern Cape Province where she led the provincial government from 22 April 2004 to 10 May 2009. Ms Peters is a member of the African National Congress (ANC) and is actively involved in the organization’s Women's League National Executive Committee.


Ms Peters went to school at Tidimalo Junior Secondary and Tshireleco Senior Secondary in Kimberley. She subsequently studied for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work from the University of the North in 1987. This was followed by a Certificate in Development and Public Policy that was obtained from the University of the Western Cape in 1996. She further studied for a Certificate in Executive Management from the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business in 2002, and a Certificate in International Policy Management from Havana in Cuba also in 2002.

Political Career:

Dipuo Peters joined the Young Christian Students, where her political activism began. She participated in Youth Formations in the church and community. She was Deputy Chairperson of the Women's Forum in AZASO which later became SASCO at the University of the North. In Kimberley she was a member of the Galeshewe Youth Congress, an affiliate of the United Democratic Front (UDF). She worked as a volunteer regional organizer for the South African Domestic Worker's Union – recruiting, organizing, educating and counseling domestic workers in the Northern Cape in 1987. Then from 1987 to 1990 Peters was Head of the Women's Department at the South African Youth Congress. In 1990 she joined the African National Congress Youth League as the Secretary for Women’s Affairs, having been Woman Organizer of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the South African Youth Congress (SAYCO) from 1987 to 1990.

Other positions include:

  • Member of the Northern Cape Provincial National Youth Committee (PNYC) (1990–1991).
  • Worked as a social worker for the NCCR, tasks included liaising with other organizations on behalf of the Committee in the Northern Cape, administering grants for the disabled, aged and un-accompanied minors, and proposing and implementing service plans for the individuals and groups of returnees (1992–1994).
  • Worked for NCCR, a United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) structure which worked for the repatriation of political exiles and re-integration of political prisoners after the unbanning of political organizations.
  • Member of Parliament (National Assembly) and was responsible for the Northern Cape and ANC membership/Caucus Register (1994–1997).
  • Member of Provincial Executive of the ANC in the Northern Cape (1996).
  • Member of the Portfolio Committees on Home Affairs, Public Works, Social Services and Health.
  • ANC Chief Whip in the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature (1997–1999).
  • ANC's Treasurer for the Northern Cape Province (1997–2003).
  • Member of Executive Council (MEC) for Health (1999–2004).
  • Provincial Deputy Chairperson of ANC (May - December 2003).
  • Member of the ANC Women's League National Executive Committee (2002–2003).
  • Deputy Chairperson of the ANC in the Northern Cape, and later acting Provincial Chairperson (2004).
  • Member of ANC National Executive Committee (1998–2007).
  • Provincial Chairperson of the African National Congress (December 2003 - December 2007).

Participating Talks and Sessions

Angela Gittens

Director General, ACI World

Angela Gittens, a twenty-five year airport veteran, began her tenure as Director General of Airports Council International (ACI World) in 2008. Prior to joining ACI, Gittens served as Vice-President, Airport Business Services for HNTB Corporation, where she led the firm’s practice in airport business and strategic planning.

She has held top executive positions at three of the largest US airport systems – Miami International Airport, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and San Francisco International Airport – including leadership of a multi-billion dollar capital improvement programme. As Vice president at TBI Airport Management, she oversaw the transition to private ownership of London Luton Airport and managed operations contracts at several airports in the US and Canada.

Gittens has served on numerous aviation industry boards and committees including FAA and NASA advisory committees, the Executive Committee of the National Academy of Science's Transportation Research Board and the Board of Directors of JetBlue Airways.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Adefunke Adeyemi

Head of Member & External Relations, Africa & Middle East, IATA

Funke joined IATA in June 2009 as Country Manager for IATA in South West Africa, overseeing all IATA’s activities in English speaking West Africa and was IATA’s ambassador in the region until June 2013 when she was promoted to Regional Head for Airline and External Relations for Africa and the Middle East. She currently acts as intermediary between airlines, the wider aviation community and the general public.

Prior to joining IATA, Funke was a member of the Industry Affairs Committee, the global committee for inter-airline co-operation, who advise the IATA Board of Governors, the Director-General and other relevant IATA bodies on the regulatory and aero political aspects of commercial and industry affairs and aero-political matters affecting international air transport.

She began her career with the Law firm of F.O. Akinrele & Co., one of the leading law firms in Nigeria, between 2001 to 2005, where she facilitated and executed several exciting projects ranging from Corporate Finance and Corporate restructuring transactions, Securities and financial advisory, Oil & Gas, Telecommunications, Banking; and general Corporate and Commercial Law. She also has significant experience in Transport, Aviation and Aerospace (including setting up Virgin Nigeria Airways) where she was Head of Legal and Company Secretary from 2005 to early 2009.

She obtained her Master of Laws (LL.M.) in International Commercial Law from University of Cambridge, United Kingdom and read Law at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, both with high honours. She is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Nigerian Supreme Court. She has just completed her Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Nanyang Business School, NTU, Singapore, during which she also simultaneously completed a collaborative Advanced Management Program in Aviation, Leadership and Innovation between the Nanyang Business School, Berkeley Haas School of Business, University of California and the Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania.

She has been a national delegate during the last 4 Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change where she and other colleagues from around the world facilitated the global industry position on Environmental issues.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Hugh Aitken

Director of Business Development, Skyscanner for Business

Hugh leads the business development operations for Skyscanner for Business, the business-to-business arm of global travel search engine, Skyscanner. Skyscanner for Business develops strategic partnerships with a range of partners benefitting from Skyscanner’s global coverage, while also taking to market a range of unique analytical tools to provide partners with an holistic insight into travel demand and trends.

Prior to joining Skyscanner, Hugh spent four years at the European low cost airline, easyJet, where he looked after the commercial performance and market strategy for the airline across London, Scotland the North East of England, as well as the Middle East and Iceland. Prior to that Hugh spent 13 years at UK airport operator, BAA, where he held a number of senior commercial and business development roles.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Kate Aleksidze

Chief Executive Officer, United Airports of Georgia (UAG)

Kate Aleksidze became the first person to lead newly established Airport Authority - United Airports of Georgia (UAG) when she took on the role of CEO from early 2010. Since that period, UAG introduced major infrastructural projects, constructing 2 completely new airports and in total currently owns 3 international and 1 domestic airports all over the country. 

Over the last 5 years Aleksidze has been keen and successful to engage all aviation stakeholders including private concessioners to achieve common goals, as a result of which Georgian airports have experienced a robust 17% compound average growth rate. She has also overseen a major internal restructuring of UAG to improve the company’s organizational effectiveness in delivering greater value to the passengers using Georgian airports.

Aleksidze has been a tireless campaigner for UAG, spreading the word internationally about the country as a destination and its airports, as well bringing some major aviation international events to Georgia. 

Kate Aleksidze was born in Georgia in 1980 and graduated from Tbilisi State University in 2003. She has broad international and local working as well teaching and consulting experience in government and private as well as non for profit sector.  

Participating Talks and Sessions

Azim Barodawala

Co-Founder and CEO, Volantio Inc

Azim Barodawala is Co-Founder and CEO of Volantio Inc., a Silicon Valley (Y-Combinator) backed travel technology company focused on helping airlines better target, convert, and retain their customers.  Azim brings over 10 years of Travel specific leadership experience to his role with Volantio, having previously worked with Jetstar Airways, the Boston Consulting Group, and

At Jetstar, Azim served as Head of Strategy, where he focused on developing partnership frameworks in the Asian region designed to ensure consistency of customer experience and maximization of synergies across the Jetstar Group of carriers.

With the Boston Consulting Group, Azim served as a Project Leader focused on the Travel and Tourism sector.  Topics that Azim covered included online distribution, loyalty, customer acquisition, and liquidity/bankruptcy analysis.  Azim has also led the online marketing efforts for Latin America's largest online travel site,, helping to lower the company's cost of customer acquisition.

Azim holds an MBA from the Wharton School, and a Masters in International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania.  He completed his undergraduate studies at Duke University, graduating with Highest Honors.  Azim is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Evan Berg

Manager of International Planning, Southwest Airlines

Evan Berg is the Sr. Manager of International Planning in Southwest Airlines Network Planning and Performance Department.  In this role, Evan leads a team responsible for developing Southwest Airlines International network growth strategy.  In addition, Evan acted as the Regional Lead of an international cross-functional team comprised of Network Planning, Revenue Management, Marketing, Sales, Distribution, and Strategic Planning.  In this role Evan was responsible for the coordination and development of commercial plans for the entire international network.  

Evan has served in multiple roles within Network Planning since joining Southwest Airlines over fourteen years ago, including Manager of Route and Frequency Planning for the East Region, Manager of Initiatives, and Manager of Capacity Planning.  Prior to Network Planning, Evan spent two years in the Airport Affairs Department at Southwest.  As a Manager of Airport Affairs, Evan led negotiations on Airport Use and Lease Agreements, headed the Airport/Airline Affairs Committees at several Airports and supported Southwest Airlines interests in airport budget reviews, terminal expansion projects, and local political affairs.  Before joining the Airport Affairs group, Evan spent two years in Schedule and Capacity Planning, and two years in the Finance Department.   In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his wife, Hedy, identical twin boys, Benjamin and Bryce, and his extended family.  The family loves to travel, read, play sports and enjoy spending time at the beach.  Evan holds a BA in Communications from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Nico Bezuidenhout

CEO, Mango and former acting CEO, South Africa Airways

Richard Bodin

Chief Commercial Officer, FastJet

One of the founding Directors of fastjet, Richards broad role encompasses Sales, Marketing, Distribution, Product, Yield management, Network Development and Ancillary Revenue. He also sits on the PLC Board. fastjet is an award winning low cost carrier based in East Africa and is well on its way to achieving its goal to democratise air travel in Africa.  

Richard has spent his working life in travel and tourism. After working 10 years overseas for the UK tour operator First Choice, he returned to the UK to complete an MBA. He then joined easyJet in its early years assisting in its growth from a pre AOC, wet lease operator to one that had over 35 B737’s flying an extensive route map across Europe. After easyJet, Richard assisted in the launch of another Low Cost Airline called in the UK, conceived and launched a brand new UK Tour Operator called Jet2holidays, and carried out a turnaround project for the Virgin Travel Group. 

Participating Talks and Sessions

Sylvain Bosc

Chief Commercial Officer, South African Airways

Sylvain Bosc is responsible for the revenue side of the SAA business, covering Worldwide Sales, Marketing, Revenue Management and Pricing, Network Planning and Scheduling as well as Fleet Planning.

A graduate from HEC in Paris, Europe's most prestigious management school, Sylvain brings with him a significant amount of airline business experience, particularly in turnaround situations. He spent 13 years at Air France where he actively participated in the reform of the then state-owned company in the USA, in France, Spain and Japan.

His last assignment in this company was to oversee the Air France KLM group strategic planning function, at a time when the group was the largest airline in the world. Lately, Mr Bosc has been credited with the successful restructuring of Corsair, France's second carrier and a subsidiary of TUI Travel PLC, where as Chief Commercial Officer, he took the company from very deep operating losses to break even in just four years, with successful commercial inroads into West Africa.

A native of Toulouse, France; Mr Bosc is passionate about rugby, aviation, jazz music and foreign affairs (he speaks four languages fluently).

Participating Talks and Sessions

Dr Mike Cantlay

Chairman, Visit Scotland

Mike was appointed to his post on 1 April 2010. As Chair of VisitScotland he will also serve as an Ex-Officio Board Member of VisitBritain. He is a familiar face for VisitScotland, having been Deputy Chairman of VisitScotland from April 2001 until 2005 and previously a Board Member of the Scottish Tourist Board as well as Argyll and the Isles, Loch Lomond, Stirling and Trossachs Tourist Board.

Mike is Chairman and Managing Director of William Glen Limited which operates tourism, leisure and retail interests in Scotland, Canada and the USA. He was previously Chair and Managing Director of highland dress manufacturer and tourist retailer “Hector Russell” with branches across Scotland and specialist retailer “The Whisky Shop” with operations in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Callander, Oban, Fort William and Inverness.

Mike was brought up in Callander where he still lives and his business is headquartered. He has held several other significant public appointments including Chair of Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley, Chair of Forth Valley College, Non-Executive Director of Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd and an advisory member of the board of Scottish Enterprise.

In 2014 he received an OBE for services to tourism.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Christina Cassotis

CEO, Pittsburgh International Airport

Christina Cassotis is the Chief Executive Officer of the Allegheny County Airport Authority, an agency that oversees Pittsburgh International Airport and Allegheny County Airport, Pittsburgh’s executive gateway.

At Pittsburgh International, she oversees an airport with over 8 million passengers annually and is successfully leading its transition from a mega connecting hub to a top O&D facility.

Prior to joining the Allegheny County Airport Authority in January 2015, Ms. Cassotis spent 15 years at SH&E and later the merged ICF-SH&E, a global commercial aviation consulting firm. Most recently there, she served as Managing Officer for Airport Services, leading a global team of airport consultants in areas of competitiveness and business strategy for clients worldwide.

She’s advised airports around the globe on economic strategy, developing business plans and working with state departments of transportation on airport system planning.

Ms. Cassotis began her career in commercial aviation working for Massachusetts Port Authority, which operates Boston Logan International Airport. She served as Deputy Director of Communications, leading strategy surrounding airport improvement projects including Massport’s controversial program to build a new runway.

She excels in managing partnerships and engaging stakeholders in support of major goals and initiatives.

Ms. Cassotis holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts.

She is married, has one son, and resides Pittsburgh.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Zhihang Chi

Vice President & General Manager, North America, Air China

As Vice President and General Manager for North America, Dr. Zhihang Chi manages all aspects of Air China’s business in the region and a team of 100-plus employees from its headquarters in Los Angeles. Dr. Chi’s extensive experience in the airline industry, his visionary leadership and passion in promoting a closer and mutually beneficial Sino-American relationship are credited for Air China’s expansion and aggressive growth in North America, particularly in Los Angeles.

He is a much sought-after speaker on topics ranging from US-China relations, trade, tourism and aviation. In November 2011, Dr. Chi received the prestigious China Business Leadership Award from the U.S.- China Policy Foundation. Each year the nonprofit, non-partisan, non-advocacy Washington, D.C.-based organization honors individuals who have made valuable contributions for the promotion of greater understanding between American and Chinese policymakers and government officials. Dr. Chi’s experience, training and educational background have prepared him well for the challenges of his position as the head of Air China in North America.

He worked in a number of increasingly responsible positions for Northwest Airlines from 1994 to 2003. During his years at Northwest, he developed and managed a number of strategic alliances with other international carriers, especially with the Chinese carriers. He joined Air China in 2004 and has led the company’s unprecedented growth and significant investments in and contribution to the California economy. Before he was named Vice President and General Manager for North America in April 2008, Dr. Chi was General Manager, Western US. Prior to that, he ran Air China’s Los Angeles office. Dr. Chi’s unrelenting advocacy for travel facilitation for Chinese visitors has made him a familiar figure to senior members of the U.S. Congress, State Department and the U.S. Homeland Security with whom he has personally met.

Fluent in English and Chinese, Dr. Chi’s background makes him uniquely qualified to speak on China and U.S.-China relations. A naturalized U.S. citizen, Dr. Chi was born in China. He earned his doctorate and master’s degrees from the Sloan School of Management of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and received his bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Peking University in China.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Ole Wieth Christensen

Director Airline Sales & Route Development, Copenhagen Airports

Ole joined Copenhagen Airport (CPH) in 2003 and has held different positions at the airport focusing on traffic development and airline customer relations. In 2009-2010 Ole and his team were driving the strategic development leading to construction of CPH’s LCC pier, enabling CPH to offer a dedicated LCC facility in addition to the airport’s high quality transfer airport product – and all under one roof.

Currently, Ole is responsible for:

  • Development and execution of CPH’s Aviation Business Strategy
  • Traffic revenue of DKK 2,250 million / USD 335 million (2014)
  • All airline customers and their development at CPH
  • Developing new routes to/from Scandinavia’s largest airport
  • Developing more frequencies on existing routes
  • Attracting new airline customers
  • Retention of existing routes, frequencies and airlines
  • Leading a team of 10 sales, marketing, business development, and route development specialists

Before joining the airport he worked in the medico industry and before that a couple of years in the Danish Armed Forces as Platoon Leader for an Engineer Platoon.

He holds an MBA in International Management and a M.Sc. in International Business supplemented with executive training at INSEAD and Harvard Business School. When not involved in aviation business development at CPH, Ole enjoys living in Greater Copenhagen with his wife and three daughters.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Hussain Dabbas

Africa & Middle East Regional VP, IATA

Hussein Dabbas is IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa & Middle East based in Amman – Jordan since 2012.

His responsibilities include defining IATA’s members’ priorities and needs, Implementing IATA policies and promoting its services, ensure that the clearing of over $24 billion Dollars annually is done in a safe and timely manner. Working with airline Presidents and Directors of Civil Aviation in the region to push for a more secure and safe industry through the implementation of the IATA safety standards. Promote the value aviation brings to the economies of the countries and the promotion of the liberalization of the industry. In addition he contributes expertise in corporate strategy, commercial strategy and business planning to the stakeholders.

Before joining IATA in June 2012, Hussein was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Royal Jordanian Airlines for three years after spending over thirty years with the airline in senior roles, including Vice President Commercial and Services and Regional Director for the USA based in New York. Hussein holds a Master’s Degree in International Management and Marketing from Thunderbird School of Global Management, Arizona, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco, California, USA.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Pierre Delvaux

Managing Director, Thanda Private Game

Pierre Delvaux, Thanda and Danir South Africa Group CEO, started the Danir Southern Africa operations in early 2002 for the Sweden-based Olofsson family. At the time, Pierre had been a partner in a KwaZulu Natal firm of accountants and management consultants for 15 years, where he headed up the management consulting division. His focus, apart from rural development projects and programmes, was on business start-ups, and Thanda was one of his exciting and adventurous projects.

From the onset of Thanda, Pierre played a crucial role in advising and guiding the business, steering it along the path to achieve greatness. Working closely with Swedish billionaire IT entrepreneur Dan Olofsson has given Pierre the inspiration and guidance as well as the exceptionally high benchmark to strive for the very best in hospitality and service excellence.

Thanda Private Game Reserve officially opened to the public in May 2004, joining The Leading Hotels of the World group two years later. Thanda has grown into a recognised 5-star luxury brand that has won many internationally acclaimed awards for service excellence and its conservation efforts. Community involvement and upliftment, along with employment equity for its staff, has been the cornerstone of Thanda’s success.

In February 2016, Thanda Tanzania will launch its private ‘Thanda Island’ venture, offering a unique and exclusive-use experience for discerning guests.

Pierre is also Chairman of Thanda Foundation Trust, which through its ‘Star for Life – Aids Free That’s Me’ programme supports over 100,000 school children to go for their dreams and live an AIDS-free life.

Pierre is passionate about service excellence in hospitality and achieving the wow factor, whilst he is equally passionate about conservation programmes and initiatives that protect endangered wildlife species. Having grown up in Zululand, ironically camping on safari on what is now Thanda, he has exciting stories to share of the wilderness.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Fernando Estrada

Chief Strategy Officer, Vueling

Fernando currently holds the position of Chief Strategy Officer at Vueling Airlines. Prior to that he held responsibilities in network planning, airport planning and slots at Vueling Airlines and led the team responsible of the merger between Vueling and clickair where he enrolled in 2007. 

Before working for the airline industry, Fernando made a full range of strategy consulting work for 7 years in more than 8 countries. 

Fernando has a BS degree in Telecommunication Engineering and a Master at IESE Business School.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Richard Evans

Senior Consultant, Flightglobal Ascend

Richard Evans is a Senior Consultant with Ascend Flightglobal Consultancy, where he is part of their 22 strong team.  At Ascend, he applies his expertise working on advisory and valuations projects across the whole commercial aviation sector.

He joined Ascend in 2014 after 27 years with Rolls-Royce.  Most recently Head of Market Analysis in their Civil Aerospace division, Richard is well known and widely respected for his informed industry views.  He has published industry forecasts and provided analysis of major airline and aerospace industry trends for both internal and external customers, as well as acting as a consultant for business improvement activities.  Richard has frequently presented and chaired at international conferences.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Monica Ewert

Director of Communications, Stockholm Business Region

Monica Ewert is responsible for the international branding position of the Stockholm region. Monica is also responsible for the communications department of Stockholm Business Region AB (SBR), which is a holding company with two subsidiaries; Stockholm Business Region Development and Stockholm Visitors Board. SBR work to promote and develop Stockholm as a business and tourism destination. SBR is wholly owned by the city of Stockholm.

Monica’s has more than 25 years experience of management within marketing communications and branding including business operations, project and staff management. Previously she was head of communications for the Nordic investment bank, Carnegie and beforehand she had her on company within the communication field.  Monica’s got a bachelor in branding and marketing communications.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Tewolde GebreMariam

CEO, Ethiopian Airlines

Tewolde GebreMariam joined Ethiopian Airlines in 1985 as Transportation Agent at Addis Ababa Airport. He progressed through the ladder to Manager Cargo Traffic Handling. He was appointed as Regional Director for India and South East Asia based in Bombay. He was transferred to Jeddah as Area Manager for Saudi Arabia. When Ethiopian Airlines commenced direct services to the USA, he was appointed as Area Sales Manager for North East USA and Canada based in New York. In October 2000 he was appointed as Regional Director for the Americas.

On August 16, 2004 he was appointed as Executive Officer marketing & Sales to head the Marketing and Sales Operations of Ethiopian Airlines.  On July 1, 2006 he was appointed as Chief Operating Officer of Ethiopian Airlines to head all the operating divisions of the airline, Commercial, Flight Operations, Customer Services and Maintenance and Engineering.  Since January 1, 2011, he has been serving as CEO of Ethiopian Airlines.

He earned his B.A. degree in Economics from Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia and his Masters of Business Administrations Degree from the Open University in the United Kingdom. Mr. GebreMariam is married and a father of four children and currently residing in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad

Advisor, MAHB

Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad was the Managing Director of MAHB since 7 June 2003 until 6 June 2014.

Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad began his career with Malaysia Airlines, the Malaysia’s national carrier. Over a 29 year period, he served as Director of Corporate Planning, Senior Vice President of Commercial and eventually Executive Vice President of the airline.

In 2001,Tan Sri Bashir was appointed as the Aviation Advisor to the Ministry of Transport Malaysia and he held the position till his appointment as Managing Director of Malaysia Airports from 7 June 2003 until 6 June 2014.

Apart from MAHB’s Main Board and Board Committees, he also previously sat on the Boards of Hyderabad International Airport, Delhi International Airport (India) and Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport (Turkey).

Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad is the current immediate Past President of Airport Council International’s (ACI) Asia Pacific Region and also sits on its World Governing Board as Advisor.

He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Hons) from University of Malaysia. Upon the expiry of his contract as Managing Director on 6 June 2014, he was appointed as Advisor to the MAHB’s Board of Directors with effect from 9 June 2014.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Alfredo Gonzalez

Vice President, International Sales & Market Development, Visit Florida

Alfredo Gonzalez is senior vice president, global market development for Brand USA, the nation's public-private partnership dedicated to increasing international visitation to the United States through marketing and promotional efforts. In this role, Alfredo is responsible for promoting the United States as a premier travel destination by developing and expanding Brand USA’s international representation network, partnerships, and programs with influential international travel and tourism leaders. Key areas of focus for Alfredo are on building Brand USA’s international representation reach to be in the markets that drive 93 percent of all in-bound travel to the United States, as well as identifying opportunities for new partnership and sales channels, marketing programs, and sponsorships to exponentially increase the number of international travelers that visit the United States.

Alfredo joined Brand USA in April 2013 following 14 years with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau (GFLCVB). As vice president of tourism and international business for GFLCVB, Alfredo helped shepherd record visitation and spend to Florida from international markets and led the bureau’s successful air-service development initiative, which enabled the Fort Lauderdale- Hollywood International Airport (FLL) to attract new carriers and an influx of international travelers from France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Colombia and Mexico. As a result of these and other efforts, he was presented the Routes Destination Marketing Award at the 2013 Routes America conference in Cartagena, Colombia. The award recognizes the best destination marketing campaign by a tourism authority. In November 2013, the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association (HSMAI) of South Florida presented Alfredo with the prestigious Hospitality Legend of the Year award.

Alfredo has been a passionate member of the travel industry for nearly 30 years, launching his career with the Orlando Airport Marriott in 1985. In 1989, he joined Concord Resorts as director of Latin American sales. In 1993, CFI Resorts Management asked him to establish the international sales program for its timeshare resorts. Having established a strong track record in international sales at CFI and subsequently at Palace Resorts and Bancor Leaders in Travel, Inc., Alfredo joined the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB in 1999 as head of its international sales department. He was promoted to vice president in 2004.

An active member of the industry, Alfredo is vice chair of VISIT FLORIDA’s International Committee and a member of the Hotel Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI). He sits on the board of the Miami Chapter of SKAL and the advisory board of Routes International. He earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Florida. He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and conversational in French.

Participating Talks and Sessions

John Grant

Executive Vice President, OAG

John is responsible the management and enhancement of OAG’s product portfolio and new product development which includes OAG’s Flight Schedules database, Flight Status and its rapidly evolving analytical products, the OAGs Analyser Suite.

Previously, John served as Managing Director of ASM, a leading consultancy specialising in air service development for airports. During his tenure there he achieved a number of successes for the company and its clients, including the successful re-positioning of Kuala Lumpur as Asia’s major low cost airline network centre and the expansion and development of Lima Airport into a major hub facility in South America. Whilst under John’s leadership, ASM was twice voted the best consultancy by the UK Airport Operators Association.

John has worked for a range of airlines and airports around the world in areas including finance, marketing and commercial management. He worked at British Caledonian, on the development of its Middle East network, and at Air UK and KLM, where he managed commercial operations and led the rebranding of Air UK before moving to ASM.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Jeremy Pennington

VANTAGE Airport Group, Air Service Development Manager

Jeremy Pennington joined Vantage Airport Group in July 2015 as Air Service Development Manager to lead passenger growth objectives across the company’s network.

Prior to joining Vantage, Jeremy was with Heathrow Airport Ltd. where he held multiple senior commercial management positions, most recently in Airline Business Development where he was responsible for pricing and service development throughout the construction and opening of Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal.

Jeremy holds an MBA from the University of Cambridge, Judge Business School and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science & International Relations from the University of British Columbia.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Pieter Groeneveld

VP Network Planning, KLM

Pieter finished his Master's degree in Business Economics at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam in 1995. After a short period working for Royal Dutch Shell in procurement Pieter joined KLM in 1997. His 1st assignment was to coordinate the
introduction of the 6 Wave Hub System in AMS. Pieter succeeded his career within network planning as network planner Eastern Europe and later as Senior network planning for Asia Pacific. Pieter moved to the Cargo division in 2002 as Director Network planning followed by commercial functions as Director Cargo for High Tech and Fashion industries. Pieter returned in 2008 to KLM head office as Vice President Corporate Strategy and since 2010 responsible for the global network development of KLM in close cooperation with the VP network planning of Air France.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Jared Harckham

Vice President, ICF International’s Aviation & Aerospace Group

Jared Harckham, a Vice President in ICF International’s Aviation & Aerospace group, has nearly 35 years’ experience in the aviation industry, including 22 years of experience with major airlines in the United States and Mexico. He has experience in the areas of airline strategy, network and fleet planning, alliances, and marketing as well as air service development and forecasting for airports.  Prior to joining ICF International in 2002, Mr. Harckham held a series of planning positions at TWA, and he was the senior vice president of commercial planning at Aeromexico where he directed strategy, scheduling, planning, forecasting, pricing, revenue management, distribution, government affairs, and alliance efforts for Mexico’s largest airline. Mr. Harckham also participated in the founding and design of the Skyteam alliance. Mr. Harckham has an M.B.A. with an emphasis in Marketing from Columbia University and a B.A. in History from Emory University.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Alex Heiter

Executive Director Network and Fleet Planning, Boeing

Alex Heiter, an 18-year veteran of the aviation industry, joined Boeing Commercial Airplanes in June 2006. He is currently the Executive Director overseeing the Airline Network and Fleet Planning team within the marketing organization.

Alex leads a group responsible for analyzing and planning route networks and developing fleet plans for air carriers worldwide.  Prior to his current assignment Alex was a long range product forecasting focal for the Boeing annual Current Market Outlook (CMO), a 20-year view of the worldwide demand for commercial airplanes.  Alex’s on-going duties also include providing consultative services to BCA senior management on various issues regarding the global airline marketplace.

Prior to joining the company Alex worked Continental Airlines, where he served as Senior Manager of Schedule Planning. Other positions held at Continental included Strategic Planning, International Route Planning, Pricing and Revenue Management. Alex has also worked for Sabre Airline Solutions as a principal in their airline consulting practice, working on key accounts in Africa and Latin America.

Alex holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Management from Purdue University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin.  He resides in suburban Seattle, Washington with his wife and two children.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Fabrice Valentin

Head of Market Research & Forecasts, Airbus

Fabrice Valentin was appointed Head of Market Research & Forecasts at Airbus in September 2014, in charge of a diverse team with competencies ranging from economy to data science. Their mission is to conduct market studies defining the Airbus product strategy and they are the ones behind the Airbus Global Market Forecast, a leading 20-year commercial aviation forecast.

Previous to this, Fabrice Valentin has been working for the Strategy department of Airbus in Toulouse headquarters.

Fabrice first joined Airbus Operations GmbH in 2006 as an Engineering Project Manager in Germany.

Fabrice Valentin has studied both in France and Germany and graduated as electrical engineer from the Karlsruhe University in 2004.

After being involved in a few start-ups, he ran R&D projects for a German automotive supplier in several countries, USA (California), and India (Bangalore), where he set up an engineering department.

Fabrice was born in 1980.

In his free time, Fabrice enjoys travelling, surfing and skiing with family and friends.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Athar Husain Khan

Chief Executive Officer, AEA

Athar Husain Khan graduated from the University of Leiden with a degree in International Law, and also specialised in Air and Space Law. He subsequently joined the Aeropolitical Division of the Dutch Ministry of Transport as a negotiator of traffic rights and senior policy advisor on various international issues.

He joined the Flight Operations department of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in 1998 where inter alia he was responsible for the regulatory and policy issues surrounding Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. In July 2002 he was appointed Director of Government & Industry Affairs, dealing mainly with infrastructure and environment issues, the Air France – KLM merger and European and international aeropolitical affairs.

In February 2007 he became General Manager Infrastructure at the Association of European Airlines, dealing with value chain issues such as the airline-airport relationship, airport charges, airport capacity, slots, ground handling and social affairs. In 2010 he also assumed responsibility for environment and consumer affairs as General Manager Policy, Environment and Infrastructure.

In June 2011 he was appointed Deputy Secretary General of AEA and as of June 1st 2012 he became the Acting Secretary General. In December 2013 he assumed the position of Chief Executive Officer.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Olivier Jankovec

Director General, ACI Europe

Olivier Jankovec became Director General of the European Region of the Airports Council International (ACI EUROPE) in September 2006. The organisation represents more than 460 airports in 45 European countries. Member airports handle 90% of commercial traffic in Europe and welcome nearly one and half billion passengers each year.

He first joined ACI EUROPE in March 2006 as Director of Strategy & Communications. Olivier has over 20 years of governmental and lobbying experience, having worked for Alitalia (2002-2006), Air France (2000-2002) and the Air Transport Directorate of the European Commission (1994-2000). Immediately prior to joining ACI EUROPE Olivier was the Director of Institutional Relations for Alitalia where he was in charge of governmental affairs at national, European and International levels. During this time he was also Chair of the Association of European Airlines Policy Committee.

In 2006 and 2007, he participated in the EU’s High Level Group on the future of aviation regulation in Europe. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the World Tourism Forum.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Victoria Jaramillo

Senior Director - Marketing & Air Service Development, Orlando International Airport

Vicki Jaramillo, Senior Director Air Service Development & Marketing for Orlando International Airport is one of the leading airport marketing officials in the U.S., with 23 years of aviation marketing experience in Orlando and Miami, as well as 13 years of tourism and economic development experience in Florida.

Ms. Jaramillo joined Greater Orlando Aviation Authority in January 1994. She is responsible for air service development, strategic planning for new routes, airline relationships, passenger marketing and advertising, aviation research, web site presence and social media.  Ms. Jaramillo has successfully worked on bringing dozens of new nonstop routes to MCO including Frankfurt, Sao Paulo, Brasilia, Bogotá, Santo Domingo, Lima, Oslo, Dublin, Cancun, Panama, Mexico City, Seattle, San Diego among many others and most recently Dubai.  During her 21 years with MCO passenger traffic has risen from 22.4 million passengers to over 36 million annual passengers.

Ms. Jaramillo previously worked as Chief of Aviation Marketing for Miami International Airport. She is the former International Business Manager for the Beacon Council of Miami, for which she assisted in attracting foreign investment and joint venture opportunities to Miami Dade County.

As Associate Publisher and Director of Marketing with Worth International Communications Corp., Ms. Jaramillo developed a major international tourism magazine for Florida. In addition, she was an International Sales Representative for the Florida Division of Tourism and is a former Walt Disney World Ambassador, representing Disney worldwide at key domestic and international events.

Ms. Jaramillo currently serves on the international committee of Visit Florida.  She previously served as Chairperson of Airport Council International – U.S. International Air Service Program;  the Board of Directors for the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce, is past president of the Central Florida Business Travel Association and the Miami American Marketing Association.  Ms. Jaramillo was recognized in 2013 as one of the top 25 Influential Hispanics in Central Florida by the Hispanic Chamber of Greater Orlando. 

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and Multinational Business from Florida State University.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Tim Jones

General Manager, Asia & Strategic Partnerships, Tourism Australia

Tim Jones is currently General Manager for Asia & Global Strategic Partnerships, leading Tourism Australia’s teams across the Asia region in eight key markets, and heading up Tourism Australia’s key partner relationships at a global level, including those with airlines and airports. 

Tourism Australia conducts consumer marketing programs and business development activities in 15 countries internationally and, in partnership with the industry, is targeting a growth in overnight expenditure to more than $115 billion by 2020.  A balanced portfolio of international markets is led by China, currently the largest contributor by value at over $6.4 billion with other key markets including the UK, USA, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Germany.

Tourism Australia works closely with Australia’s airports, State and Territory Tourism Organisations and airlines to drive increased aviation capacity and route development.

Tim has an extensive tourism marketing background spanning 18 years. He has been with Tourism Australia for the last nine years, most recently as General Manager, International Operations as well as management roles in Shanghai and London.  Tim joined Tourism Australia from Thomas Cook Signature in the UK, where he was Head of Marketing, having previously worked for Qantas Holidays and the Tui Group.


Participating Talks and Sessions

George Karamanos

Managing Director, KPI Aviation Marketing Solutions

George Karamanos is a high calibre executive with 20 years of international experience in aviation and marketing, having worked in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.  He obtained his M.Sc. in Transportation Management, specialising on Aviation Management and Strategy from the University of New York.  He started his career as a consultant with Speedwing/ORCO in 1992. He joined Virgin Atlantic in Athens in 1995 as Marketing and Administration Manager, and in 1999 he moved to Hong Kong as Virgin’s Business Development Manager for Asia.

George crossed over to airports in 2000, and became Athens International Airport’s Director of Communications & Marketing, streamlining under one umbrella all marketing and communications activities.  During his 9-year tenure, he contributed in making Athens one of the fastest growing European airports, developing an innovative and holistic marketing approach, which resulted in 5 consecutive OAG/Routes Marketing awards (2005-2009).

In October 2009, George became Vice-President Corporate Marketing & Communications in Abu Dhabi Airports Company, responsible for Aeronautical, Non-Aeronautical and Corporate Marketing, together with Communications, PR and CSR. In 2011, the Airport won the Overall OAG/Routes Airport Marketing Award across all regions, while also becoming the first airport outside Europe to receive the ACI Airport Carbon Accreditation.

In January 2013, George created KPI.Aviation Marketing Solutions, and is currently working on selected projects focusing on airport, airline and tourism marketing and business development.

George is a member of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Ndabo Khoza

CEO, Tourism Kwa-Zulu Natal

Ndabo Khoza was appointed as Tourism KwaZulu-Natal’s Chief Executive Officer in 2007, having previously fulfilled the role of Chief Operating Officer with the organization.

Khoza, who was born and educated in Durban, South Africa, graduated from the University of Zululand with a B.Com (Accounting) degree. He has held several high profile positions within the public and private sectors and, prior to joining Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, held the position of Deputy Director-General in the Public Service Commission.

His experience spans a number of sectors, such as water, property and now tourism. In addition, he has previously worked for global accounting firms KMPG and Deloitte & Touche Consulting Group.

Raphael Kuuchi

Vice President Africa, IATA

Raphael Kuuchi is the IATA Vice President for Africa. He has many years’ experience in air transport management, operations and consulting. After working with an airline in various senior management positions for over a decade, he joined the Nairobi-based African Airlines Association (AFRAA) in 2005, as Commercial Director and later as Director Commercial, Corporate and Industry Affairs. In this capacity, Mr. Kuuchi initiated and oversaw many projects in airlines business development, commercial operations, IT and communication, liberalization/market access, aero-political/regulatory affairs and training across Africa.

Now as Vice President for Africa, Mr. Kuuchi is leading the IATA Africa team in providing support to the growth and development of aviation and working with stakeholders to ensure safe, reliable, competitive and environmentally sustainable aviation business in Africa. Top on his priority list are issues of safety and security, liberalization, reducing the high cost of operations, regulatory harmonization, capacity building and the environment.

Mr. Kuuchi holds an MBA from Henley Management College, UK and a B.Sc. degree in Business Administration. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (FCILT) UK.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Edmund Makona

Chief Executive Officer, Air Zimbabwe

Edmund Makona is currently the Acting Chief Executive Officer of Air Zimbabwe (Private) Ltd, the national flag carrier of Zimbabwe employing about 800 people. He also serves as an ex officio member of the Airline’s Board of Directors. The organisation operates both domestic and regional flights and plans are underway to resume international flights.

His prior responsibility was Head of Quality, Safety and Security of Air Zimbabwe to which he has also been leading the IOSA program since 2007.Edmund Makona is a qualified aeronautical engineer by profession , has also served in various portfolios in the Airline including ground school technical conversion for pilots and training for engineers. He has represented Air Zimbabwe on various industry fora and has been involved in safety initiatives jointly spearheaded by AFRAA and IATA to a number of African Airlines.

His aviation career spans over thirty (30) years and is a strong believer in African Aviation Renaissance.

Africa is yet to release its full aviation potential and the best is coming.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Howard Mann

Vice President, Campbell Hill Aviation Group

Mr. Mann joined Campbell-Hill in February 2015 as a Vice President.  He brings to the firm more than fifteen years of wide-ranging aviation consulting and Washington experience.

Throughout his career, he has created and implemented strategies to grow and retain traffic for both incumbent and potential new entrant carriers at airports around the world.  In his previous role, he led numerous successful air service and aeropolitical projects at over 30 large, medium and small hubs in the U.S. as well as 20 international airports.  Mr. Mann has an in-depth comprehension of market data from government and community sources, an understanding of the changing business models of target air carriers and forecasting skills to work with carriers on expected performance.  He is a frequent speaker at airport community events, board meetings and industry conferences regarding air service development strategy.  Mr. Mann brings a unique approach to air service development by incorporating aeropolitical and passenger facilitation policies into route proposals in order to ensure new itineraries are sustainable in the future.

Prior to working as a consultant, he served with ACI-NA where he worked extensively with U.S. and Canadian airport members on a wide variety of issues including bilateral air service policy, domestic air service and passenger facilitation.  Mr. Mann has been involved in many recent new routes from carriers around the world including the new airline market entry at airports including Houston, Denver, Philadelphia, Providence, Toronto Pearson, Costa Rica’s international gateways at San Jose and Liberia, Orange County and Reno/Tahoe.    He has also done extensive regulatory support work across multiple federal agencies in Washington, DC.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Bongani Maseko


Bongani joined Airports Company South Africa in 1999 and was formally appointed as CEO in May 2013 (title formerly known as Managing Director). In 2011, Bongani was appointed as Acting Managing Director, following seven years as the company’s Group Executive: Airport Operations. His responsibilities included the day-to-day operations at all of the company’s airports as well as ensuring that the strategic objectives of the company are met. Prior to his role in Airport Operations, he also spent three-and-half-years leading O.R. Tambo International Airport as General Manager.

Bongani is a Board Member for ACI World and ACI Africa. He has a degree in Aviation Business Administration from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida (USA), where his studies focused on airport and airline management. He continued his studies at the University of California in Airport Systems Planning and Design and Airport Ground Transportation Planning. He gained considerable experience at San Francisco International Airport in the USA, where he worked in various capacities for eight years.

Bongani holds a degree in Aviation Business Administration from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida (USA ), where his studies focused on airport and airline management. He continued his studies at the University of California in airport systems planning and design and airport ground transportation planning.

Nigel Mayes

Senior Vice President Consulting & Product Development, ASM

Nigel brings 20 years industry experience, starting his career as a key part of the route development team at Birmingham International Airport where he had a variety of roles in airport marketing, strategy and aviation business development, before joining ASM in 2001.

Following a successful consulting career Nigel went on to be responsible for all the commercial aspects of Routes including customer engagement, airport and airline attendance, revenues and conference content.  During his time with Routes, Nigel had also been responsible for the development of the Routes online product

Nigel re-joined ASM in 2014 SVP Consulting and Product Development where he is responsible for supporting our work across the client base and taking ASM’s new products and services to market.

During his time at ASM, Nigel has worked on route development, traffic forecasting and airport transaction projects across the globe.  Nigel has been responsible for the delivery of a number of new routes and has worked on airport projects that include Taoyuan International Airport, San Juan International Airport, Darwin Airport, London Stansted, Katowice Airport, Malaysia Airports, Perth Airport, Rzeszow Airport and Sikhuphe Airport. 

Participating Talks and Sessions

Michael Miller

Head of Content & Industry Relations, Routes, UBM EMEA

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

Hemant Mistry

Director, Airports and Fuel, IATA

Hemant Mistry is the Director for Airports & Fuel within IATA’s Airport, Passenger, Cargo & Security Division. He works with governments, airports, ground service providers and jet fuel suppliers to build opportunities for partnership, efficiency improvement, effective capacity development and best practice implementation.

Before joining IATA, Hemant worked as a Senior Associate for Booz Allen Hamilton, a global management consultancy, where he led competition and regulatory assessments for the European Commission and performed safety audits for national aviation authorities. He also developed various business cases for airport and ANSP investments. Hemant’s first employment was with UK National Air Traffic Services where he helped develop ICAO standards and recommended practices for new aviation technologies and operational concepts. He was sponsored by the UK Civil Aviation Authority and is a graduate of the University of Manchester, Institute of Science and Technology. 

Participating Talks and Sessions

Dr. Koussai Mrabet

Director, Commercial/Corporate & Industry Affairs, African Airlines Association (AFRAA)

Dr. Koussai Mrabet is the AFRAA’s Director Commercial, Corporate and Industry Affairs since 01 June 2014. He joined AFRAA from Tunisair where he was the Head of International Affairs and Alliances. He is a widely respected advocate of aviation development in Africa. He has an extensive wealth of business experience in aviation, strong leadership skills and a strategic vision of the African and international aviation industry. Koussai is well known to the industry having been the coordinator for Tunisair for IATA, AACO, AFRAA and ATAF on aero political, industry and commercial affairs.

Dr. Mrabet commenced his career in Tunisair where he held various roles over the last 25 years. In 2007, he joined the International Affairs Department and was in charge of Air Services Agreements. In 2010 he was appointed manager of commercial agreements and Interline E-Ticketing project. He has in the past practiced law as an Attorney and has been a faculty member in Tunisian Universities as a Professor of Political Organisation & Political Sociology at Ibn Khaldoun University and also as an Assistant Professor at the University of Law & Political Sciences of Tunis. Dr. Mrabet holds a Ph.D degree, a Master’s Degree in International Law and a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Law. He is married with 2 children.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Inati Ntshanga

CEO, South Africa Express

Mr. Inati Ntshanga was appointed CEO of SA Express by the Board of Directors of the fast growing regional airline on 1 September 2010. As CEO of the airline, Ntshanga also serves as Executive Director on the SA Express Board of Directors.

Ntshanga is a Harvard Economics graduate, whose previous portfolio included the development of SA Express’ strategy and business development, including the airline’s route expansion and forays into the rest of the African continent. Ntshanga joined SA Express in January 2005 as Executive Manager, Commercial and Strategy before becoming General Manager Strategy and Business Development.

Over the last 10 years, Ntshanga has held various roles in the airline industry, particularly at SAA where he worked in various departments, including Voyager, Sales, Airport Operations and Technical. Ntshanga was also Executive Manager of Strategy and Planning as well as Regional General Manager/ EVP for the Americas at SAA. Prior to joining SAA, Ntshanga worked as a consultant in various areas in aviation including Cargo, Technical and Customer Service.

Ntshanga also holds a GIBS Global Executive Development Programme qualification, serves on the Board of the Hoedspruit Airport and is intensely involved in the development of the aviation industry in the region.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Shubhodeep Pal

Vice President, Products and Operations, SimpliFlying

Shubhodeep Pal is the Vice President, Products and Operations at SimpliFlying. He has been leading Product Development, Research and Marketing since December 2010 from the headquarters in Singapore.

He is a Dale Carnegie Institute trained speaker and has spoken at airline conferences and delivered training workshops for senior aviation executives. He has also appeared on television interviews and been quoted in publications such as the Wall Street Journal. His writings have appeared extensively on SimpliFlying and respected industry outlets such as Airlinetrends, Tnooz, Airport World, Low Cost and Regional Airline Business Magazine and Loyalty360. He has also conducted a workshop on social media at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. He speaks three languages fluently, and is also a published poet and amateur film critic.

Mark Pilling

Chief Markets Officer, Flightglobal

Mark Pilling is the Executive Director, Content at Flightglobal, the leading data and media service provider to the global air transport and aerospace industry.

In this position he manages the publishing and consultancy operations at Flightglobal, which consists of some 30 journalists and 20 consultants and analysts located all around the world.

He became Executive Director, Content in early 2014. Prior to that he was Publisher of Flightglobal’s publications business, which includes Airline Business, Flight International and Flight Daily News. He was appointed to this position in October 2010.

Mark was previously the Editor of Airline Business magazine, the monthly strategic boardroom title reporting on the air transport industry. He has been a business journalist, specialising in aviation, for his entire career, beginning by reporting on the regional airline business in the late 1980s. He has also edited Airport World and Airports International magazines and was air transport editor on Interavia Aerospace Review.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Vijay Poonoosamy

Vice President International & Public Affairs; Office of the President & CEO, Etihad Airways

Mr Vijay Poonoosamy, a national of Mauritius, is a barrister (Middle Temple) with a law degree from the University of Nottingham, a Masters degree in International Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science, a Post Graduate Diploma in Air & Space Law from the London Institute of World Affairs and a Certificate in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors in New Zealand.

He was an Aviation Lawyer in London, the Managing Director of Air Mauritius and the Executive Chairman of Airports of Mauritius before joining Etihad Airways where he is the Vice President International & Public Affairs.

Vijay was Chairman of the 1994 ICAO World-wide Air Transport Conference, ICAO Rapporteur and Chairman of the 1999 ICAO Special Group on the Modernisation of the Warsaw Convention, Vice Chairman of the 2009 ICAO Special Committee on Aviation Security Conventions and Moderator at the April 2012 ICAO Air Transport Symposium, the March 2013 ICAO Pre-Air Transport Conference Symposium, the March 2015 ICAO Meeting on the sustainable development of Air transport in Africa and ICAO’s ICANs of 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2014.

He was also Chairman of the Air Transport Committee of the African Civil Aviation Commission, Chair of IATA’s Industry Affairs Committee, Chair of the IATA Legal Advisory Council and Chair of the IATA Task Force on International Aviation Issues.

Vijay is the President of the Hermes Air Transport Club and a member of the World Travel and Tourism Council Advisors Circle, the Routes Advisory Panel, the Advisory Board of the World Tourism Forum Lucerne and the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Travel & Tourism.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Tamur Goudarzi Pour

VP Middle East, Arica & Southeast Europe, Lufthansa

Tamur Goudarzi-Pour (44) is the Vice President, Sales and Services for Southeast Europe, Africa and the Middle East for Lufthansa German Airlines, based in Dubai since May 2014. He is leading one of Lufthansa’s five global sales and service divisions, encompassing over 40 destinations in 30 countries with more than 600 employees at sales offices and the respective airports in Southeast Europe, Middle East and Africa regions. In various functions, his team also assumes responsibilities for the LH Group carriers Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and Swiss International Airlines.

Before moving to Dubai in May 2014, Tamur Goudarzi-Pour was based in Munich at Lufthansa’s second hub. Serving as Director Network Planning his responsibilities included aligning over 120 aircraft at the hub Munich used in European and Intercontinental traffic for more than 20 million guests. In addition, in 2012 he became the liaison officer of the Hub Munich for the restructuring Program SCORE, which aims to improve the profitability of the LH Group to reach EUR2.65 million by 2015.    

Tamur Goudarzi-Pour was born on 27th January 1970 in Munich (Bavaria) to a German mother and Iranian father.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Sabine Reim

Senior Vice President, InterVISTAS Consulting

Sabine leads InterVISTAS’ Air Service Development Practice and works with airport clients worldwide to develop their air access, including Africa. She specializes in air service network strategies and route development for airports.

Prior to joining InterVISTAS, Sabine spent 17 years with British Airways. Her career with the airline included positions in Strategy, Customer Services, Revenue Management, and Network Development. She led the network development of British Airways’ African, Middle Eastern, and Central Asian routes and managed route development and airline-airport relationships on British Airways’ transatlantic network. She has a proven track record and first-hand experience setting up new air service from visualization through to implementation.

Sabine holds a PhD in Economics and Business from the University of Reading, an MSc in International Business from The University of London, and a BA (Hons) in Travel and Tourism Management from Newcastle Business School. She resides in London, United Kingdom.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Caroll Rheem

VP Research & Analytics, Brand USA

Carroll Rheem is vice president, research & analytics for Brand USA, the nation’s public- private partnership dedicated to increasing international visitation to the United States through marketing and promotional efforts. In this role, Carroll leads Brand USA’s intelligence function, which serves as the foundation for global marketing strategy, as well as the company’s performance metrics. The research & analytics department she heads is responsible for market research – including consumer insight, market sizing and projections – and quantifying marketing effectiveness.

Prior to joining Brand USA in May 2013, Carroll was with PhoCusWright, a wholly owned subsidiary of Northstar Travel Media and the global travel industry research authority on how travelers, suppliers and intermediaries connect. During her five years with PhoCusWright, Carroll held positions of increasing responsibility, culminating in her being named principal analyst overseeing the organization’s consumer research practice. Prior to PhoCusWright, Carroll spent six years working for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide in various positions encompassing hotel operations, sales and global online distribution. A noted industry expert, Carroll is a sought after speaker and is quoted frequently in trade and consumer media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, TIME Magazine and Conde Nast Traveler.

Carroll’s extensive background in travel distribution and marketing combined with her research expertise has established her as a trusted authority on global traveler and commercial trends. Carroll earned her Master of Management in hospitality from Cornell University and her BA in economics from New York University.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Hugh Riley

Secretary General, Caribbean Tourism Organization, (CTO)

Hugh Riley is the Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, (CTO).  As the chief executive officer he oversees the CTO’s operations in Barbados, North America, the UK and Europe and leads the organization’s initiatives to position the Caribbean as the most desirable, year-round, warm-weather destination.

His responsibility is to fulfill the CTO’s purpose of leading sustainable tourism, by providing specialized services and technical support to more than thirty governments and a variety of private sector members. The CTO’s services include advocacy & representation, marketing, human resource development, crisis communication, research and statistics, conference and event management, information technology and sustainable tourism development.

Mr. Riley joined the staff of the CTO New York in 2002 as director of marketing, after having worked in a number of senior tourism positions in the U.S, Canada and the Caribbean over a period of twenty years.  He is credited with having instituted new air services from North and South America to his native Barbados and the Caribbean, and was responsible for engaging the Caribbean Diaspora and the traveling public through uniquely targeted events in major cities throughout North America.  He was honored by the New York City Council for his contribution to the cultural life of that City. 

Hugh Riley got his start in marketing communications with McCann-Erickson Advertising and later in sales management for radio stations.  He is a BBC trained broadcaster and worked as an on-air radio personality and interviewer.  He attended the City University of New York and Thomas Edison State College where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication and later studied tourism management at the University Of Surrey.  As a member of the Board of Directors of various tourism and academic bodies, he is widely quoted in industry publications and is a frequent speaker at events in the Caribbean and internationally.

Participating Talks and Sessions

David Scowsill

President & CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council

Prior to joining WTTC in November 2010, David worked for 6 years in private equity and venture capital, completing deals in technology and travel sectors.

David was CEO of Opodo, pan-European online travel company from 2002 to 2004, building the business from start up to a €500mn transaction turnover, before it was sold to Amadeus.

He joined the board of Hilton International in 1997 as senior VP sales, marketing and IT, leading the brand re-unification programme between the two Hilton shareholder companies.

David rejoined British Airways from 1993 to 1997 as regional general manager Asia/Pacific. He established the Joint Service Agreement and global alliance with Qantas.

He joined American Airlines in 1991 as managing director sales, Europe Middle East and Africa.
David’s earlier career was with British Airways, with a variety of operational and sales roles in US, Europe, Latin America, Gulf States, Africa, and Asia.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Martha Seillier

Public Policy and Government Management Specialist, Brazilian Federal Government

Martha Seillier works for the Brazilian Federal Government as a Public Policy and Government Specialist. She has graduated both in Economics and Law and has a Master Degree in Economics at the University of Brasilia. Since 2009, she works with the planning and regulation of Brazilian civil aviation, especially on the structuring of airports PPPs. She is the Director of the Department of Regulation and Competition at the Brazilian Civil Aviation Secretariat since 2011.

Participating Talks and Sessions

John Strickland

Director, JLS Consulting

Director, John Strickland, is a graduate of the University of York and has held senior positions with a number of airlines including British Caledonian, British Airways, KLMuk and Buzz.  John was instrumental in the decision by KLM to establish the low cost operator Buzz and in its selection of new routes. His 32 years of experience have exposed him to the business models of regional, global, legacy and low cost carriers.

JLS Consulting was established in 2003 and now serves a growing range of clients including airports, airlines, investors and those whose businesses require strategic insight on and advisory services concerning the air transport sector. John regularly  devises and chairs panel discussions and interviews senior  executives at industry conferences and events.  

Media work is undertaken for numerous global media organisations including the BBC, CNN, Sky, Al Jazeera, and business specialists Bloomberg and CNBC. John also contributes to a wide range of respected written publications including the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires, Business Week, The New York Times, Gulf News, Reuters and AFP.

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

Javier Suarez Casado

Vice President, Network & Fleet Planning, VivaAerobus

Javier began his aviation career in Boston, working in the ground operations department of Midwest Express Airlines. He has also worked for some well-known fast growing airlines including Iberia Regional in which he worked as commercial quality manager in Valencia, Spain for 4 years.

In Qatar Airways he worked as a Senior Strategist for almost two years in Doha, Qatar He then joined Barcelona based, Vueling Airlines and worked as Director Network Planning & Corporate Affairs. In his four years of work he managed to profitably grow Vueling´s network from 38 aircraft to an existing fleet of 105 aircraft.

He is currently working as a VP of Network and Fleet Planning for VivaAerobus Airlines in Mexico City. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Aviation Management by Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, a Masters in Marketing by Esic University and a Masters in Management by Harvard University.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Ali Tounsi

Secretary General, ACI Africa

Mr Ali TOUNSI is an Engineer holder of a Diploma of Master Engineer in telemechanics from the Tunisian aeronautical Academy and a Master in airports management from the National School of Civil aviation (ENAC-Toulouse). He began his career in civil aviation in 1992, as an engineer in the Office of the civil aviation and Airports (OACA-Tunisia), in charge of projects related to the quality of services, airport resources management, and future projects of infrastructures.

In 1999, Mr Ali TOUNSI was designated director of the international airport of Tozeur Nefta (4th airport in Tunisia with 120 thousand passengers /year). In 2000, he was nominated director of the international airport of Jerba Zarzis (3rd airport in Tunisia with 2.2 million passengers /year). In 2003, he was appointed head of the division of strategic studies and development.

From January 2004 to July 2009, Mr. Ali TOUNSI was designated airports operating Director and also president of the steering committee in charge of the certification and SMS program for Tunisian airports. Before being General Secretary of the ACI Africa, Mr Ali TOUNSI was Chairman of the African safety, security and facilitation working group; He was also member at the ACI world technique and safety Standing Committee representing Africa region.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Marco van Vliet

Head of Network & Alliances, Kenya Airways

Marco van Vliet has over 12 years of experience in the airline business. He graduated at Rotterdam Erasmus University in 2002 and holds a Masters degree in logistical econometrics. He started his career in the Dutch airline KLM, where he held several positions, mostly in the fields of Revenue Management, Network Planning and Sales. Since May 2014 he is  Head of Network and Alliances for Kenya Airways in a very challenging period of travel advisories to Kenya, Ebola in West-Africa and strong growth from competition in East-Africa. Marco is a strong believer of partnerships and cooperation across the business.


Participating Talks and Sessions

Ed Winter

CEO, Fastjet

Ed has over 40 years of airline experience spanning from the traditional full service model of BOAC/British Airways through to one of the most successful low cost airlines, easyJet.

Ed started his aviation career as a pilot with BOAC. He held a number of senior management positions within British Airways including Chief Pilot and Head of Operations BA Regional, Chief Pilot London Gatwick and Chief Pilot Long haul Aircraft. He was a  founder director and Chief Operating Officer of low cost airline Go, and grew the airline profitably to 28 aircraft

Following an MBO and the subsequent sale of Go to easyJet, Ed had the role of Integration Director whilst also acting as CEO of  Go. Once the integration process at easyJet was complete, Ed served as Chief Operating Officer steering the company through a period of rapid and profitable expansion, opening new bases across Europe and introducing the Airbus aircraft. More recently, Ed served as Chief Executive Officer of NAS (National Air Services) in Saudi Arabia.

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

Chris Zweigenthal

Chief Executive, Airlines Association of Southern Africa

Chris Zweigenthal has over 24 years experience in the Airline Industry notably with South African Airways, where he held senior positions in the Petroleum Affairs, Flight Operations, Marketing Planning and Global Passenger Services departments, as well as Managing Director of SA Alliance Air based in Kampala, Uganda.

In February 2002, Chris joined the Airlines Association of Southern Africa (AASA) as Deputy Chief Executive and was appointed Chief Executive on 1 March 2009.  AASA is the SADC airline representative Association dealing with Government and Industry Stakeholders and Partners on strategic, aeropolitical, regulatory, policy, financial and operational issues affecting its Members.  AASA has 20 Airline Members, which are the commercial scheduled airlines of South and Southern Africa and 31 Associate Members comprising industry manufacturers, suppliers, service providers and partners of the airline industry.    

Participating Talks and Sessions