Routes Americas 2016

The route development forum for the Americas

San Juan, Puerto Rico
17 – 19 February 2016

Strategy Summit Speakers

Joe Mohan

CEO, Viva Airlines Group

Joe Mohan has had a great career in the aviation industry spanning a total of 15 years. He began his aviation career in 1996 with Continental Airlines, where he held a variety of managerial positions within areas including: strategic planning, revenue programs and sales during its historic “worst to first” turnaround.

After spending ten years with Continental Airlines, Joe spent two years as the commercial head of a NYSE listed Real Estate Investment Trust, American Land Lease, and a year working in a personal finance start-up venture, until becoming the Chief Commercial Officer for Copa Airlines in Panama.

Throughout Joe’s time with Copa, revenues doubled to $2.4 billion, with its fleet size and destinations grew by a significant 40% (reaching 69 cities in 29 countries). Cope Airlines was widely recognised as one of the most profitable airlines in the world during this time.

Since 2014, Joe has been the CEO of VivaLatinamerica and is currently leading the expansion of the viva brand through new ULCC airline launches throughout Latin America.

Over the next several years, he will lead the expansion of Vivalatinamerica through new airline launches, including VivaCan, and expanding their domestic operations by the means of its association with Irelandia, the leading global developer of low cost airlines.

There’s no doubt that Joe’s knowledge and experience with the Latin America aviation industry will significantly contribute to great discussion and insight at this year’s Routes Americas Strategy Summit in Puerto Rico.

Participating Talks and Sessions

David Clark

Vice President, Network Planning, JetBlue

Dave leads JetBlue’s Network Planning team, responsible for flight scheduling, network strategy, and network optimization.

Dave joined JetBlue in May 2009 and led both the Route Planning teams and Schedule Planning teams before his promotion to Vice President. During his 6 years with JetBlue, Dave has been a key contributor to the design and implementation of the carrier’s rapid growth in Boston, Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, the Caribbean, and Latin America. While Dave is very excited by JetBlue’s growth, he is most proud of the fact that JetBlue has won 10 consecutive JD Power Awards for highest customer satisfaction in North America.

Prior to joining JetBlue, Dave was a Project Leader in the Boston Consulting Group’s Travel & Tourism practice. He possesses Bachelor and Master Degrees in Systems Engineering from The University of Virginia as well as a MBA from Harvard Business School.

Dave, his wife Sabrina, and their two children live in Westchester, New York. They spend their weekends outdoors and traveling the JetBlue network.

Participating Talks and Sessions

John Kirby

Vice President Capacity Planning, Alaska Airlines

John Kirby is the Vice President of Capacity Planning at Alaska Air Group. In this role he leads long-term strategic planning, route & frequency planning, and schedule planning & distribution for both Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air. Prior to joining Alaska in January of 2015, Kirby worked at Southwest Airlines in multiple leadership roles including senior director of domestic & international planning, and senior director international business management.

In May 2012 he received the President’s Award for leading the creation of the carrier’s international business unit. Before joining Southwest Airlines, Kirby led the network planning group at AirTran Airways from December 1999 until May 2011. Prior to joining AirTran, Kirby held management positions in network planning at US Airways, and Northwest Airlines. He began his aviation career in 1983 with People Express Airlines.

An alumnus of Montclair State University, he lives on Mercer Island, WA with his wife Libby, daughter Kayla and son Mitchell.


Participating Talks and Sessions

David Harvey

Managing Director, Business Development, Southwest Airlines

David Harvey has been with Southwest Airlines since 1999.

He spent the first eight years of his career in Technology Solutions across Crew Management, Dispatch, Resource Optimization, Schedule Planning, Supply Chain, and eCommerce. He then spent five years leading Strategic Planning with Enterprise PMO and Integrated Business Planning responsibilities across Fleet, Commercial, Customer, and Operations.

In January of 2013 he worked directly with the Chief Commercial Officer to build a Commercial Planning and Performance function across Network Planning, Marketing, Revenue Management, and Financial Planning & Analysis. Now, as Sr. Director of Network Planning and Performance, his focus is Network Strategy along with Commercial and Capacity Planning.

He received his BBA from UT Austin in Management Information Systems and both his MBA in Operations Management and MS in Organizational Strategy from UT Dallas. David earned his PMP certification in 2007. He has five young sons (10, 9, 7, 5, and 6 months) that keep him active outside the office and a beautiful wife that is an educator and writer.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Peter Cerdá

Regional Vice President in the Americas, IATA

Peter Cerdá is the Regional Vice President in the Americas for IATA, the trade association whose 240 member airlines transport more than 84% of total air traffic. He leads a multinational team of professionals which proactively pursue IATA’s industry priorities with governmental authorities and industry stakeholders to make the air transport industry safer, more secure, efficient and profitable.

Peter possesses a wealth of senior industry experience acquired over a long and successful career in aviation. Most recently, he served as Regional Director for Safety, Operations and Infrastructure for the Americas and Atlantic until 2013.

Fluent in English and Spanish, Peter was born in Spain and received his Master’s Degree in Aeronautics and Aviation Management from Embry Riddle University and a Bachelor of Business Administration at Florida International University.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Jeremy Pennington

Manager, Air Service Development, Vantage Airport Group

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

Alex de Gunten

VP Business Development, HEICO

Alex de Gunten is the Business Development Officer for HEICO Aerospace Corporation and Advisor to the Executive Board of the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA). HEICO Aerospace is focused on PMAs, OEM and DER Repair, Defense, and Distribution products and services. Previously he served as Executive Director of ALTA, VP International of LanChile as well as holding different leadership roles at Canadian Airlines International.

Alex is the 2014 recipient of Air Transport World’s Decade of Excellence Award, 2013 recipient of ALTA’s Federico Bloch Award, co-recipient of the Flight Safety Foundation-Boeing's 2012 Aviation Safety Lifetime Achievement Award and 2012 recipient of the Greater Miami Aviation Association's Juan Trippe Award. Alex is also a member of the prestigious Airline Business Airline Strategy Awards judging panel and a frequent speaker at commercial aviation events.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Alejandro Vales

Customer & Route Development Director, ASUR

Alejandro Vales has 25 years of experience in the aviation industry. He started at Continental Airlines, where his last position was Airport Business Manager for the Mérida Station in Mexico.

In 2004 he was appointed as the Director of Cozumel International Airport with ASUR, the Mexican airport group that has 9 airports in the southeast of Mexico, including Cancun and Cozumel.  After a few months in that position he was offered a new position within the company, heading the air service development for the group. Since then, he has been the Customer and Route Development Director for ASUR. Working with his team, he has overseen record traffic growth in the nine airports, especially CUN, which has now enjoyed double digit growth for several consecutive years. 

Recently ASUR, in partnership with Highstar Capital, formed Aerostar Airport Holdings LLC, and in March 2013 obtained the concession to operate Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, SJU. This presented a new challenge for Alejandro and his team since they would be leading the route development efforts for that airport as well. Back then the traffic performance of the airport was far from satisfactory, with a clear downward trend. In the last two years, the team, working hand in hand with its stakeholders, has managed not only to stop that trend but to reverse it. SJU’s traffic is growing and among recent good news for the destination are five new routes from Europe. There is no doubt that SJU is affirming its standing as the gateway to the Caribbean.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Eduardo Iglesias

Executive Director, ALTA

Eduardo Iglesias is Executive Director of ALTA, the Latin American & Caribbean Air Transport Association since September 18, 2013.  He leads the 30 year old non-profit association in a gamut of efforts and initiatives to make Latin American and Caribbean aviation safer, more efficient and more environmentally friendly.

Eduardo possesses a wealth of senior industry experience acquired over a long and successful career in aviation.  Most recently, he was Legal Vice President of Avianca. Prior to that, he was TACA International Airlines General Counsel, where he was responsible for contract negotiations, consumer protection claims, the representation in various legal and regulatory affairs committees and symposiums, and corporate and governmental affairs.

Iglesias holds Law Degrees from Spain and Puerto Rico, a Master's Degree in Law from McGill's Institute of Air and Space Law and also holds a B.A. in Political Science. He was born in Puerto Rico and has lived in Spain, USA, Canada, and El Salvador.

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

Ingrid Rivera Rocafort

Executive Director, Puerto Rico Tourism Company

In January 2013, Ingrid I. Rivera Rocafort was appointed Executive Director of the Tourism Company of Puerto Rico by its Governor, Alejandro García Padilla.  Ms. Rivera’s responsibilities include:  marketing Puerto Rico as a tourism destination through advertising, public relations and promotional activities; providing technical assistance to investors; and regulating and overseeing gaming operations.  Under her leadership, she is a key contributor to promoting the increase of air and maritime access to the Island, creating jobs through the construction and development of a tourism-focused infrastructure and developing a national Brand for Puerto Rico to promote the Island as a destination to visit, invest, and live.     

For the past two years, Ms. Rivera was Director of Investor Relations at Advent-Morro Equity Partners, the leading U.S. private equity investment firm in Puerto Rico. Prior to Advent-Morro, she was President of her consulting firm, Rive Consulting, established upon her retirement in 2006 from Procter & Gamble after 26 years of service. 

At P&G, Ms. Rivera was Director of External Relations for the U.S. Multicultural Division headquartered in Puerto Rico. She handled corporate relations with the U.S. government, the media and community organizations in the U.S. Hispanic and African American markets, and oversaw P&G’s brand public relations programs.

Ms. Rivera serves on the Board of Directors of the New America Alliance (NAA), a Washington D.C.-based non-profit organization of American Latino business leaders united to promote the well-being of the Latino community in the U.S.   

Recently, she was appointed to The United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, being the first Puerto Rican woman to hold this position.  The Board advises the Secretary of Commerce of the United States on matters relating to the travel and tourism industry.

Ms. Rivera graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Puerto Rico, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a major in Marketing.

Participating Talks and Sessions

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

Terry Thornton

Senior Vice President, Carnival Cruise Line

Terry Thornton’s background in the cruise industry spans almost 40 years beginning with financial and marketing positions at Norwegian Cruise Line from 1977 to 1982. 

For the next five years, he played an integral role in the launch of luxury cruise operator Sea Goddess, where he was one of the founders. Thornton then served as Vice President - Finance for Windstar Cruises for two years until joining the marketing team of Carnival in 1989 as manager of special projects.

He was promoted to Director - Marketing Planning in 1990 and named Vice President two years later.  In 2008, he was promoted to Senior Vice President – Marketing Planning and two years later was named to his current position Senior Vice President – Fleet Deployment and Commercial Port Operations..  In late 2015, he took on responsibility for overseeing Carnival’s expanding operations in Australia and China.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Agustin Arellano

CEO, Aerostar Airport Holdings, LLC

Mr. Agustín Arellano Rodríguez was born in México, on May 8, 1956.

He obtained a degree in Communications and Electronic Engineering and has a Master’s in Production Management, as well as diplomas in Executive Management and Air Traffic Control and Navigations Systems. He is an Electronic and Telecommunications Engineer, has diplomas in Executive Management, Strategic Marketing and Management Skills, and has a Master’s in Business Administration.

Mr. Arellano has served as Chief Infrastructure and Regulations Officer of ASUR,

has been General Director of the Mexican Air Traffic Control and Air Navigation Services in México (SENEAM) and is a member of the Board of Directors of Aeropuertos del Sureste in México. Currently he is Chief Executive Officer of Aerostar Airport Holdings, LLC.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Edward Russell

Air Transport Reporter, Flightglobal/Airline Business

Edward “Ned” Russell is an air transport reporter at Flightglobal. He covers US mainline and regional carriers, as well as airports and finance in the Americas for the Flightglobal website and print magazines Airline Business and Flight International.

Ned has more than a decade of reporting experience including four years covering aviation at Flightglobal. He has previously covered business and finance at Project Finance Magazine in New York, FinanceAsia in Hong Kong and with the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai’s communications team.

He is based in Washington DC.

Participating Talks and Sessions