World Routes 2016

The 22nd World Route Development Forum

Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
24 – 27 September 2016

Routes Talks Speakers

Olivier Jager

CEO, Forward Keys

Olivier Jager is the Co-founder and CEO of ForwardKeys, a tactical intelligence company analysing 14 million daily booking transactions to predict future travel patterns for businesses worldwide and help them monitor and anticipate traveller arrivals and trends.

Before launching ForwardKeys in 2010, Olivier had already accumulated cutting-edge experience in IT and travel with companies including AOL, Amadeus, PhoCusWright, Market Metrix and TravelCLICK. 

A strategic thinker with a zest for innovating and solving problems, Olivier’s expertise has focused on marketing and distribution, management and business development.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Dr Zheng Lei

President, Institute for Aviation Research

Dr Zheng Lei is the founder and President of the Institute for Aviation Research, an independent think tank with a particular focus on China.  He is also the Director of Centre for Aviation Research at the University of Surrey, UK, and Visiting Professor to Civil Aviation University of China.

Zheng holds a PhD in Air Transport and Tourism Management from the University of Surrey.  A distinctive feature of his research is its real-world and industry focus.  He has research and consultancy experiences in such areas as airline business models, air transport regulation and policy analysis, air transport market analysis, as well as aviation, tourism and regional competitiveness. Zheng advises airlines, airports, aircraft manufacturers, aviation service providers, and civil aviation authorities around the world on strategic issues through research, consultancy and executive training courses.
Born and raised in China, Zheng is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese and English.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Tony Griffin

Senior Vice President Consulting, ASM

Tony is passionate about the aviation industry and air service development in particular. He has managed major global projects throughout his time at ASM including large strategy, forecasting and transaction projects in Asia, Europe, Africa and Russia. He was appointed into his position in March 2011 and believes that his team is the best in the business - a group of specialists who have the expertise and drive to deliver outstanding value, services and results for their clients.
With over 25 years in the airport business, Tony now oversees all of ASM's client management activity, works closely with the Routes business, who organize the Routes portfolio of events,  as well as the delivery of ASM's products and services, to programme, to budget and to the highest standards.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Jeremy Robinson

Partner, Watson, Farley & Williams

Jeremy is a Partner in the London office of international law firm Watson Farley & Williams LLP.  Jeremy specialises in EU and UK Competition Law and Regulation across all sectors but with particular interest in aviation.  He assists airport and airline clients with competition investigations, EU litigation and competition advice in commercial transactions. His work covers international merger control for mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures; distribution and licensing arrangements; restrictive agreements/abuse of dominance; competition compliance; State aid; economic and trade sanctions; economic regulation; and the legal implications of “Brexit”.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Rikke Munk Christensen

Vice President Traffic Planning, Finnair

Rikke has +10 years' experience in route development in aviation. She started her aviation career in Denmark, first for Sterling Airlines, LCC, later on in Cimber Sterling, regional carrier to SAS. Five years she relocated from Copenhagen to Helsinki and has worked for Finnair with the responsibility of developing the route network, traffic program and connections in Helsinki hub. Finnair is offering the fastest and most convenient gateway between Europe and Asia, via Helsinki, serving 17 Asian gateways, over 70 destinations in Europe and three gateways in the US. We operate one of the youngest fleet and was launching European carrier for the new Airbus A350XWB. Finnair is a member of the Oneworld alliance and has joint venture with American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia on the North Atlantic, and with Japan Airlines and British Airways on Europe-Japan routes. As a forerunner in quality and punctuality, Finnair is able to offer the shortest and fastest connections between Europe and Asia due to the geographical location of Helsinki."

Participating Talks and Sessions

Alan Polivnick

Partner, Watson, Farley & Williams

Alan is a partner in the International Litigation Group of Watson Farley & Williams and focuses on cross-border arbitration and dispute resolution, particularly in the aviation, shipping and insurance and reinsurance sectors. Alan regularly advises MNCs, international airlines, insurers and reinsurers and international organisations on their operations in Thailand including contract negotiations, commercial and coverage disputes, employment law and regulatory issues.  In addition to advising and representing airlines and their insurers in litigation, Alan’s aviation practice focuses on commercial and regulatory aspects of airline operations and he regularly advises Thai and international full service and LCC operators.

Alan is named ‘Aviation Lawyer of the Year’ by the Lawyer Monthly Magazine 2013, and a leading lawyer in transport by Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2013, 2014 and 2015.  He is also listed in Who’s Who Legal 2016 as a leading lawyer in aviation. He is qualified to practise in England and Wales and Australia.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Beverly Nicholson-Doty

Commissioner, US Virgin Islands Department of Tourism

Beverly Nicholson-Doty serves as Commissioner of Tourism for the United States Virgin Islands, a cabinet-level position. She oversees the Department of Tourism’s advertising and marketing strategy, its national and international tourism-related efforts and product development.

Raised in St. Thomas, Mrs. Nicholson-Doty began her career in the hospitality industry while attending the College of the Virgin Islands.

In 1993, Nicholson-Doty joined the St. Thomas-St. John Hotel & Tourism Association as its Executive Director. In this position, her responsibilities included spearheading the implementation and development of the Association’s strategic plan. Nicholson-Doty oversaw the unification of the St. Thomas-St. John Hotel & Tourism Association with the St. Croix Hotel & Tourism Association to create an integrated Association that strengthens the entire U.S. Virgin Islands hotel product while recognizing the unique offerings of each island.  In 2004, she was appointed President of the USVI Hotel & Tourism Association.

Nicholson-Doty has served as Commissioner of the USVI Department of Tourism since 2007, and as Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Council of Ministers and Commissioners from October 2012 to September 2014.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Susan Kurland

Deputy Commissioner for Air Service Development, Chicago Department of Aviation

Susan Kurland joined the Chicago Department of Aviation as Deputy Commissioner of Air Services Development for O’Hare and Midway International Airports in May 2016. She brings more than 25 years in executive leadership transportation positions in both the public and private sectors, serving most recently as the Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs for the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT).

As part of the Secretary of Transportation’s senior team she directed and implemented economic and competition policy affecting the air transport industry, coordinated the USDOT’s international activities, and directed the Department’s participation in international aviation negotiations throughout the world. Ms. Kurland led USDOT’s decision-making process involving the allocation of international aviation route authority; licensing of air carriers; providing air services to rural communities and grants of antitrust immunity for international aviation alliance activities.

Prior to joining the USDOT, she was a managing director at Jefferies & Company, focusing on airport infrastructure and municipal finance projects. She served as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of U.S. Airways and also led the Federal Aviation Administration’s national airports program as Associate Administrator for Airports.  During her time as Deputy Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago, she served as general counsel for Chicago’s airport system.

Kurland holds degrees from Brandeis University and Boston University School of Law.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Yolanta Strikitsa

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

Carolyn Burnett

Senior Live Content & Industry Relations Manager, Routes

Carolyn is responsible for all the live content at Routes events, including the Strategy Summits, Tourism Summit and Routes Talks programmes. She has over eight years’ experience within the aviation sector and has run over 45 Routes conferences and summits across China, USA, Africa, India, Russia, Ukraine, Australia, Malaysia, Canada, Latin American and various countries throughout Europe and the Middle East.  She aims to bring together leaders from across the globe to address key industry issues, through a programme of informative and dynamic live content. In addition, she manages relationships and partnerships with key industry associations for Routes.

She has a background in live events and prior to UBM, she has worked within the health sector and the arts sector on live events and conferences and she also set up and ran her own business. Carolyn started her career with IBM, as part of their graduate training programme and specialised in project management, working on a number of consultancy projects across a range of business sectors during her early career.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Omar Hashmi

Consultant, ASM

Omar spent six years at a Middle Eastern carrier focusing on network development, business strategy, corporate planning and airline operational efficiency before joining ASM in 2013. He has also worked for Lufthansa Consulting, Deutsche Bank and the UK Government. Omar provides in-depth market analysis for clients and offers a unique stance on the aviation industry.

Participating Talks and Sessions

John Grant

Director, JG Aviation Consultant

John now runs a small aviation consultancy having previously worked in a senior role with one of the industry’s leading data providers and before that role heading up a leading UK based practice. With extensive experience of working for major scheduled airlines, delivered major airport development projects and created new data and analytics products he has a wealth of experience that is now being used to support clients in Europe, the America’s and Asia.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Kiran Jain

Commercial Director, Air Asia India

Kiran Jain is an aviation veteran who has been in the industry for the past 25 years with experience panning both airports and airlines.  Since April 2016, she has been the Commercial Director of AirAsia India.  She has extensive, in depth experience in travel marketing and product development, having worked in this industry for the several years.

Prior to joining AirAsia India, Kiran was the Head of Marketing and Route Development at GMRs Delhi International Airport where her key responsibility was to work with the airlines in creating India's first aviation hub in DEL. She spent 6 plus years at DEL, and upon her departure that traffic had increased from 24 million in 2009 to 42million in 2015, and growing. The transfer traffic (the back bone of any hub airport) share has increased from 4% to 20% during the same period.  This has led to Delhi International Airport being the busiest airport in India and a formidable hub in South East Asia.  She has been responsible for placing Delhi International Airport on the worlds aviation map by representing the airport at various world-wide airport/ airline marketing events.  Kiran is also an active member of the Airports Council International, Marketing and Communications Committee.

At AirAsia India, Kiran is responsible for the entire commercial strategy as it pertains to  growing the airlines network footprint in the country and positioning the airline in India from a sales, marketing and communications standpoint.

In the past, Kiran Jain was Director of Marketing & Route Development at Bradley International Airport, Hartford, CT, United States.  Kiran has held various senior level marketing and product development positions with World Duty Free, a subsidiary of BAA; Jet Vacations, a subsidiary of Air France; and was General Manager of Marketing at Stewart Airport, at the time, America’s first privately owned commercial airport.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Michael Targett

Senior Director, Data, FlightGlobal

Michael Targett is a Senior Director at FlightGlobal, where he is part of the Senior Leadership Team with responsibilities for data operations, analytics, and developing new opportunities in the air travel sector.

Michael has been with FlightGlobal since 2007, initially working as Editor of, during which time the website won the AOP Business Website of the Year 2010. From there he moved into new product development helping lead FlightGlobal’s launch of its Dashboard product.

In 2012 he became Director of Data, taking on responsibilities for building and managing market-leading fleet and air finance data sets. This expanded to include the airline schedule data with FlightGlobal acquisition of Innovata in 2014.

Participating Talks and Sessions