Routes Americas 2018

The route development forum for the Americas

Quito, Ecuador
13 - 15 February 2018

Speakers at Conference Programme

Juan Carlos Zuazua

Chief Executive Officer, VivaAerobus

As part of Viva Aerobus’ founding team, Juan Carlos represents exactly what Viva Aerobus represents: opportunity, fairness, progress.

He started in the Commercial Department and assumed the position of CEO in 2010. Since then, Viva Aerobus has grown a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 18%.

Under Juan Carlos’ leadership, Viva Aerobus became the fastest growing Mexican airline in passenger numbers, achieving a 33% growth in 2016, as well as record revenue and ancillary revenue growth, operational performance and profit margins without deviating from the company’s purpose: giving everyone the opportunity to fly.

Juan Carlos stands for a human approach that moved him to go one step further improving Viva Aerobus’ service under the “New Viva”. As part of this, in under two years he led a fleet transition, implemented core system changes and state of the art technology and executed 25 initiatives to benefit passengers.

He names his team of great professionals as the most important factor in these achievements and says teamwork, high standards and a strong focus on results are key in accomplishing anything.

As a humanist, he’s constantly reinforcing Viva Aerobus’ cultural environment with the best development models so all his collaborators can reach their maximum potential.

Ignacio Vallejo

President of the Board of Directors, Tame EP

Participating Talks and Sessions

Declan Ryan

Chief Executive Officer, Viva Air

  • Declan Ryan is an Irish Executive Founder and Managing Partner of Irelandia Aviation, a leading developer of low-cost airlines in the world.
  • Has more than 30 years of experience in aviation.
  • Co-founder of Ryanair, the low-cost airline leader in Europe, where he had an important role as CEO between 1986 and 2004.
  • Current CEO of VivaColombia.
  • Has worked in the opening of 6 low-cost airlines: Ryanair in Europe, Tiger Airways in Singapore, the Allegiant in United States, VivaAerobus VivaColombia in Mexico, and the most recent, Viva Air Peru.
  • Irelandia Aviation, investment fund of his family, has 100% of the shares of VivaColombia.
  • Founder of "One Http://www.onefoundation.ie/ Foundation":

Participating Talks and Sessions

Andrea Lusso

Director of Planning, jetBlue Airways

As a member of the Network Planning team, Andrea leads the network strategy of JetBlue, working closely with key organizational groups such as Operations, Finance, and Product Development. Andrea played a key role in the shaping of JetBlue’s latest large initiatives, such as the growth programs in Boston and Fort Lauderdale, and the development of the Mint product and network.

Andrea joined JetBlue in 2012 in the Marketing group, but quickly found his calling in the Network team, where he first spent time building the foundation of route forecasting and capacity planning, before shifting his focus onto long-term strategy and growing to oversee the broader Route Planning team.

Prior to joining JetBlue, Andrea worked in Sales & Marketing at Dassault Falcon Jet, and in Flight Operations at Spirit Airlines. Andrea holds a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University as well as an MBA from New York University - Stern School of Business. Andrea holds a commercial pilot certificate, with multi-engine and instrument rating, and is a certified flight instructor.

Andrea and his wife live in Brooklyn, New York where they spend their free time outdoors and travelling the world.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Nigel Mayes

Senior Vice President, Consulting & Product Development, ASM

Nigel has over 15 years’ experience in route development and is responsible for product development at ASM. He gained his industry experience at Birmingham Airport where he was responsible for long haul route development, and he also spent six years developing commercial revenues and industry links at Routes, including an online forum for the route development community.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Matthew J. Cornelius

Vice President, Air Policy, Airports Council International – North America

Matt Cornelius joined ACI-NA in November 2012 and currently is Vice President, Air Policy. He monitors and advises on U.S., Canadian and international aviation regulations and issues including air service development, international bilateral air service issues, airport/airline business relations, passenger facilitation and leads the organization’s airport-related innovation program. He also serves as the committee secretary to the U.S. International Air Service Program, the Facilitation Committee, the Large Hub Airport Committee and the Air Service Committee.


Prior to ACI-NA, Cornelius served as Airline Affairs Manager with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. He also held roles in Frontier Airlines’ finance and commercial strategy departments, and worked in airport operations at Denver International Airport. He began his career with the aviation department of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, where he held various positions in customer service and airport operations.


Cornelius is a graduate of Villanova University, with a degree in business administration, and also holds an MBA from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Rafael Mencía

Chief Executive Officer, Aeris Holdings Costa Rica

Paúl Granda López

Minister, Transport and Public Works, Ecuador

Paúl Granda is an politician with experience both in the public sector and the academy. Granda graduated with a Law Degree, and later obtained two Masters Degree and a Ph.D on Public Administration and Management, with a specialized focus in mobility, transit, transport and road safety management models. Granda has occuppied many positions along his political career such as: councillor, deputy mayor, and mayor of the city of Cuenca. During his administration, the city of Cuenca recieved more than 14 international awards recognizing the succesful development of urban intervention and the improved quality of public services.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Ramiro Alem

Co-founder, "inverTUR-Inversiones en TURISMO" and Former Undersecretary for Tourism Investments, Argentina Ministry of Tourism

Ramiro Alem is co-founder of "inverTUR-Inversiones en TURISMO", business platform conceived to invest in Tourism, to make projects happen, to set TOURISM as key economic contributor to build jobs & opportunities to ARGENTINA and Latin American countries.

Prior resuming inverTUR by February 1st, 2018, Ramiro worked as Undersecretary for Tourism Investments at ARGENTINA Ministry of Tourism involved in FACILITATION, CONNECTIVITY and making tourism INVESTEMENTS happen. Previously, from Dec2015 to March2016 he was interim President at Ente de Turismo de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires (Buenos Aires City DMO) leading the team and 2015-19 Plan for the City. By November 2014 Ramiro joined Fundación Pensar team (pre-candidate President Mauricio Macri think thak to build public polices & sectorial plans) where technically lead "2015-19 ARGENTINA Tourism Plan". Prior to that, Ramiro developed his career in the private sector working for global and national firms such as Aerolíneas Argentinas, British Airways, Starwood, Four Seasons, Panamericano Hotels & Resorts, El Casco Art Hotel (Bariloche), Los Sauces Casa Patagonica (El Calafate), as consultant for HVS and STR, and as CEO for CAT-Cámara Argentina de Turismo.

Ramiro holds a degree in Tourism at Universidad de Morón and MBA degree at Universidad del CEMA.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Jorge Rosillo

Corporación América

Rafael Mencia Ochoa

Chief Executive Officer, Aeris Holdings Costa Rica

Rafael Mencia Ochoa is the CEO of Aeris Holdings Costa Rica, an Economist graduated at the University of Puerto Rico. He served in Aeris from 2009 to 2011 as Director of Finance and Administration. In 2012, he was promoted to CEO of the company that is in charge of the management and operation of the Juan Santamaria International Airport of San José Costa Rica, contract that last until 2026.

He served previously as Director of Finance and Administration of "Aeropuertos Dominicanos Siglo XXI" (Aerodom) from 2000 to 2008. Aerodom is the concession company of six airports owned by the Dominican Government, including Aeropuerto de Las Americas, the capital city airport.

His experience in Public Private Participation initiated in 1986 when was appointed as the Finance and Administration Manager for the Shell Co. West |Indies, the Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary that owned a refinery of oil in the Dominican Republic.  Additionally, Mr. Mencia has extensive experience in the banking sector, having worked for Banco Dominicano del Progreso as Vice-president of Retail Banking, for Banco Gerencial y Fiduciario also as Vice-president of Retail Banking and with Bank of America as Lending Officer.

 

 

Participating Talks and Sessions

Andrew O'Brian

President and CEO, Quiport Corporation

Mr. O´Brian is an internationally experienced airport leader who is currently President & CEO of QUIPORT. Andrew has been part of a global team of lenders, investors, developers and engineers to finance, build and operate a brand new greenfield international airport in the city of Quito, at 2700 meters in the high Andes mountains of Ecuador. The airport today provides 7,000 full time jobs to  the community with hundreds of millions of dollars of direct and indirect impact to the city and the country; while passenger air service and cargo has grown, by double digits, year on year since opening in 2013. Before joining QUIPORT, Mr. O’Brian was CEO of
AERODOM in the Dominican Republic; a challenging package of 6 airports with significant political risk to multilateral lenders, investors and significant capital investment programs wrapped in to a volatile Latin American business environment.

Andrew is presently the First Vice President of the Airports Council International (ACI) Latin America / Caribbean – Regional Board. He also sits on the ACI World Governing Board and the International Association of Airport Professionals (IAAE / AAAE). Andrew is fluent in both English and Spanish. He holds an MBA with a specialization in Aviation from the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University in Montreal, a Diploma in International Management from Vancouver’s Capilano University and a BA in Political Science from British Columbia’s University of Victoria.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Peter Cerdá

Regional Vice President, The Americas, IATA

Peter Cerdá is the Regional Vice President in the Americas for the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the trade association whose 275 member airlines transport more than 83% of total air traffic.


Based in Miami, Mr. Cerdá leads a multinational team of professionals who proactively pursue IATA’s industry priorities with government authorities and industry stakeholders to make air transport safer, more secure, efficient and profitable. His scope of responsibility extends from North to South America with a large local presence in more than 25 countries across the region. He is also IATA’s major shareholder for Cargo Network Services (CNS) and the International Airlines Travel Agent Network (IATAN).
Mr. Cerdá possesses a wealth of industry experience acquired over 27 years in aviation. He has worked in various functions for IATA and most recently, he served as Regional Director for Safety, Operations and Infrastructure for the Americas and Atlantic until 2013. Prior to joining IATA in 1996, Mr. Cerdá started his aviation career with Iberia.


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

Participating Talks and Sessions

Stephen Rapp

Chief Commercial Officer, Viva Air

  • Viva Air Chief Commercial Officer, 3 years with Viva Air
  • Oversaw commercial launch of Viva Air Peru.
  • Responsible for existing operations in Colombia & Peru plus strategic planning for Viva Air group development
  • At Vueling Airlines in Barcelona grew fleet from 6 to 25 aircraft, through IPO and merger between Vueling with ClickAir
  • 13 years of experience in the low cost carrier sector
  • Chartered Management Accounts with 20 years experience

Participating Talks and Sessions

Mr. Tracy Cooper

Chief Executive Officer, Bahamasair

Mr. Tracy Cooper is the Managing Director of Bahamasair Holdings Limited having been recently appointed to this position in October 2016. Moreover, he is an Aviator of over thirty-two (32) years with most of his time dedicated to Aircraft Maintenance and the airline’s major projects (i.e. Aircraft Heavy Maintenance and Aircraft Acquisition).

His training includes:

  • FAA Airframe & Powerplant License (Alabama Aviation & Technical College)
  • Associate Degree - Aircraft Maintenance Technology (Enterprise State College)
  • Bachelors Degree – Aeronautical Engineering (Parks College, St. Louis University)
  • Masters Degree – Business Administration (University of Miami)
  • Bahamas Department of Civil Aviation Aircraft License – Airframe & Powerplant Maintenance 

Mr. Cooper has worked his full aviation career at Bahamasair and has been a part of the Senior and Executive Management team for twenty-three (23) years. 

Participating Talks and Sessions

Rolando Brison

Director of Tourism, St Maarten Tourist Bureau

Rolando Brison, born in St. Maarten on January 27th 1985, attended the St. Joseph Primary School and later became a proud alum of the St. Maarten Academy high school. Early in his time at the Academy, Rolando was approached by then Principal Patricia Lourens to join the debate team of the school, which was organized by the Department of Tourism.

Rolando won the local competition, and then went on to win the Caribbean Tourism Organization Youth Congress, sparking an early start to his tourism career. Having attended the InHolland University in Haarlem in the Netherlands, he returned to St. Maarten after completing his studies and obtaining his degree. He moved on to manage his own company, R&B Island Mauby, while also working at local airline Winair.

He then launched his own marketing firm, Marketing.SX, which serviced many hotels, restaurants and bars. His biggest client was the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation, where for five years as Marketing Director, he oversaw record growth in both local and international participation in Carnival.

After years of gaining experience in the marketing and the tourism industry, Rolando was selected unanimously by the St. Maarten Tourism Authority to be the new Director. Since then, he has been the Director of Tourism for St. Maarten, and has made many great strides in attracting more tourism, marketing and investment to the destination.

In the onslaught of Irma in September 2017, and its aftermath, Rolando remained undeterred and immediately handled all international tourism relations for the country, and was instrumental in organizing dozens of relief flights from his contacts in the commercial airline industry that brought over 300,000 pounds of relief to the island.

He has since remained focused on ensuring that St. Maarten recovers swiftly from the devastation of Irma, to be the top tourism destination in the Caribbean once again, while still coming up with additional diverse ways of improving our tourism sector to the benefit of its people.

Alejandro Vales

Customer and Route Development Director, ASUR

Alejandro Vales has 27 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 16 airports in the American Continent.  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 group’s airports, especially CUN, which has now enjoyed double digit growth for several consecutive years. He has also been responsible for the traffic and routes recovery and growth after several disruptive events like hurricane Wilma, that hit Cancun in 2005, the Swine Flu crisis in Mexico in 2009, and the Mexicana de Aviación demise in 2010. When ASUR, through its international branch Aerostar Airport Holdings LLC, obtained in March 2013 the concession to operate Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico, (SJU), a new challenge was presented to 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 few years, the team, working hand in hand with its stakeholders, managed not only to stop that trend but to reverse it. Now he and his team along with Aerostar´s Puerto Rican partners, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, are addressing the challenge of Puerto Rico’s traffic and route recovery after hurricane Maria hit the island in September 2017.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Will Livsey

Head of Customer Support, Product Development, FlightGlobal

Born in London, England and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Will Livsey began his airline career throwing bags for American Airlines while attending undergrad at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Livsey spent nearly 7 years at American in roles ranging from operations, marketing, sales, and network planning. Following his time at American, Livsey took a position at the Memphis International Airport to create and lead the airport's Air Service Research and Development organization. Most recently, Livsey has joined FlightGlobal, Incorporating Diio, as Head of Customer Support and Product Development. A self-identifying avgeek, Livsey enjoys reading up on aviation history and traveling with family, including with his little sister who works in the Inflight Customer Experience department at British Airways.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Maribel Rodriguez

Regional Director of Southern Europe and LATAM, World Travel & Tourism Council

Maribel Rodriguez joined the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) in June 2014 as Regional Director, Southern Europe and Latin America. 

With Chairmen and Chief Executives of 160 of the world's leading Travel & Tourism companies as its Members, WTTC has a unique mandate and overview on all matters related to business and leisure travel. The organisation works to raise awareness of Travel & Tourism as one of the world's largest industries, driving employment of 292 million people and generating over 10 per cent of world GDP at $7.6 trillion.

She has built an extensive network within the Travel and Tourism industry public and private sector, accumulating over 18 years of sales, marketing, communication and commercial experience in Europe.

Maribel was Commercial Director and Board Member for Travelodge Hotels Spain from May 2008 to June 2014, serving as Council Member of Madrid Hotels Association (AEHM) and the Tourism Commission to promote Madrid as a destination.

Prior to this she spent 11 years in the aviation industry, where she gained extensive experience in all aspects of commercial aviation. She managed the introduction of low cost airline operations into the Southern European market for the following companies: Virgin Express, Go-Fly, EasyJet and Ryanair. At Ryanair she supervised the opening of 21 airports and over 190 routes across Europe, setting up multiple operational bases on the continent. Additionally, she worked for GB Airways, franchise partner of British Airways in Spain, Portugal and France, which was eventually acquired and integrated into that company.

Executive MBA from Comillas ICADE Business School and Industrial Psychology Degree from University of Salamanca, with secondments in Coimbra, Portugal and Leuven, Belgium. She is currently undertaking a Senior Executive Program for Travel & Tourism at IESE & JSF.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Carlos Criado

Commercial Director, Corporación Quiport

Carlos Criado, originally from Spain, has over 30 year- experience in the aviation industry working for a variety of airports.

He is currently the Business Director and Legal representative for Corporación Quiport. He was appointed to this position since July 2009 and has been in charge of developing and implementing strategies to increase both aeronautical and non-aeronautical revenue for the New Quito International Airport which opened on February 20th. Mr. Criado has helped generate an estimated 100% increase in commercial revenues vs. the old airport. His focus has also been in the route development side of the business ensuring airlines increase current frequencies and open new routes.

 Prior to moving to Ecuador to assist in development of the New Quito International Airport, Mr. Criado worked from April 2005 to July 2009 as the Commercial Director of Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico in Mexico, handling 10 airports across the country.

Previously he was the Head of International Relations and Marketing in Spanish Airports and Air Navigation (Aena) Airports. Until 1989, he was the operator and supervisor in the Operations Center of Madrid Barajas Airport.

Mr. Criado has chaired and been a member of several international committees within ACI ( Airports Council International) where he has shared his industry knowledge and has worked in the development of best practices. He has also participated in numerous international airports and aviation forums as a speaker.

A major focus for Mr. Criado has been working in route development programs in different airports. He was part of the Barcelona Route Committee from 2003 to 2005 and was Commissioner of the Southern California Routes Committee from 2006 to 2009.

Mr. Criado holds a Bachelor degree in English Philology from the Complutense University of Madrid and has taken over 20 courses and seminars related to the aviation industry throughout his career.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Gaëtan Gagné

President & Chief Executive Officer, Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport

Gaëtan Gagné has been involved with Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB) for the last two decades – firstly as Board member (1997-2017), then as chairman of the Board and President of the Executive Committee (2001-2009) and, since 2010, as President and CEO.

Under his leadership, YQB airport traffic has doubled as a result of a strong Passenger First® focus and a $500m investment program leading notably to the construction of two major terminals.

He is involved in the Armed Forces as Honorary Colonel of the 35th Canadian Service Battalion. In 2012, he was awarded The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Finally, in 2015, in recognition of his 12-year loyal service with the Forces, he received the Canadian Distinction decoration (C.D.).

He is a member of the American Association of Airport Executives, the Canadian Airports Council, the World Future Society and the National Association of Corporate Directors among others.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Carl Schultz

Interim Vice President, Airline Business Development, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

Carl Schultz joined the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) in June to strategically manage the Airports Authority’s efforts to attract new air service and passengers from around the world.  Prior to MWAA, he worked for The Houston Airport System in Texas, The Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority in Nevada and The Columbus Regional Airport Authority in Ohio.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in aviation management from The Ohio State University and a master’s degree in business administration in aviation from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Alvaro Leite

Chief Commercial Officer, Aerodom / VINCI Airoports

Alvaro Leite has 13 years of airport experience in varying roles. Since September 2017, he has been employed as Chief Commercial Officer in Aerodom, part of VINCI Airport and he has been based in Santo Domingo. He manages all commercial affairs for all Aerodom airports’ revenue as well as business planning and strategy development: route development, cargo, commercial retail, F&B, car parking advertisement, and passenger experience. 

In this last role he is responsible for assessing the aviation potential for the bids and M&A projects in which VINCI Airports participate with especial focus on the Americas and Caribe. Together with providing a long term traffic forecast and defining the future strategy for potential new airports, he also plays an on ongoing role in the integration and optimisation of some of the Airline Marketing Departments of VINCI Airports portfolio (consisting of some 37 airports worldwide). 

Since joining VINCI Airports, he participated in several tender processes around the world and has a been a key member of the successful team which won the concession of Osaka Airports (two airports in Japan), Aerodom (six airports in Dominican Republic) and Salvador Airport in Brazil.

Prior to this, he worked for 9 years at Porto Airport (ACI/ASQ Best European Airport 2007, 2016) where he was responsible for airline marketing. Porto was a very successful story. From 3.4 million passengers in 2006, it served 7 million passengers in 2014 and reached 9M passengers in 2016. Eight new airlines commenced operations in that seven year period, helping the airport to pass from 20 direct services to 65 direct services at the time.

Due to the nature of his roles he has a vast knowledge of the aviation industry, the markets in different geographies and the challenges airlines and airports face.

During his studies and professional career Alvaro Leite lived in five different countries and he is currently living in Paris.  He holds an International MBA (Universidade Catolica Porto / ESADE Barcelona) and a Masters in Electronic Engineering  and he is fluent in five languages. His professional path helped me to learn, understand and appreciate different cultures and people and to adapt to multicultural environments, an important attribute given the international nature of the aviation industry.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Javier Suarez

Vice President Network Planning, Revenue Management & E-Commerce, VivaAerobus

Javier 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.

Javier began his aviation career 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 AirNostrum in which he worked as commercial quality manager in Valencia, Spain for 4 years.

In Qatar Airways as a Senior Strategist for almost 2 years in Doha, Qatar

He then joined Vueling Airlines in July 2010. During his 4 years of work as Network Planning Director, he managed to profitably grow Vueling´s network from 38 aircraft to  105 aircraft.

In Nov 2014, he joined VivaAerobus: He has been part of the management team who have turned around the airline. Viva is now the most profitable airline in Mexico. His current role is VP of Network & Fleet Planning, Revenue Management, Distribution & E-Commerce.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Jeremiah Gerald

Director Air Service Strategy and Marketing, ASM Americas

With a career spanning over 15 years in the aviation industry, Jeremiah brings invaluable knowledge, vast experience, and deep relationships across multiple industry sectors. As a former airline employee, airport executive, business development professional, air service development and marketing consultant, Jeremiah’s unique experience and skillset are conducive to delivering meaningful results aimed at consistently exceeding airport partner expectations.

Jeremiah has extensive experience in market analysis, strategic planning, marketing campaign development and implementation, airport branding, and stakeholder support programs. He is a liaison and catalyst for successful airport business development efforts and a lead in developing complex collaborative initiatives. Throughout his career, Jeremiah has developed numerous lucrative air program partnerships helping airports achieve passenger traffic retention and growth, securing new air service, and ultimately increasing airport revenues.

Jeremiah has a bachelor degree in Professional Aviation with a minor in Aviation Management from Louisiana Tech University. He is a Certified Member (C.M.) of the American Association of Airport Executives. In 2016, he was nominated by his peers and selected as one of Airport Business 40 Under 40. He holds a commercial pilot’s license and resides in Diamondhead, MS with his amazing/beautiful wife and two children.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Ilona Cambron

Director Air Service Development, ASM Americas

Ilona brings 11 years of aviation experience to ASM Americas, with the last four years in aviation consulting. Ilona specializes in domestic and international air service development. Her efforts focus primarily on securing additional air services for airports in North America and Europe. She is expert in use, analysis, and presentation of airline/airport data such as traffic, airline revenue, and airline capacity/schedules. She routinely produces route forecasts, leakage/point-of-sale studies, air fare analysis, and applications to secure government grants to support air service (such as DOT SCASD). Ilona meets with and maintains relationships with airline decision makers at industry conferences and their head offices; creates and maintains airport marketing programs utilizing social media, blogs, and digital advertising platforms. She maintains relationships with the clients, attends client stakeholder meetings, and develops community support for air service development initiatives.

Prior to that Ilona spent seven years working for Russia’s largest airport management corporation. She was responsible for air service development and marketing for all managed airports with a cumulative catchment of 14 million people. She was doing business to business marketing of group airports to airlines using data analysis, forecasting, presentation creation, one-on-one meetings, and relationship management. She developed relationships with stakeholders in government and private sector; and prepared economic justification for new air service and secured service on Finnair, Air China, Hainan Airlines, Alitalia, flydubai, airarabia, and Czech Airlines.

Ilona is a member of the ACI-NA Jumpstart Planning Working Group and AAAE Digital Media Conference Planning Group.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Jeff Scheferman

Executive Vice President of North America, CCR Airports

Mr. Scheferman is currently posted as the Executive Vice President, CCR-USA, after having completed an 18-month assignment as the CEO, Total Airport Services (TAS), an airport services company in which CCR-USA acquired a 70% stake in November 2015.  Prior to his assignment with TAS, Mr. Scheferman was the Executive Chairman of CCR-USA.

Prior to CCR-USA, Mr. Scheferman was co-founder, President and CEO of Airports Worldwide (formerly ADC & HAS Airports Worldwide), During his tenure at Airports Worldwide the company built a portfolio of 11 airports under management serving 35 million passengers, to include five airports in which the company held an equity position.

Prior to joining Airports Worldwide, he served as President of HAS Development Corporation, the private development affiliate of the Houston Airport System.  It was during this assignment that he structured the joint venture that was the predecessor company to Airports Worldwide.

Mr. Scheferman’s other airport privatization experience includes assignments as the Managing Director for Airport Group Australia, a subsidiary of Airport Group International (AGI), and AGI’s Director for Latin America, during which he led the acquisition of five airports in Australia and two airports in Latin America.  

Additionally, he served as the President and CEO of Los Angeles based Colliers International, a major commercial real estate company that during his tenure became an industry leader in the valuation and divestiture of former US air bases.

Mr. Scheferman holds a Master’s degree from Capitol University in Columbus, Ohio, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Ripon College in Wisconsin, and the title Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps (retired).

Participating Talks and Sessions

Steven Small

Brand Director, Routes

An economic development and tourism specialist, Steven’scareer has focussed on working with destinations supporting inward investment, tourism and economic development initiative.

Roles in inward investment, specifically site selection, and project management led Stevento the Northwest Regional Development Agency, where he developeda grant to help support regional airport’s route development strategies.

As a consultant at Ernst and Young, Steven worked on a number of projects for both private and public sectororganisations, including supporting the development of the business plan for Bath City Council. Back in Manchesterhe joined the city’s inward investment agency, MIDAS, helping attractbusinesses to the city.

From here, he moved to Marketing Manchester workingon a variety of projects including funding packages for Manchester Central –the city’s main convention venue and thenew National Football Museum,as well as delivering the route development fund for Manchester Airport. Steven then took on the role of Head of Business Tourismfor Visit Manchester, working to attract major new events and conferences to the city.

Steven moved back to his home town of Liverpool as Head of Tourism, working with public and private stakeholders to develop a long term strategy to maximise the explosion of the visitor economy, since the European Capital of Culture in 2008, and ensurethe city region continues to improve its offer and grow sustainably.

A move to UBM in February 2017 brought Steven back to route development. As Brand Director, Steven leads a team in the development and delivery of Routes -a portfolio of global events providing a platform for the route development community to negotiate new air services.

A father of two, Steven is a supporter of Everton football club and lives in a village in North Cheshire.

Participating Talks and Sessions