Routes Europe 2018

The route development forum for Europe

Bilbao, Basque Country
22 - 24 April 2018

Conference Programme Speakers

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

Sergio Fernandez

Regional Director Airports, Passenger, Cargo and Security, Europe, International Air Transport Association (IATA)

Participating Talks and Sessions

Montserrat Barriga

European Regions Airline Association (ERA), Director General

Montserrat Barriga was appointed ERA Director General on 1 November 2017. Barriga is responsible to ERA’s board for the delivery and implementation of ERA’s strategy as well as the policy and technical work of the association. Under her leadership, ERA is highlighting the aviation sector’s vital contribution to Europe’s future economic prosperity, particularly in the regions of Europe. Barriga travels extensively within Europe, meeting with policy-making bodies such as EASA, the European Commission, Eurocontrol and the European Parliament and Council as well as ERA members.

Prior to her appointment as ERA Director General, Barriga worked at ERA member airline Binter as Director of International Development and Industry Affairs, focusing on the airline’s regulatory needs and international development. Before this, Barriga headed up strategy development at Pullmantur Group, which included a cruise line, tour operators, retail travel agencies and the charter airline Pullmantur Air.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Alex Cruz

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, British Airways

In 2016, Alex was appointed Chairman and CEO of British Airways.   He also sits on the management committee of parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG)

Alex began his career at American Airlines in 1995, before becoming a partner at Arthur D Little in 2000.   He set up his own aviation consulting firm in 2002 and later joined Accenture as its head of aviation.

In 2006, Alex founded Clickair, merging it with Vueling in 2009 and becoming Vueling’s Chairman and CEO.   Vueling was acquired by IAG in 2013.

He is also a visiting lecturer at the IESE Business School in Madrid and the ESADE Business & Law School in Barcelona.

In April 2016, Alex was appointed Chairman and CEO of British Airways. 

Alex is also a visiting lecturer at the IESE Business School in Madrid and the ESADE Business & Law School in Barcelona.

Alex is originally from Bilbao in Spain.  He has a degree in industrial engineering from Central Michigan University, an MSc from the Ohio State University, and Business Management & Administration degree from the Cox School of Business in Dallas.  He is married with four children and lives in London.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Wilken Bellmann

Head of Network Planning and Scheduling, SunExpress

As Head of Network Planning and Scheduling for SunExpress, Wilken Bellmann's responsibilities include: 

  •  Network development and diversification for SunExpress and SunExpress Germany
  • Negotiations with tourism boards, airports and governments entities for support and incentive schemes
  • Streamlining and alignment of network planning, flight planning and scheduling processes
  • Internal alignment with operational business units
  • Acquisition and management of interline and other airline partnerships
  • Representing SunExpress at industry conferences and fairs

Participating Talks and Sessions

Jochen Schnadt

Chief Commercial Officer, bmi Regional

A Senior Aviation Executive having worked in various commercial, strategic, planning and operational roles most recently with Monarch Airlines as Commercial Director and previously with such companies as Aer Lingus, Qatar Airways, BA CityFlyer, SkyWest, AWAS and Eurocontrol. With a track record of achieving and exceeding targets,

 Jochen is a firm believer in the need for constant change and innovation and has been involved in various leading edge projects and developments during his 20 year career in commercial aviation.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Léon Verhallen

Head of Aviation Development, Brussels Airport

Léon was approached in 2006 by Brussels Airport to set up and organize a new aviation development department after its privatization. Aviation Development at Brussels Airport takes responsibility for route development marketing, B2B and B2C passenger marketing, market analysis, traffic forecasting and aviation strategy. Brussels Airport has become a regular winner of the Routes Marketing Awards, including winning Routes World in 2012 and 2014. Léon also was the first winner of the Individual Award for Route Development at Routes World in 2017.

Léon started his career at Fokker Aircraft in 1986 after his study Business Economics at Tilburg University in The Netherlands. Between 1998 and 2006 he worked at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in the role of Market Research Manager, Marketing Manager and Head of Aviation Marketing.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Pere Suau-Sanchez

Business Development Consultant at GPA Aviation and Visiting Senior Fellow, Cranfield University

Dr Pere Suau-Sanchez is Business Development Consultant at GPA Aviation and Visiting Fellow at Cranfield University, where he used to be Course Director of the MSc in Airport Planning and Management. He is an expert in airline networks, airport connectivity and strategic management. He has published more than 20 articles in peer-reviewed journals and has led aviation consultancy projects for a diverse range of clients (airlines, airports and governments). He is also a regular contributor to international media and press, including CNN, Forbes, BBC and La Vanguardia.

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 including network planning and revenue management with a number of airlines including British Caledonian, British Airways, KLMuk and Buzz.  He was instrumental in the decision by KLM to establish the low cost airline Buzz and in its selection of new routes. His 34 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 wide range of clients including airports, airlines and investors whose businesses require strategic insight, guidance and advisory services concerning the air transport industry.

John provides expert independent business and financial commentary on the sector for leading media, including the BBC, Sky, CNN, Bloomberg and the Financial Times.  He is also a regular conference chair and moderator at industry events, frequently interviewing leading senior executives.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Steven Small

Brand Director, Routes

An economic development and tourism specialist, Steven’s career 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 Steven to the Northwest Regional Development Agency, where he developed a grant to help support regional airports' route development strategies.

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

From here, he moved to Marketing Manchester working on a variety of projects including funding packages for Manchester Central - the city’s main convention venue and the new National Football Museum, as well as delivering the route development fund for Manchester Airport. Steven then took on the role of Head of Business Tourism for 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 ensure the 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

Mark Clarkson

EVP Product Development, OAG

Mark is responsible for leading OAG’s flagship Schedules and Analytics portfolios.

Prior to this, Mark spent three years leading OAG’s commercial development in Asia Pacific, with the core focus to develop and deliver revenue growth and lead the expansion of business in the ASPAC region.

In his previous role at OAG as Commercial Director, Mark was responsible for all commercial activities including customer relationship management, new product development and strategic partnerships.

Prior to joining OAG in 2012, Mark spent five years as Vice President at consultancy firm Airport Strategy & Marketing (ASM), where he was responsible for delivering client projects including new route development and network strategies. Mark worked with airports and tourism authorities in the Caribbean, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia to implement successful strategies in building sustainable air services. Notable highlights were delivering the first LCC service to St Lucia with JetBlue and a new direct Asian service for London Gatwick Airport for Vietnam Airlines.

Before ASM, Mark spent six years in the airport and aviation division of the Peel Airports Group, where he was responsible for commercial and marketing functions including route development and airline relations.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Robert Carey

Group Director of Strategy and Network, ‎easyJet

Robert joined easyJet in 2017 and is the Director of Strategy and Network, where his mandate stretches across strategy and commercial functions, including schedule, network, revenue management/pricing and ancillary revenues.  Robert joined from McKinsey & Company where he was one of the leaders of the global Airline practice.  Over the last 11 years, Robert assisted 20+ airline clients from every continent on a range of strategic, revenue/commercial, and operations issues. This included designing growth plans, market entry strategies, mergers/integrations/JVs, as well as diagnostics / building specific capabilities and performance improvement in commercial and operations functions. Robert has also authored multiple articles and spoken widely about the airline industry and was a keynote speaker at Google’s Travel Forum, Terrapinn Aviation Festival, Google’s Think Travel, Virtuoso’s Symposium, and The Beat’s Annual Conference.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Gordon Dewar

Chief Executive Officer, Edinburgh Airport

Gordon Dewar took up the post of Chief Executive in July 2012 and has led the 50% growth of the airport from 9m passengers to 13.4m passengers in 2017 and from one long-haul route to 12 long-haul routes for 2018 including the first Scottish connection to China.

Rebranding the airport as the place where ‘Scotland meets the world’, Gordon has overseen significant capital investment in capacity, productivity improvements and customer service enhancements that have been recognised through airport and wider business awards in Scotland, the UK and internationally.

Gordon spent 4 years with BAA running Glasgow and Edinburgh airports through periods of extensive investments in terminal capacity and passenger growth from 2007 to 2010. He then spent 2 years as Chief Executive at Bahrain International Airport creating a independent and profitable business for the first time after a carve out from Government.

Gordon has held a number of senior positions with leading transport operators, including commercial, general management and business development roles. Prior to this he spent 10 years in Transport Consultancy.

Gordon is a Board Member of Visit Scotland and the Scottish Tourism Alliance reflecting his passion and ambition for the Scottish tourist industry. He is also a Board Member of AOA the trade body for UK Airports.

Gordon is a passionate sports fan following his local football club and Edinburgh Rugby as well as acting as taxi service and cheerleader for his 4 children who are active in hockey and rugby.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Rafael Schvartzman

Regional Vice President, International Air Transport Association (IATA)

“With its dense web of airlines, airports and routes, Europe is a key region for international aviation. It is a highly competitive environment and at the same time a major actor in setting the operational and regulatory framework for air carriers. I feel privileged in leading the European branch of the longest-standing, most representative and expert aviation association.”

Rafael Schvartzman is IATA’s Regional Vice-President for Europe and has spent almost a decade working to ensure that the voices of over 100 European airlines are heard on issues as diverse as passenger safety, airport charges, overflying rights, climate change or aviation security.

Based in Madrid, he manages a 400-strong staff providing services to the association’s members in the 55 countries of the IATA Europe region, the largest in the Association, stretching from Iceland to Central Asia. He also sits on IATA’s global Strategic Leadership Team.

His responsibilities include serving as IATA’s spokesperson across Europe; overseeing all activities in the region; strengthening the relationships with aviation stakeholders; advocating the interests of IATA’s members; implementing new products and services; overseeing the secure transfer of over $145 billion in the Billing and Settlement Plan and Cargo Accounts Settlement Systems; and defining and implementing a regional strategy for the whole of Europe.   

Rafael’s career with IATA began in 2005 in Buenos Aires, as Country Manager for Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.  His aviation expertise, however, goes back much further, and includes a 10-year spell at DHL in the Americas and experience working for a range of air transport companies in South America.

He graduated from the University of the Pacific (California) in Economics and also holds a Master’s Degree in Leadership and Strategy from the prestigious Instituto Empresa (IE) Business School in Madrid. In addition to his native Spanish, Rafael is fluent in English.

Born in Paraguay but with Polish roots, Rafael feels passionate about serving a truly international organisation representing an industry that, like no other, connects people, businesses and countries around the globe.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Otso Iho

Deputy Head, Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre, IHS Markit

Otso Iho is the Deputy Head of the Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre (JTIC), an IHS Markit company. JTIC provides open source intelligence on terrorism and political violence for governments and the private sector.

Otso has a background in risk consultancy, conducting analysis on security and business risk for clients across industries, such as Aviation, Insurance, Oil & Gas, Mining, and Maritime & Shipping. He regularly speaks to business, law enforcement, defence, and government personnel on terrorism and security issues, and most recently, he was heard as an expert witness for the Australian federal prosecution service in a terrorism case in Melbourne. Otso holds an MA in Terrorism, Security & Society from Kings College London (KCL) and a BA in History from University College London (UCL).


Participating Talks and Sessions

Miguel Oliver

Network Planning & Scheduling Director, Air Nostrum

High experienced aviation senior manager with an updated knowledge of airline market. Lecturer and speaker at different events, as well as a member and jury of several national and international aviation committees. Due to that reason I have a strong network of airline senior management worldwide.

Specialties: Extensive knowledge of business strategy in very competitive environments, as well as network planning, and scheduling.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Janire Bijueska

Transport Planning Director, Ministry of Economic Development and Infrastructure, Basque Government

Janire Bijueska Bedialauneta, was appointed Transport Planning Director, Ministry of Economic Development and Infraestructures on 9 january 2017.

Bijueska  was born in Bilbao (Bizkaia) on 7 march 1979. She studied Bachelor of Law, specializing in private law, Deusto University (Bilbao), 2004 and MBA Background, 2006.

In terms of her professional experience, she developed as Legal Assistance Technician with responsibility for institutional relations on  Bilbao - Bizkaia Water Consortium 2010-2016.

Previously was Parliamentary and substitute spokesperson at the Parliament of Biscay  for two years, 2015-2016; As politician, she has on charge, EAJ-PNV  Municipal Board President (2012-2016) and Town Councillor  2013-2015.

Before public charges, Bijueska grown professionally  as Bank advisor junior, kutxabank,   2003-2005, Deputy Director of Business Promotion, Accor Hotels, 2006-2008; Deputy Managing Director, Kaian, 2008-2009 and Manager of Ajebask ( Biscay Young Entrepreneurs Association)  2009-2010.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Asier Alea

Director of Tourism and External Promotion, Provincial Government of Biscay

Asier Alea has a Dual Degree in Economics and International Relations (graduated Top of the Class and Suma Cum Laude) from Boston University's Department of Economics. Master’s Degree in Economic Policy and PhD Candidate at Oxford University and MBA from M.I.T.

Asier  pursued his professional career as an Associate Consultant at  L.E.K Consulting  in the UK (the consulting firm based in London,  Chicago and Milan 1999-2001), a Senior Analyst at the Corporate Strategy Department of  Telefónica (Madrid 2001-2003), an Analyst on the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) (New York 2004), Deputy to the CEO at the Guascor Group (Bilbao 2005-2011) and subsequently at Dresser-Rand (Houston & Bilbao 2011-15), first as the Strategy Director of the Renewables Unit, and then taking on the overall management of the Corporate Development and Strategy Department of this US multinational in the energy sector in February 2013.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Ignacio Biosca

Head of Airport Marketing & Relations with Airlines, Aena

Ignacio Biosca is an Aeronautical Engineer by the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. He has also completed the PDG (Programa de Dirección General, Director General Management Program) by the IESE Business School and the Advanced Course on Environmental and Natural Resources Management by the EOI (Escuela de Organización Industrial). 

In Aena he started his professional career in the Security Area in 1993, where he was responsible for the regulatory and Technical Departments. In this regard, he was member of ACI’s Security Committees and ECAC’s (European Civil Aviation Conference) Technical and Operational Task Forces

In 2002 he was appointed Head of Group II Airports Coordinator formed by 10 of the Aena’s airports network. As part of this position, he developed the Network Management center of Aena, where real time operations are monitored.

At present and since 2005, he is Responsible for the International Relations, Airport Marketing and Airlines Relations of Aena. In this position he has participated with Aena’s CEO the ACI Europe and ACI World Boards, and is member of ACI’s European Policy Committee since 2005. 

From 2014 and until December 2015, he has also been Secretary of AECFA, the Slots Coordination Association in Spain. 

Participating Talks and Sessions

Maribel Rodriguez

Regional Director of 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

David Garcia

Chief Commercial Officer, Vueling

David García is Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) and a member of the Management Committee at Vueling since July 2015.

David began his career in the aviation sector in 1999 and he had previously worked for another big companies such as Air France, KLM and Lot Polish Airlines.

In these companies David held positions as Chief Commercial Director (CCO), General Director for Eastern Europe, Commercial Manager for Asia Pacific, Sales Director in China and several positions in the Development and Digital Management Department in Paris, London and Sydney. 

David studied at the London Business School and subsequently he completed a Master in Business Management at the IESE Business School, University of Navarra.

David is a fan of diversity: he has lived in 6 countries, he is married to a Swede and he has two Polish girls.

Ignacio Bosch Nacenta

Head of Network Strategy and Long term Planning, Vueling

Ignacio Bosch is Head of Network Strategy and Long Term Planning and part of Vueling since January 2011. 

Ignacio began his experience in the aviation industry in Catalonia Airports, ALG aeronautical consultancy, Telstar and Aerolink. But consolidated the beginning of his career in Vueling where he has held different positions in the Network Planning area with roles as Network Planning Manager for the international network, Development & Procurement Manager and current role as Head of Network Strategy. 

Ignacio is an aeronautical engineer. He studied his degree in the INSA Lyon, UPC in Barcelona and Linkoping University in Sweden. And has courses in aviation law and airport infrastructures.  

Ignacio is an aviation and travelling passionate: he has lived in 3 different countries and visited more than 55. 

Participating Talks and Sessions

Rolando Corradini

Marketing Manager, Embraer

Rolando is our Marketing Manager for Central Europe at Embraer Commercial Aviation, the leading and most innovative manufacturer of aircraft up to 150 seat segment.

Starting as aeronautical engineer, Rolando looks back on more than 14 years of experience in the industry. Some of his past roles included supporting the entry-into-service at more than 15 E-Jet operators globally, Embraer customer support representative of airlines in Asia Pacific, flight operations specialist and instructor as well as supporting the development of our new clean sheet design the E-Jets E2.

In his current role Rolando is supporting airlines finding the right aircraft for today and tomorrow, providing tailored analysis and product knowledge.

Rolando holds an Aeronautical Engineering Degree and MSc in Air Transport Management from ITA (Instituto Tecnologico de Aeronautica), as well as a private pilot license.

In his free time Rolando enjoys flying, travelling, cooking, and music.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Tony Griffin

Senior Vice President Consulting, ASM

Tony is one of ASM’s most experienced consultants with nearly 30 years’ experience in the aviation industry, developing routes at Manchester Airport for 13 years before joining ASM in 2000. He oversees the management of ASM’s clients and leads the training portfolio.

Specialisms: Airport development strategy, route development, scenario planning, marketing and brand strategy, training

Participating Talks and Sessions