Conference Programme Speakers

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

Ed Robertson

Editor, Routes News

Ed has been the editor for more than two years and oversaw a number of changes to the magazine to better reflect the world of route development today and those who work in it. Before taking on Routes News, he was a B2B travel journalist for 12 years, writing about the UK tourism industry with a focus on tour operators, destinations and tourist boards.

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 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

Dilhan Haradasa

Group Head of Airport Partnerships and Incentives, AirAsia Group

Dilhan Haradasa is the current Group Head of Airport Partnerships and Incentives for the AirAsia/AirAsiaX Groups, where, he is responsible for Airport, aeronautical and stakeholder incentives. Prior to this, Dilhan held the role of Group Head of Network and Regulatory for AirAsia. 

Dilhan brings 18 years of diverse airline management experience ranging from three low-cost airlines (AirAsia, Virgin Australia and flydubai) and four legacy airlines (SriLankan, Emirates, Gulf Air & LOT Polish). Dilhan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Aviation with an elective major in Marketing & Management from the University of Western Sydney, Australia.

He has a strong knowledge across broad aviation disciplines and possess extensive Commercial management experience in Network/Schedules Planning, Airport Incentives, Sales & Marketing, new airline start-ups, and slot/bilateral negotiations.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Kanat Alpysbayev

Managing Director, Sovereign Wealth Fund Samruk-Kazyna JSC

Kanat Kalievich Alpysbayev graduated from the Almaty Institute of Railway Engineers (1994), the University of Kentucky (USA) (1998),  Moscow International Higher Business School (2007).

Between 1994 to 2002, Mr.Alpysbayev worked at the enterprises Tselinnaya Railway, RSE Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, and joint stock companies of various profile. In 2002-2003 Mr.Alpysbayev was the Director of Finance and Administration, Vice-President for Finance and Information Technologies of JSC Air Astana. From 2005 to 2008, he worked as Business Development Director, branch of General Electric. From 2008 to 2016, Mr.Alpysbayev held various positions at JSC NC Kazakhstan Temir Zholy. From 2016 to 2018, he served as President-Chairman of the Management Board of JSC NC Kazakhstan Temir Zholy. From November 2018 Mr.Alpysbayev works as Managing Director for Logistics and International Cooperation of JSC Samruk-Kazyna.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Hang Zhao

Business Development Manager and Consultant, ASM Global Route Development

Hang Zhao Joined ASM from Shanghai Juneyao Airlines where he had been a senior network manager. With a wealth of airline experience, Hang brings with him analytical capabilities in flight routes and project management, as well as a sound knowledge of international flight application and different countries’ regulation processes. Hang has successfully helped Juneyao airlines to establish their scheduled services to Japan, South Korea, Russia, Thailand and Philippines from China. Meanwhile, as part of his role, Hang was responsible for applications and airline relationships with the CAAC. Hang is currently based in Shanghai, China.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Patti Chau

Regional Director, Airports Council International, Asia-Pacific

Mrs. Patti Chau is the Regional Director of Airports Council International (ACI), Asia-Pacific based in Hong Kong.  

Airports Council International (ACI) is the trade association for world’s airports, representing 95% of total traffic worldwide.  ACI advances the collective interests of, and acts as the voice of the world’s airports and the communities they serve, and promotes professional excellence in airport management and operations.  ACI Asia-Pacific is one of five regions of ACI that includes Asia and Australia/New Zealand and the Middle East. 

Mrs. Chau is responsible for developing and leading the ACI Asia-Pacific region’s efforts to enhance member services and grow membership while maintaining the mission of promoting the interests of 111 airport members from 49 countries/ territories, operating over 590 airports in the region.

Patti is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and holds a degree in Finance from Canada. 



Participating Talks and Sessions

Kairat Sadvakasov

Deputy Chairman, Board of JSC “NC Kazakh Tourism”

Graduate of the Eurasian National University, Astana (2003) in Hospitality and the New York University with Master of Science in Tourism Management (2012) he started his career in 2001 at the first five-star hotel in the capital of Kazakhstan - InterContinental Hotel Astana. Later he worked in international consulting and PR, taking part in the implementation of industrial and transport projects, as well as in promoting Kazakhstani companies and airlines abroad. He was also involved in educational tourism while serving as a deputy head of Kazakhstan's office of an international non-for-profit educational exchanges agency.  

Kairat joined public sector in 2012 as a Director of the tourism department at Kazakhstan Institute of Industry Development.

Over the years, he held the posts of deputy director and acting Director of the Tourism Industry Department at the Ministry of Investment and Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan. He is a co-author of various strategic documents and master plans for the tourism development of Kazakhstan, as well as contributor to legislative amendments and policies. Kairat is a frequent speaker and moderator at industry events locally and abroad as well a guest speaker at tourism schools in Kazakhstan. 

Participating Talks and Sessions

Rafael Schvartzman

Regional Vice President, Europe, IATA

Rafael came to IATA in 2005 and has since assumed progressively increased responsibilities until his current appointment as Regional Vice President Europe.

Having received comprehensive exposure to all sides of the industry as Vice President Finance of SAETA Airlines and President of LAPSA Airlines, Rafael continued to build a solid foundation of knowledge and experience within DHL, as Country Manager of Argentina and Paraguay.

His instinct for turning challenges into opportunities led him to join IATA and take on the role of Country Manager of Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay at a tumultuous time, before accepting the Regional Directorship of Industry Distribution and Financial Services Europe in 2008.

In 2010, he was named IATA’s Regional Vice President and Regional Coordination Team Leader of Europe and since 2014 has been leading 63 countries spanning Europe and Central Asia.

Rafael holds a Master in Positive Leadership and Strategy from IE Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of the Pacific. He has lived in Argentina, Ecuador, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States and speaks Spanish and English.

Mike St Laurent

Vice President Consulting, ASM

Mike brings over 30 years of airline experience to ASM. He had a long career at Air Canada where he was responsible for the planning and launch of many successful new routes, holding senior roles in network planning, strategy, fleet planning, scheduling and revenue management. He joined ASM in 2014.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Berik Kamaliyev

Vice Minister of Industry and Infrastructural Development, Republic of Kazakhstan

Participating Talks and Sessions

Alma Aliguzhinova

Chief Planning Officer, Planning and Commercial, Air Astana

Alma is among the first employees to join Air Astana at its early stage of formation in 2001 before the commencement of commercial operations. Alma initially joined the company as Corporate Development Manager and progressively has been promoted to Corporate Development Director, Vice President Planning, Senior Vice President Corporate Planning and now Chief Planning Officer. Alma is a Bolashak Alumni graduated with an MBA degree from East Caroline University, USA.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Michel Adam

Senior Manager Aviation Environment, IATA

Michel Adam is Senior Manager, Aviation Environment, at the International Air Transport Association (IATA). He is responsible for the policy and regulatory portfolio and advocacy with external stakeholders on environmental affairs. Michel is also IATA’s observer to the ICAO Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection where he coordinates the airlines’ representation.

Prior to joining IATA in 2012, Michel was Manager Environment & Consumers at the Association of European Airlines (AEA), where he represented the interests of European airlines on environmental affairs, consumer affairs and ground-handling in European institutions.

Complementing this experience and his formal training in law, Michel holds a Master of Advanced Studies (LL.M. adv.) in Air and Space Law from Leiden University in the Netherlands.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Ruslan Sarin

Assistant Manager Campaigns for Central Asia, IATA

Ruslan was born in 1983 in Astana, Kazakhstan. Graduated MBA in Corporate Management, Diploma in Customs law, Diploma in Aviation Safety, and Certified ISAGO auditor. Started his aviation career in Air Astana airline in 2007 as turn around supervisor, then Quality manager for ground, cargo operations and de-icing quality. In 2013 he moved to IATA Branch office in Kazakhstan where continued his work supporting Safety, Security, Cargo standards implementation, namely:  processes of MC99 ratification by Kazakhstan, advocating IATA’s E-Freight, Secure Freight, coordinated State working groups  for Mobile Boarding Pass, KZ State Security Program, etc. Aviation projects. Ruslanis part of the initiative group within IATA leading  translation to Russian language the IGOM (IATA Ground Operations Manual)and SGHA-2018 (IATA Standard Ground Handling Agreement).

Participating Talks and Sessions

Jordan Karamalakov

Area Manager Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, International Air Transport Association (IATA)

Jordan Karamalakov represents IATA in 4 countries in Central Asia. With his colleagues from the local office in Nur-Sultan and the Regional Office Europe in Madrid he leads the air transport industry in a territory of over 3,5 million sq km, being responsible for the policy and regulatory portfolio, promoting flight safety and faster modernization of infrastructure. He is advocating with external stakeholders on smarter regulations and for improving the air connectivity in the area. Jordan is in charge for further penetration of IATA financial and distribution services in these countries in benefit of airlines and their passengers.

Prior to joining IATA in 2000, Jordan had been taking several senior positions in Balkan Bulgarian Airlines. In 2005/2006 he worked for Bulgarian Government as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the flag carrier Bulgaria Air.

Jordan graduated in 1980  in Civil Aviation Institute in Kiev, Ukraine and passed post-graduation training in International Air Transport Business in Bulgarian World Economy University in Sofia..

Participating Talks and Sessions

Zhanna Shayakhmetova

Director Cargo Sales, Air Astana

Zhanna was born in 1983 in Almatinskaya oblast, Kazakhstan. Graduated Smart-MBA in Samruk-Kazyna Corporate University 2011, Diploma in International Relations of KazNU named al-Farabi and has Prince 2 Foundation Certificate in Project Management.

Started her aviation career in Air Astana airline in 2006 as cabin crew, then Manager Project Portfolio Office, and since 2018   Director Cargo Sales.

During  2017-2018 Zhanna worked on the project of assessing the possibility of setting up  New Cargo airline. Currently, she involved in the implementation of E-Freight in the airline, implementation of CASS in Kazakhstan, and other cargo-related projects. 

Participating Talks and Sessions

Ruslan Gabbasov

Managing Director, Karagandy International Airport

Ruslan Gabbasov began his career in the national company JSC"Euro-Asia Air". In 2011–2015, he worked in leadership positions in the structures of the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies. Later he was the head of the passenger terminal of the largest airport in the Republic of Kazakhstan located in Almaty.

He's main task at the enterprise is to develop potential of airport commercial, increase cargo turnover and passenger traffic, control and improve the service provided to passengers and customers of the airport, interaction with government agencies. In addition, he works with leading organizations in the logistics and transport sectors, airlines, and postal operators.

Mr. Gabbasov graduated The Bauman Moscow State Technical University (Moscow) in the  "Managing the aerodynamic flow of aircraft" field and "Managing the financial flows in the enterprise", and also received a MEDEA Master's degree in corporate ENI University (Milan) Speaks in few languages.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Richard Ledger

Vice President Marketing and Sales, Air Astana

Richard joined Air Astana in March 2006 as the Regional General Manager EU, USA & Canada, based in London, where he was primarily responsible for the creation of a sales network throughout the region. Prior to joining Air Astana, Richard worked in corporate sales for Singapore Airlines in London for five years before becoming Sales & Marketing Manager UK at Royal Brunei Airlines in January 2005. Richard started his travel industry career in 1993 after graduating from Lancaster University with a Master of Arts (MA) in Travel and Tourism, and from the University of London (UCL) with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Geography. Richard relocated to Almaty in February 2009 assuming the position of Director Sales Worldwide. Richard was promoted to Vice President Worldwide Sales in January 2014; and subsequently, he was promoted to Vice President Marketing & Sales in January 2017.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Daulet Khamzin

VP Airline Development, SCAT Airlines

Born on November 10, 1972 in Tselinograd (Nur-Sultan).

Graduated "Applied Mathematics" in Al-Farabi (KazSU) and Kazakh Institute of Management Economics and Forecasting (KIMEP).

Started his aviation carrier in August 1997 as Head of Schedule department in Air Kazakhstan. then worked on top management positions in few construction and IT companies.

From January 2006 to September 2011 - Chairman of the Board of JSC Airport Sary-Arka (KGF).

From November 2011, continued his aviation carries within SCAT Airlines as Vice President for Economics, Vice President for Development, and Chairman of the Board of Aulie-Ata Airport JSC (DMB).

He is a member of the working group of the Eurasian Economic Union employees of the authorized bodies of the Union member states in the field of transport.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Janar Jailauova

Sales and Marketing Director, Fly Arystan

Janar Jailauova has  14 years’ experience in aviation with Air Astana where she has succeeded in a wide range of senior commercial managerial roles in Kazakhstan/abroad and has been a key contributor to the commercial strategy of the company.  Starting her career at Head Office, she rapidly moved into the management roles in the UK, Middle East and India.  She returned back to Kazakhstan taking charge of all direct distribution of the airline including the call centre, sales offices and managed a team over 200 people. Janar ultimately took charge of the home and CIS markets, accounting for 70% of the airline revenues and lead the rapid expansion across the extended home market.  Upon the decision to establish FlyArystan, Janar became one of the pioneers tasked to set up the airline and to date leads Sales and Marketing Team of the vibrant airline. Janar is a graduate of Cranfield University, School of Management.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Almas Imangaliyev

Chief Executive Officer, Asia Freight

Almas Imangaliyev, Director General of Asia Freight Ltd., transport and logistics company located in Almaty, KZ. Almas is a graduate of Kazakh Academy of Civil Aviation, where he has received specialty of Aircrafts Technical Operation and he has also second specialty of Almaty Economy University with a degree in World Economy.

After graduation Almas launched his career in air company “Irtysh avia” where he began his specialization in cargo freight sales. In 2001 he continued mastering his proficiency in “Air Kazakhstan” airline in freight department.

That experience eventually led him into the world of cargo freight logistics and in 2002 he establishes and become a director of his own transport and logistics company “Asia Freight Ltd.”

Under his leadership Asia Freight Ltd. in 2011 become a member of IATA; in 2017 company is certified according to ISO 9001-2015. Almas is also certified auditor of internal quality management systems compliance to the standard audit.

Asia Freight today: over 200 employees within all major cities in Kazakhstan and wide agents network internationally.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Magzum Mirzagaliyev

Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources, Kazakhstan

In 1999 he graduated from the University "Turan", an international economist. In 2003 - Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, international economist. He also studied at the Caspian State University of Technology and Engineering. Sh. Esenova, development of oil and gas fields. Internship in the USA and Malaysia. From 2001 to 2004 - drilling fluid engineer MIDrilling Fluids International (Schlumberger) of Tengiz fields and Western Siberia.

Bakhtiyar Maken

Deputy Mayor, City of Nur-Sultan

Participating Talks and Sessions

Wesley Charnock

Managing Editor, Routes

An experienced journalist and specialist in content production and marketing, Wesley joined Routes following a decade-long career within some of the biggest events media and digital publications in the UK.

Wesley graduated in 2002 from the University of Manchester and spent several years working for digital marketing agencies, where he wrote for a broad spectrum of global commercial clients including Vodafone, the London Stock Exchange and major UK banks.

Moving into publishing, Wesley worked as the editor of trade magazines before moving to a specialist digital role at business publishing and events group Insider Media, which stages more than 100 conferences and awards annually.

At Insider Wesley was responsible for managing the delivery of more than 120 news stories every day to millions of readers. 

In his current position, Wesley oversees all live and digital content within Routes, also playing a strategic role within the business.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Francisco Bataglia

Senior Manager Cargo Financial Services, IATA

 Has 34+ years in the airline business on various fields but mainly Ground Operations and Cargo Sales & Operations.

 Started in 1985 in the airline business at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Initially started as ticket writer and moved to ground operations in the years after. From 1991-1998 moved to Cargo Sales & Operations where he worked for various Airlines (including a short 3 years intermezzo at a Cargo Agency Broker).

 From 1998 till 2002 he worked as a Station Manager for the Qualiflyer Group (Swissair, SABENA, TAP Portugal & Affiliated Airlines) at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport till its dismantlement in 2001.

 From 2002-2004 he restarted the operation for Swiss International Airlines at Brussels Airport and was co-responsible for adjacent airports like Luxembourg and Amsterdam.  His last position was from 2004-2006 at Menzies Aviation (GHA) as Manager Passenger Handling & Ground Operations at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.   


Joined IATA’s Local Office Portugal & Spain in 2006 as Manager Cargo Services Spain & Portugal in Lisbon. With his move to the Madrid office in 2009 he was responsible for both Cargo as well as Passenger Services in Portugal and Cargo in Spain.  In 2012 he moved from the Spain & Portugal Local office to IATA’s Service Center in Madrid as Manager Customer Services responsible for Key Account Management, Airline queries, Complaint management & Continuous Improvements on internal procedures & processes with the aim to improve Service Delivery to all IATA Stakeholders. Also included in this position was the responsibility for migrating the CASS/Cargo Operations in Europe as well as co-responsible for the daily IATA BSP & CASS Operations till 2018.

 Currently the key responsibilities are to manage Cargo Distribution and Financial Modernization Projects that includes ensuring the implementation of industry projects and initiatives like the IATA FIATA Air Cargo Program.

 Is also a member of the IATA’s CASS Policy Group, European Air Cargo Program Joint Council, Cargo Agency Conference & IATA FIATA Consultative Council.

Participating Talks and Sessions