World Routes 2019

The 25th World Route Development Forum

Adelaide, Australia
21 – 24 September 2019

Conference Programme Speakers

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

Jaan Albrecht

Chief Executive Officer, SAUDIA

Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA), Mr. Jaan Albrecht, joined the national carrier of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in January 2017.

SAUDIA is currently in its 74th year of operations, with more than 16,000 staff based in the airline’s headquarters in Jeddah and worldwide.

Mr. Albrecht has extensive experience in aviation; a former pilot in the initial years of his career, he later transitioned into a diverse range of executive management positions  spanning all aspects of commercial aviation.

Mr. Albrecht has been instrumental in the aviation industry, holding key positions in organizations such as Star Alliance in the capacity as CEO, and was also the former CEO of SunExpress and Austrian Airlines, where he managed the successful turnaround of the company. Furthermore, he spent 28 years at Mexicana Airlines in numerous leadership positions.  

Cumulatively, he has served more than 40 years in the airline industry and has lived in global cities in South America, Europe and the Middle East.    

Mr. Albrecht is a dual national of Germany and Mexico, and speaks German, Spanish and English.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Merren McArthur

Chief Executive Officer, Tigerair Australia

Merren commenced with the Virgin Australia Group (the Group) in 2008 as General Counsel and Company Secretary and is regarded as a role model within the aviation sector.

She has held a number of Group Executive positions within the business and since May 2018 she has held the position of CEO at the Group’s low-cost carrier, Tigerair Australia.

Prior to this, she held the dual-CEO role at Virgin Australia Regional Airlines and Virgin Australia Cargo. Merren was also responsible for developing Virgin Australia’s global virtual network strategy, establishing alliances with Air New Zealand, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines to create an international flight network of more than 400 destinations.

Prior to joining the Group, Merren held executive roles in a variety of industries, including being an Executive Partner at Allens Arthur Robinson, the Deputy State Solicitor of Western Australia and the Chief Advisor for Rio Tinto Iron Ore.

Currently she is also acting in the role of Chief Commercial Officer for Virgin Australia for an interim period in addition to her role as CEO of Tigerair Australia.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Michael J. Bell

Senior Client Partner, Korn Ferry

Michael was previously with a global recruiting firm, where he founded and led the Global Aviation, Aerospace & Defense Practice. He provides top-level executive search and leadership advisory services to a broad range of clients in the aviation aerospace, airline, and airport sectors.

Over his 23 years in the profession, Michael has led over 1,000 searches for aviation and aerospace organizations around the globe, including numerous CEO and C-level mandates. Michael is also active in the Board Practice and has assisted numerous aerospace and aviation sector clients in the recruitment of outstanding board directors.

Earlier in his career, Michael enjoyed seven years at McKinsey & Company with a specific focus on the firm’s Organizational Performance Practice. Prior to McKinsey, he worked at the Rotman School of Management of the University of Toronto, where he partnered with the dean, the faculty and the dean’s advisory council on a broad range of development areas, including strategic planning, program development, fundraising, community and alumni relations.

Michael is an active contributor to the latest thinking on leadership in the aviation arena and serves as a regular speaker and moderator at industry conferences, having addressed audiences at over 100 events on five continents. In addition, he has authored several industry studies on leadership and published numerous articles in aviation and aerospace industry trade media.

Michael holds a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Industrial Engineering from the University of Toronto.

He speaks English, French and Arabic and has worked in more than 60 countries around the globe.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Lorie Argus

Chief Executive Landside Infrastructure, Melbourne Airport

Lorie Argus is the Chief Executive of Landside Infrastructure for Melbourne Airport, Australia’s largest 24/7 curfew-free airport. With more than 25 years’ experience in the aviation sector, including more than a decade with the Virgin Group of Airlines, Ms Argus brings a ‘passenger first’ focus to her role. This ensures Melbourne Airport’s landside access prioritises the safe and efficient transit of airline passengers to and from their flights, tackling issues such as congestion and traffic growth and multi model ground access strategies including the current planning and future delivery of the Melbourne Airport Rail Link. All whilst developing a sustainable portfolio of car parking products to suit the needs of Victorian travellers.

Over the next five years, Ms Argus will deliver a significant capital program including an elevated road network and transport hub that will re-define the commuter journey in and out of Melbourne Airport. 

Participating Talks and Sessions

Stephanie Wear

Director of Economic and Aviation Development, Tenerife Tourism Corporation

Stephanie Wear is the Director of Economic Development of the Tenerife Tourism Corporation since 2012. Under her purview, she is responsible for air service development and attracting foreign direct investment to the island as well as promoting Tenerife as a leisure destination. The top priority of her department is to work with airports, airlines and corporations to create business opportunities on the island and increase the number of tourists that visit Tenerife.  

Before her job at the Tenerife Tourism Corporation, she worked in the Foreign Trade Department of the Chamber of Commerce of Santa Cruz de Tenerife where she specialized in International Procurement and European Union projects. During that time, she was named as one of three Private Sector Liaison Officers (PSLO) of the World Bank in Spain. Previous to that position she had her own import company in the United States.

Born in Washington DC, Stephanie lived most of her life in the US before moving to Tenerife, Spain, eleven years ago. Her dual nationality and cross-cultural background have been the main motivator for her line of work. She currently holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business, an MBA and Master´s in Marketing.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Alex Heiter

Director Airline Network, Fleet & Revenue Planning, Boeing Commercial Marketing

Alex Heiter, a 23-year veteran of the aviation industry, joined Boeing Commercial Airplanes in June 2006. He is currently a Director overseeing the Airline Network, Fleet & Revenue Planning team within the marketing organization.

Alex leads a group responsible for analyzing and planning route networks, developing fleet plans, valuing airplane interior configurations and airplane payload/range capability.  Prior to his current assignment Alex was a long range product forecasting focal for the Boeing annual Current Market Outlook (CMO), a 20-year view of the worldwide demand for commercial airplanes.  Alex’s duties also include providing consultative services to BCA senior management on various issues regarding the global airline marketplace.

Prior to joining the company Alex worked Continental Airlines, where he served as Director of Schedule Planning. Other positions held at Continental included Strategic Planning, International Route Planning, Pricing and Revenue Management. Alex has also worked for Sabre Airline Solutions as a principal in their airline consulting practice.

Alex holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Management from Purdue University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin.  He resides in suburban Seattle, Washington with his wife and two children.

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

Jay L Lingeswara

Director Commercial, Strategy & Planning, VietJetAir

An aviation industry professional with more than 12 years of strategic planning expertise, analytical acumen, revenue generation, operational experience and proven leadership abilities. As Director Commercial, Strategy and Planning for VietJet Air, responsible for driving revenue performance with direct responsibility for network and planning and route performance management while maximizing ancillary revenue and keeping the lowest cost in the region.

Representing VietJet Air in all conferences and fairs, with a particular focus on travel and transportation. Key staff advisor for all negotiations with governments entities, airport authorities and tourism boards, alliances and partnerships, and other business transactions. This includes internal and external alignment with all relevant business stakeholders focusing network, fleet and schedule planning. He gained his industry experience at Air Asia Group where he was responsible for commercial strategy, distribution, network and product development.


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

David Casey

Online Editor - Aviation, Routes

David is responsible for providing insight to the Routesonline community through the latest breaking news, as well as regular features and analysis on developments and trends within the sector. He previously spent 11 years as a business journalist, which included five as the editor of an award-winning digital news team.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Andrea Lusso

Director Route Planning, JetBlue

As the Director of the Route 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. Most recently, Andrea and his team led the analysis that resulting into JetBlue’s transatlantic announcement.

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 multiple ratings, and is a certified flight instructor.

Andrea lives in Brooklyn, New York and enjoys being active outdoors, whether in the sky or on the ground.


Participating Talks and Sessions

Eric Friedman

Manager Route Planning, JetBlue

Eric joined JetBlue in 2011 and has spent his career within the Commercial and Airline Planning space.  He began in Revenue Management, then Marketing, and is now in his third year on the Network Planning team.  Eric’s team is responsible for JetBlue’s long-term network and fleet strategy. Most recently, Eric spearheaded the network analysis that led to the announcement of JetBlue’s order for 60 A220-300s.  His team is also responsible for the expansion of Mint; JetBlue’s premium cabin venture.  Eric currently is overseeing the ongoing developments of JetBlue’s long-term transatlantic plans. 

Eric graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science, and is an aviation enthusiast who enjoys collaborating with airport, tourism and government officials on existing and future destinations. Eric and his wife Hilary live in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Hang Zhao

Business Development Manager and Consultant, ASM

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

Joy Jibrilu

Director - General, Bahamas Ministry of Tourism

Mrs. Joy Jibrilu was appointed Director General of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism in May, 2014.   Prior to this she served as the Director of Investments in the Bahamas Investment Authority, Office of the Prime Minister from July, 2008.  In this capacity, she was responsible for negotiating Heads of Agreements for the major touristic developments, including the $3 Billion Baha Mar resort.  Her career with the Government of The Bahamas began in 2005, where she worked in the former Ministry of Financial Services and Investments as a Consultant, followed by the Ministry of Finance where she worked as a Legal Advisor and for which her prime responsibility was working on International Agreements pertaining to Financial Services.

Prior to joining the Public Service of The Bahamas, Mrs. Jibrilu lived and worked in West Africa and England.

She received her early education in the United Kingdom and has attended tertiary institutions in Canada, France, England and the United States.  She is a Barrister (Attorney-at-Law) by profession, but is passionate about her country and its growth and development.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Idan Maymon

ERP Program Manager, IAA (Israel Airports authority)

Idan Maymon began working in the IAA (Israel Airports authority) in 1994. He has filled several different positions including Manager of Economic and Budget Department  Senior Assistant to the CEO, Logistics Manager and Senior Economist and Manager of Economics and Budget Dept. He manages the Ramon Airport air Service development team since 2016 and is currently the ERP program manager in the IAA.

The following are current projects he is working on:

  • Developing a new ERP software to all IAA back office IT solutions.
  • Aeronautical rates and charges.
  • Economic and financial evaluation of new projects.
  • Developing a Total Cost of Ownership model to be utilized for all IAA projects.
  • Evaluating changes in the IAA financial IT infrastructure.
  • Air Service Development of the new Ramon Airport.

Prior to working in the IAA, he was in the Ministry of Transportation.

Idan is an MBA graduate from the University of Haifa in Israel. 

Mr. Maymon joined the ACI World Economics Committee in 2011 and was Chair 2014-2016.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Giorgio Palmucci

President, ENIT (Italian Tourism Bureau)

After working for ten years as an administrative manager for a French-American multinational company operating in the food sector and in consideration of my passion for the world of tourism, I started my adventure with Club Mediterranee Italy as Director of Administration / Finance and Control first, and in 1998 I became Director General of Resorts for Italy and Legal Representative of the Company with operational responsibility over 7 facilities, for a total of about 8,000 beds and +/- 1,500 employees. In 2000 I took on the operational responsibility of Eastern Countries with an additional facility of about 1,000 beds and 150-200 employees.
In 2004 I was appointed General Manager Italy and Eastern Countries and managed a team of approximately 80 employees and in 2005 I took on the operational responsibility of three more  facilities in Switzerland with approximately 1,500 beds and 500 employees.        
Late 2009 I quit the Club to take up the position of Managing Director and General Manager of Hotelturist S.p.a. till 2017 and then, till April 2019,   as Vice President in charge of development.

Meanwhile, I have always been active in Confindustria associations: initially with Assotour, which then  merged into Astoi, and then in Aica, where I was appointed President in October 2012.   
Currently, I am also President of Ebit (appointed by the employers) and I attend with great assiduity Confindustria venues.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Andrea Tucci

Vice President Aviation Business Development, SEA Milan Airports

Born in Naples in 1961, Andrea Tucci is a business and economics graduate. He moved to SEA Milan (May 2014) with the responsibility for the aviation business development of the Malpensa and Milano Linate airports. The two airports together, count for over 34 million passengers per year and a Cargo activity of over 550 mln tons. More than 100 passenger carriers and 21 Cargo operators are currently operating to Malpensa and Linate covering a network of more than 200 direct destinations of which 15 are cargo only. In his role Mr. Tucci is accountable for the of the promotion of the two airports within the cargo and passenger airlines community.

Mr. Tucci began his career in the air transportation industry with Alitalia in 1985 as financial controller. In 1995, he then, moved to the Network Planning Division where he became “Vice President of Network Planning and Commercial Agreements” in 2000. Before joining Air One in 2008, for a brief experience, he worked as “Vice President Italy sales” and as “Vice President Asia Pacific” where he was responsible for all the Alitalia operations in the area. After the Alitalia and AirOne (2009) merge, Mr. Tucci has been appointed as “Vice President Alliances and Commercial agreements”. In this role he developed the alliance and partnership strategy to complement the Italian carrier’s network.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Germal Singh Khera

Director, Aviation Development, Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM)

Germal leads the Aviation Development team in MAVCOM. His time in the aviation industry includes 34 years with Malaysia Airlines, with his last position as the Senior Vice President of International and Government Affairs. Germal joined AirAsia Bhd. in 2014 as Head of Regulatory and Airport Relations. Germal has also served on a range of aviation committees and agency boards, including as a committee member of International Air Transport Association (IATA) / Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) Aeropolitical Committees, oneworld Management Committee and the Chairman of the Board of Airline Representatives in Malaysia. He holds a Bachelors of Arts (Economics) from the University of Malaya and a Masters of Business Administration (Marketing) from the University of London.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Fernando Estrada

VP of Strategy, Business Development & Ancillary Revenues, Vivaaerobus

An aviation industry professional with more than 15 years of strategic planning expertise, analytical acumen, revenue generation, operational experience and proven leadership abilities. Also Board Member experience in Vueling Airlines and GoldCar Rental.

As VP Strategy, Network Planning,Business Development and Ancillary Revenue, reporting to the CEO, responsible to further develop the ULCC model combining a profitable network expansion while maximizing Ancillary Revenue stream and keeping the lowest cost in the region.

As Chief Strategy Officer at Vueling Airlines, reporting to the CEO, responsible for Business Development, Network planning and Alliances. Prior to that led the team responsible of the merger between Vueling and clickair where he enrolled in 2007.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Phillipa Harrison

Managing Director, Tourism Australia

Phillipa Harrison joined Tourism Australia in February 2017 to head up the organisation’s international operations for Asia, the Americas, Europe and New Zealand as well as Global Distribution and Partnerships. In this role Phillipa oversees Tourism Australia’s network of international offices spanning 12 countries as well as managing airline relationships and distribution channels, working in partnership with the industry to grow the inbound market for Australian tourism.

Prior to her current role, Ms Harrison spent six years working for Hamilton Island Enterprises and before that held a variety of senior sales, marketing and product roles at Viator Systems (Sydney), Base Group (Sydney), STA Travel (London), Contiki Holidays (London), and Trailfinders (London).

Participating Talks and Sessions

Peer Heldgaard Kristensen

Chief Executive Officer, Aarhus Airport

Peer is a multi-sector experienced tourism leader, originally from a hospitality and hotel background with leading Danish providers, before he joined the tourism marketing and development community and swiftly attained the role of CEO at VisitAarhus – promoting Scandinavia’s fifth largest city – for seven years including the period leading up to Aarhus hosting European Capital of Culture in 2017.  Peer’s leadership put the city in top position as the Nordic region’s fastest developing international visitor economy, consecutively year-on-year since 2011.  Considered a tourism innovator not only in Scandinavia but across Europe, Peer brought significant accommodation sector expansion to Aarhus and also the cruise market; where he attracted some of the world’s leading maritime brands and growth from just 11,000 embarkations in 2011 to approximately 100,000 in 2018.  Peer became a member of, then Vice Chair of the board at Aarhus Airport in recent years, playing a leading role in the gateway’s organisation-wide transformation and turnaround, for which he has developed a growing aviation energy and passion – bringing him to the role of Airport CEO in May this year.  “Tourism and aviation go hand-in-hand”, he says, “there are such apparent synergies and Aarhus will be one of Scandinavia’s foremost international gateways.  I’ve joined when it’s the fastest growing, so I intend to accelerate that take-off even further, to the entire region’s economic benefit

Participating Talks and Sessions

Jim Parashos

Executive General Manager Aviation Development & Partnerships, Brisbane Airport Corporation

Jim joined Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) in February 2017 as Head of Aviation Business Development, until appointed Executive General Manager Aviation Development and Partnerships in March 2019. Jim is responsible for passenger growth, airline relationships, aviation marketing and cargo.

PrioPrior to joining BAC, Jim was Chief Airport Officer at Northern Territory Airports, responsible for the traditional airport business of Operations, Commercial, Aviation Development and Customer Experience at Darwin and Alice Springs Airports.  His previous roles since 2007 include, Director Operations and Customer Experience and Director Commercial and Aviation Development

Participating Talks and Sessions

Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin

Group CEO, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad

Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin is the Group Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Airports, one of the largest airport operator groups in the world. As the man responsible for the stewardship of the company, he drives the company forward by growing connectivity at all its network of airports and strengthening Malaysia’s position as a regional aviation hub. He is also passionate about transforming the company into a service leader while placing a premium on integrity and governance. A man of many talents, he has helmed companies from a broad range of industries including property and development, engineering and construction, asset and facilities management, as well as information and technology services. Raja Azmi is also a certified public accountant.

Zdenek Komenda

Chief of Business Development,

Zdenek is the Chief Business Development Officer at, a position he has held since January 2017.

His experience includes completing exchange programs in Finland, France and Russia as part of both his Bachelor’s and Master’s studies, and working as part of large corporations such as L'Oréal, Nintendo and Amazon. In 2014, Zdenek joined a travel startup called Clickbus as a Business Development Lead and was tasked with executing the expansion of a bus metasearch in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

In August 2014, Zdenek was asked to join, then known as Skypicker, and went on to help build the company from scratch. He started as the first business developer in the company and drove the B2B2C global expansion. Currently, Zdenek manages a team of 40 professionals, pushing and its Virtual Interlining technology through the travel industry.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Giacomo Cattaneo

Director of Commercial Aviation, Bergamo Airport

After the university studies in Economics and Commerce, I had over 20 years career in the aviation industry at Milan Bergamo airport. Starting as an employee with a temporary contract to assist the set up of the commercial dept of the company that manages the airport, I then grew my position becoming main employee of the aviation development, then manager and then, five years ago, director of commercial aviation development. I am in charge of growing the aviation business at BGY with all customers, ranging from airlines to tour operators to freight operators. Throughout the last two decades, I lived as protagonist the growth of BGY from being a regional airport with just over 400.000 passengers in 1997 to becoming the third airport in Italy expecting over 13,5 million passengers in 2019. The constant search of new business opportunities is the basic rule of my working behaviour.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Bojana Spasojevic Sijacki

Lecturer in Aviation, Griffith Aviation

Bojana Spasojevic is a lecturer in Aviation Management at Griffith University, with a particular interest in the field of air transport and tourism. Her PhD topic focuses on leadership and stakeholder engagement during the process of air route development. Bojana uses innovative teaching in her courses, including the use of the Airline and Airport Online simulations. She has worked on consulting projects for Brisbane Airport Corporation and Adelaide Airport Ltd,  exploring the airport passenger experiences and tourist travel dispersal in Australia.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Matthew Burke

Regional Manager - Pacific, STR

Matthew Burke is the Regional Manager – Pacific STR - leading the growth in the Pacific, Japan and Central South Asia. He has over a dozen years of experience in hospitality with a specialisation in revenue management.

With a passion for analysis of the hospitality industry he works to increase the engagement in hospitality data intelligence and clarify the decision making for hospitality, research and investment companies across the regions. Matthew frequently presents the latest trends and updates at industry events in the region.

STR track supply and demand data for the hotel industry and provide valuable market share analysis for global hotel and investment companies and agencies across the globe.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Purnima Nerurkar

General Manager-Commercial (Strategy & Planning), Air India

Purnima Nerurkar, General Manager-Commercial, has worked with Air India for 25 years. A Management graduate from a premium Business School in Mumbai, she has a long association with Indian Aviation with a significant experience in aircraft economics, route/network development, aircraft leasing.  She has worked on several milestone projects in Air India.  In 2016, she was selected for a Fellowship Program in Said Business School of Oxford University on the subject of Leadership Development.  She has represented Air India at several international forums.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Karen Walker

Editor-in-Chief, Aviation Week Network

Karen Walker is ATW’s Editor-in-Chief. She had been covering the aerospace industry for almost 30 years. She has specialist knowledge in training, simulation, safety and aeropolitics.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Álvaro González

Chief Executive Officer, Bogota El Dorado International Airport

Álvaro González was named as General Manager in OPAIN S.A on the 1st of september, 2017.  He is an Airport Administrator from Escuela Técnica Aeronáutica DGAC (Chile) and has more than 20 years of experience in the airport management sector.

Before joining OPAIN S.A he was the General Manager at the Ernesto Cortizzos International Airport in Barranquilla. He has been the Operations Director at Mariscal Sucre International Airport (Quito, Ecuador) and at Unique-Idc, the concession in charge of the international airports in Honduras.

He also has experience with many relevant airport operations companies such as Airport Worldwide (Houston, USA) and Vancouver Airport Services, among other important projects within the sector.

Among the challenges Mr. González have been face at El Dorado there is the supervision of the final building phase of the expansion and modernization process in the terminal and the consolidation of the team´s effort in the quest to offer the best experiences to its clients and users. In terms of international recognitions, Mr. González is in charge of achieving the Five Star qualification given by Skytrax and will lead the process to preserve the title as Best Airport in SouthAmerica achieved by El Dorado in the World Airport Awards during the last two years.  

Participating Talks and Sessions

Cesar Pereira

Vice President - Asia Pacific, Embraer Commercial Aviation

Cesar Pereira is the Vice President of Embraer Commercial Aviation for Asia Pacific based in the regional headquarters in Singapore since August 2017.

Cesar has been working at Embraer for 15 years and prior to his current role, he was the Head of Consulting at Embraer Commercial Aviation, where he worked hand in hand with airlines to shape their planning and strategies.

His career at Embraer has also seen him work in several other divisions such as Product Development, Market Intelligence and Sales Engineering where as a Director, he led the worldwide marketing and sales support activities for commercial aviation
Cesar is Brazilian and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, a Master’s degree in Aeronautics and an MBA in Enterprise Management.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Dave Williams

Director of Leasing, ACC Aviation Group

Dave joined the company after graduating from university in 2003, heading up ACC’s inter-airline leasing division, ACMI24. As ACC Aviation Group’s longest serving employee, Dave has been instrumental in developing ACMI24 into a market leader, providing support to hundreds of international airlines every year.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Alka Arora

Deputy General Manager, Air India

Alka Arora, Deputy General Manager, after joining Air India in 1988, has worked in various functional areas in Commercial Department in different capacities during her 30 years of service in the company.  She comes with a rich experience in different areas of airline operations, from reservations/ticketing to Sales and Marketing, Corporate Communication to E- commerce.  She managed Air India operations based in Dubai and later in Tokyo and is currently responsible for International Relations/Bilaterals and Alliances.  Dynamic, committed and result oriented are some of her strengths.


Participating Talks and Sessions

Yves Renard

Principal – Head of Market Intelligence & Consulting, Airbus

Yves has more than 15 years of experience in the airline and aerospace industry

Yves started his career as an aeronautical engineer with Rolls-Royce in the UK, dealing with Trent 900 engine preliminary design.

He then worked for Air France, in the Environmental Affairs Directorate, implementing ISO 14001 certification at the airline and successfully contributing to adopt new ICAO standards for aircraft emissions.

Yves then moved to Air France Cargo’s Fleet and Business Planning team, completing several aircraft conversion and acquisition projects, as well as managing the build up of the airline’s new 5-year strategic plan in the frame of the merger with KLM Cargo.

Yves was then recruited by Airbus’s Customer Affairs Directorate, successfully marketing and selling aircraft to various airlines with fleets ranging from 5 to over 700 aircraft, and with legacy, hybrid and low-cost business models

Yves now leads the Airbus team in charge of running network and fleet planning projects with our customers all over the world.

Yves holds a Masters degree in Aeronautical Engineering from ISAE-SUPAERO, Toulouse, France.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Aidan Mooney

Vice President Consulting, ASM

Aidan has worked in the aviation industry for over 25 years and was previously the director of aviation development at Manchester Airports Group. He has negotiated with airlines from around the globe and is a well-known figure in the aviation industry. Aidan has extensive experience in forecasting, budget planning and management reporting.

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

David Stroud

Managing Director, ASM

David has over 20 years’ experience in the aviation industry and has played a crucial part in developing the ASM business. He joined ASM in 1998 and later transferred to Routes, ASM’s sister company. Following UBM’s purchase of ASM and Routes in 2010, David led the integration of the two companies into the new organisation. He decided to return to ASM in 2013 to help shape ASM’s future direction. David previously worked for BAE Systems, Manchester Airport and London City Airport.

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

Naren Kumar

Acting Chief Executive Officer, Qantas International

Naren Kumar was appointed Acting CEO of Qantas International in April 2019.

Naren has worked for the Qantas Group for 22 years in a range of executive roles across catering, freight and QantasLink. In 2012 he was appointed Chief Financial Officer for Qantas International. In addition to his finance responsibility, Naren oversaw the international fleet, network strategy, route development, revenue management and alliance and partner relationships.

Naren has 35 years’ experience in the aviation industry. Prior to joining Qantas he held senior management positions with Air Pacific in Fiji from 1984 to 1996. He was Chief Operating Officer of the airline before joining Qantas.

Naren is a Chartered Accountant, has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Auckland University and is a director of Fiji Resorts Limited

Bayram Annakov

Chief Executive Officer & Founder, App in the Air

Bayram Annakov created App in the Air with one mission – to seamlessly transform travel for frequent fliers everywhere. After watching Up in the Air, the famed 2009 George Clooney film, inspiration struck and Bayram set out to address the issues of a very specific group, the million-miler traveler – hence, App in the Air’s concept (and name) were born. Since establishing the app in 2012, Bayram and the app’s talented, global team have grown App in the Air’s userbase to over five million travelers, creating a devoted community of frequent fliers around the world. As he looks to the future of air travel, he is driven to create an AI-led travel revolution by leveraging data, to advocate for the underserved flier and make the process efficient and enjoyable.

Prior to launching his app, Bayram was a software developer for one of the world's largest software outsourcing companies and became a senior manager responsible for managing large scale software projects, with teams of 60 developers and consultants and budgets greater than $10M. He holds a MS degree from Moscow State Tech University, and an MA degree in management from Moscow State University.  Not limited to one destination, Bayram’s favorite place to visit is any city that hosts an App in the Air user meetup, where he interacts with the app’s global community and listens to the insightful feedback from top users. It’s this distinct human element to App in the Air, a rare personalization of travel tech, that continues to motivate Bayram and brings him all around the world, from Moscow to New York City, to hear how App in the Air has advanced the travel process.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Australian Government

Simon Birmingham has served as a Liberal Party Senator for South Australia since May 2007 and in August 2018 he was appointed as Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment as well as Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Simon grew up near Gawler in Adelaide’s north on his family’s small horse agistment property and was educated at local schools before going on to study at the University of Adelaide where he completed a Masters of Business Administration.

Prior to entering the Senate, Simon worked for a number of industry bodies, establishing particular experience in the wine, tourism and hospitality sectors – industries that are critical to South Australia’s prosperity.

After less than three years in the Senate Simon was appointed to the Shadow Ministry, serving as Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Murray-Darling Basin and the Environment until the 2013 election.

Following the change of government in 2013 Simon served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment, with responsibility for water policy, including the Murray-Darling Basin, National Parks and the Bureau of Meteorology. In 2014 Simon was appointed to serve as the Assistant Minister for Education and Training in the Abbott Ministry, with specific responsibility for vocational education, apprenticeships, training and skills. In September 2015 he was appointed to position of Minister for Education and Training in the Turnbull government. In February 2018 he was appointed Manager of Government Business in the Senate.

He is married to Courtney and has two young daughters, Matilda and Amelia. Simon is an active supporter of the Parliamentary Association for UNICEF and a proud Adelaide Crows fan.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Jorge Goytortura

Chief Executive Officer, Cross Border Xpress

Jorge received his degree in Business Administration from the Universidad del Valle de Atemajac in Guadalajara, Jalisco and diplomas in Business Administration from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) and the Tec de Monterrey; in 2017 he completed the AD1 management program of the IPADE Business School.  Jorge is a bilingual and multicultural executive who has lived in the U.S. for the past 16 years and has extensive experience in international business, as well as the Latin American and Hispanic markets in the U.S. During his career Jorge has established a proven track record efficiently working with governments, embassies, consulates and tourism offices worldwide.

Jorge holds 27 years of experience in the aviation and tourism industry, both in operations and in the commercial and international business fields. Throughout his career he has held various responsibilities at airports such as Guadalajara, Manzanillo and Tuxtla Gutiérrez (1992 -1999) as well as the role of Regional Sales Manager West (2000 - 2003) and Vice President of Sales for the United States and Canada (2004 - 2010) for Mexicana Airlines. In May 2010, he began working for the Aeromexico Group, where he served first as Vice President of Sales for the United States and Canada and later as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales. Within his responsibilities, he developed the distribution strategy for travel agencies, corporate accounts, government, OTAs, charters and tour & travel along with managing the commercial and institutional relationship with Embassies, Consulates, Tourism Secretariat, CPTM, Associations, hotels, Offices of Visitors and Conventions and served as the official spokesperson for Aeromexico.  Jorge was also responsible for the execution of the joint venture initiative “Gran Plan (Aeromexico’s vocational product).” Since April of 2018, Jorge has served as the CEO of Cross Border Xpress, an innovative binational project that links the Tijuana International Airport with the City of San Diego and in less than 4 years since its opening has exceeded 8 million users, CBX ranks now as the 6th largest international gateway for Mexico and 8th largest airport in Mexico without having a runway.

Jorge’s professional profile has allowed him to be a member of different organizations, holding positions such as: Chairman of the Airport Managers Committee in Manzanillo; Vice President of the Airlines Association of Guadalajara and; Member of the Board of the Chamber of Commerce U.S. - Mexico in the southern region of California, has participated in various panels and given lectures in universities, associations and business chambers. During 2016, he was invited to be part of the advisory council of business partners of the world's largest online travel agency "Expedia" and received the "Pochteca de Plata" Award, which is the highest recognition given by the Secretary of Tourism of Mexico City for his contribution to tourist development of the capital city.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Andrew Acquaah-Harrison

Chief Executive Advisor, Mactan-Cebu International Airport

Andrew has worked in the Air Transportation (Airports) industry for the last 26 years in 12 airports globally and has gained considerable experience in Airport Operations, Airport Development and Airport Privatization at a senior leadership level.

His key expertise today is in the development of airport projects at a transformational level which entails leading the Project Team through facilities enhancement (Landside, Terminal and Airfield), leading the Management Team through the development of a lean and efficient organization structure populated by motivated and trained personnel to deliver business results based on the strategic objectives aligned to the mandate of the Shareholders and the Board of Directors.

He is currently serving as the Chief Executive Advisor, Mactan-Cebu International Airport and his previous roles include Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Delhi International Airport, Chief Executive Officer of Male’ International Airport (Maldives), Chief Operating Officer of Delhi International Airport, Chief Operating Officer of Hyderabad International Airport and Airport Operations Director for London Luton Airport. In addition, he has held various operational roles in Airports in the USA, South America, Saudi Arabia and England.

Under GMR, where he has worked for the last 10 years he has delivered GMR’s core competence of transforming legacy airports under the PPP initiative into efficient, award winning airports that have achieved significant revenues whilst at the same time providing world class airport facilities for the benefit of airlines and passengers. GMR, in all it’s projects seeks to play a significant role in economic contribution to the local economy, development of people skills to equip them for roles in more advanced airports as well as community support initiatives through its CSR Programme.

Andrew has lived in 18 different countries and gained his education in the USA and England. He is married with 4 children and his interests outside of work include mountain biking, swimming and basketball. 

Participating Talks and Sessions

Patricia Palacios

Under-Secretary of Markets, Investments and International relations, Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador

Patricia Palacios, Under-Secretary of Markets, Investments and International relations of the Ministry of Tourism of Ecuador, institution that has as its objectives to: “Promote the country and its attractions internationally in coordination with other public or private institutions”.

She has more than thirty years of experience in the tourism industry, which includes several positions at executive-level in the aviation sector (Eastern Airlines, American Airlines), including the regional management of SAETA Ecuadorian airline. Among her dutties, she has represented Ecuador as a member of several tourism associations and airlines (IATA, BSP).

 Currently, the strategies that are being implemented are focused on attracting tourism investment, development of connectivity and international relations, for which, among its responsibilities are to attract tourism investments and increase connectivity.

 It is important to emphasize that the Ministry of Tourism is an active member of the National Civil Aviation Council (CNAC) responsible for approving routes and air frequencies.


Participating Talks and Sessions

Hon. Arjuna Ranatunga

Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, Government of Sri Lanka

Deshamanya Arjuna Ranatunga is a former Sri Lankan cricketer and 1996 Cricket World Cup winning captain for Sri Lanka. Often nicknamed as Captain Cool,[3] he is regarded as the pioneer to lift Sri Lankan cricket from underdog status to one of great forces in cricketing world.[4] After retirement, he worked in many posts of Sri Lanka Cricket administration.[5] By entering his father's stream of politics, Ranatunga started his political career in 2005, and is now the cabinet minister of Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation.[6]

Upon retirement from playing cricket he entered politics, joining the Sri Lanka Freedom Party and entered parliament, from Colombo District, in the 2001elections.[7] He served a tenure as deputy minister for tourism, and also served as the president of Sri Lanka Cricket until December 2008.[8] He joined the Democratic National Alliance in 2010 and contested the 2010 elections.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Andrew van der Feltz

Senior Director, Expedia Group Media Solutions

Andrew is a senior director of business development for the Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific regions at Expedia Group Media Solutions. His team works closely with agencies, destination marketing organizations, hotel and airline partners on advertising opportunities and campaigns across the portfolio of Expedia Group brands. Prior to joining Expedia, Andy was the director of business development and operations at the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC) since April 2011. Prior to this, he also worked at NBTC in the London office as country manager for the UK and Ireland. He started his career at NBTC as marketing manager, after his role as an international marketing manager at VisitScotland. 

Participating Talks and Sessions

Angela Aguzzi

Network Planning & Fleet Management Analyst, Alitalia

  • Industrial Plan 5/10 years, preliminary analysis and elaboration in line with the evolution of the Fleet, Strategy and Business model.
  • Budget definition for Alitalia passenger Network, in line with the Industrial Plan, Strategy, Alliances and Network Agreements.
  • Network planning, network optimizations and variations based on benchmarks with competitors, analysis of historical data, evolution of alliance agreements and the development of specific business cases.
  • Market analysis based on capacity, pricing, inventory and reservations data.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Angela Palombo

Network Planning & Fleet Management Analyst, Alitalia

  • Industrial Plan 5/10 years, preliminary analysis and elaboration in line with the evolution of the Fleet, Strategy and Business model.
  • Budget definition for Alitalia passenger Network, in line with the Industrial Plan, Strategy, Alliances and Network Agreements.
  • Network Development, through detailed business cases and Airport business relationships.
  • Network Planning, network optimizations and variations based on benchmarks with competitors, analysis of historical data, evolution of alliance agreements and the development of specific business cases.
  • Market analysis based on capacity, pricing, inventory and reservations data.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Usha Padhee

Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation

Have an experience of working at State and Centre since last 23 years in various capacities. Skilled in Administration, Policy Formulation, Public Finance Management, Public- Private Partnership and negotiating in Bilateral/ multilateral projects. Actively held the consultations with Industry Partners to finalise few important components of comprehensive National Civil Aviation Policy in 2016. Have significant experience in policy making and can shoulder responsibilities to strategically lead, negotiate and network with Country Governments, Industry Stakeholders, at both national and intemational levels. . Extensive knowledge about physical and social infrastructure gained from working in the field as well as policy making level in sectors like technical cooperation, Security, development, education, livelihoods, water resources, etc. Vast knowledge about developmental issues. Excellent in project management skills with special emphasis on World Bank/ ADB/ UNDP funded projects. Positive attitude and ability to work hard while maintaining work-life balance.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Brent Overbeek

SVP Revenue Management, Network Planning and Cargo, Hawaiian Airlines

Participating Talks and Sessions