Routes Americas 2021

The route development forum for the Americas

Orlando, Florida and Virtual
23 - 25 June 2021

Conference Programme Speakers

Casandra Matej

CEO, Visit Orlando

Casandra Matej is the president and CEO of Visit Orlando, the destination marketing organization of the most visited destination in the U.S. and Theme Park Capital of the World.

She is responsible for leading the branding, marketing, and selling of the Orlando destination globally to drive Central Florida’s $75 billion tourism industry. The not-for-profit trade association also represents over 1,100 member companies.

Matej is the first female CEO in the organization’s 37-year history. She has been honored for her leadership in local communities and in national hospitality and meetings industries. She was awarded Ally of the Year by the San Antonio LGBT Chamber of Commerce, recognized as a Top 25 Women in the Meetings Industry by Meetings & Conventions Magazine, and received the Women in Leadership Award from the San Antonio Business Journal.


Participating Talks and Sessions

Claire Bilby

Senior Vice President, Disney Destinations

Claire Bilby is Senior Vice President of Sales, Services and Events for Disney Destinations, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. Bilby is responsible for Sales for all domestic business units including Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa. She also leads International Marketing and Sales for these units, as well as Event Operations. She is head of Walt Disney Travel Company.

 Known as an inspirational and innovative leader, Bilby began her career with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in 1988 and has held executive leadership positions around the world. Before being named to her current role, she served as Senior Vice President of Sales and Events for Walt Disney World Resort, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Disneyland Paris and Europe, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Disney Vacation Club, and Senior Vice President of Distribution Marketing and Asia Pacific Sales.

Throughout her Disney career, she has led teams on several continents and helped launch multiple Disney theme parks, including Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disneyland Resort Paris, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and Disney California Adventure Park.

Bilby serves or has served on numerous industry boards including Visit Florida, Orange County Tourism Development Council (Florida), California Tourism Commission, and Orange County Tourism Council (California).

Bilby grew up in Arizona and is a graduate of University of Arizona. She now lives in Orlando, Florida.


Participating Talks and Sessions

Andrea Lusso

Vice President Network Planning, JetBlue

Participating Talks and Sessions

Ben Munson

President & Co-Founder, The Landline Company

Ben Munson is co-founder and President of Landline, the first multi modal platform for airlines. Founded in 2018, Landline enables airlines to seamlessly integrate ground transportation into their networks. Landline operates on behalf of its platform partners Sun Country and United airlines at locations across the US. Prior to Landline, Mr. Munson founded Embark Aviation and worked in network planning positions at several airlines.

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

Francesco Brazzini

Marketing and Event Coordinator Company, Italian Government Tourist Board

Mr. Brazzini has been the marketing manager for the Italian National Tourist Board in North America for the past 16 years. He has worked on National ads multimedia campaigns, promoting among others Turin Winter Olympics and Milan EXPO 2015,  He collaborated with the ATC (Alpine Tourist Commission), ETC (European Travel Commission) and ITPC (Italian Travel Promotion Council). He has been working towards broadening   the Italian National Tourist Board promotional activities towards segments of the market not yet explored or exploited including the creation of the Italian Luxury Workshop in cooperation with the major Travel agents consortia and a 5 year long partnership with IGLTA.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Lydia Janow

Managing Director of Events & Tradeshows, Aviation Week Network

Participating Talks and Sessions

David Appleby

Director Latin America and the Caribbean, ASM Global Route Development

David joined Routes in 2007 and his remit was later expanded to include ASM’s business in Latin American and the Caribbean. He previously worked at US Airways as a group sales representative and later as an analyst specialising in the Madrid market. David is also very interested in Latin American’s history, economics and politics.

Participating Talks and Sessions


K-9 Explosives Detection Dog, Gainesville Regional Airport

Name: Beamer

Title: K-9 Explosives Detection Dog for Gainesville Regional Airport

Breed: Yellow Labrador Retriever

Born: February 9, 2017, Colombia, South America

Beamer joined the Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV) family in April 2018. She and her handler, Jason Berger, GNV’s K-9 Handler (Explosives) and Airport Security Coordinator, successfully completed all requirements of the Tripwire Operations Group – Center of Excellence’s Homemade Explosives (HME) and Large Explosives Hide Course March 27-29, 2018. She also received her Certificate of Certification from the American Detective Detection Canine Association on April 13, 2018.

Beamer was named for Todd Beamer, who led a takeover by passengers on United Airlines Flight 93, the fourth plane to go down in the September 11, 2001 attacks in Shanksville, Penn. Mr. Beamer and others are credited with foiling the 9-11 hijackers from crashing the Boeing 757 into what could have been a second target in Washington, D.C., either the Capitol or the White House. Todd Beamer had a 13-minute conversation with a telephone operator. His last words heard by her were, “Let’s Roll.”

Inspired by the story, Jason wished to name the GNV K-9 dog after Todd Beamer. GNV sought permission from Todd’s widow, Lisa Beamer, to both name Beamer for her husband, and have “Let’s Roll” embroidered on Beamer’s vest.

Her response was, “Our family loves dogs and is honored to know that your new bomb-sniffing dog in Gainesville will be named Beamer. We hope the training goes well!”

Beamer’s training did indeed go well. She graduated at the top of her class at Southern Coast K9 in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

Beamer was made possible in part by a 50-50 grant by the FDOT. In addition to her airport duties, she and Jason work and train closely with law enforcement teams in the Gainesville area, including the Gainesville Police Department and University of Florida K9 teams.


Participating Talks and Sessions

John Kirby

Vice President, Network Planning, Spirit Airlines

Participating Talks and Sessions

Alvaro Leite

Chief Commercial Officer, Aeropuertos Dominicanos Siglo XXI (Aerodom)

Alvaro Leite has 14 years of airport experience in varying roles. Since September 2017, he has been employed as Chief Commercial Officer at Aerodom, part of VINCI Airports (VINCI Airports manages 46 airports in 11 different countries counting on more that 200M passenger per year) and he has been based in Santo Domingo since then. He manages all commercial affairs for all Aerodom airports’ as well as business planning and strategy development: route development, cargo, commercial retail, F&B, car parking advertisement and passenger experience. Alvaro also has an important role representing VINCI Airports in the region.

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

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

Prior to this, he worked for 9 years at Porto Airport (ACI/ASQ Best European Airport 2007, 2016) where he was responsible for airline marketing. Porto was a very successful story. From 3.4 million passengers in 2006, it served 7 million passengers in 2014 and reached 10M passengers in 2017.

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

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

Participating Talks and Sessions

Norbert Onkelbach

Chief Commercial Officer, Lima Airport

Professional Experience

  • International senior commercial airport manager with a proven track record in commercialization in the airports.
  • Experienced strategic influencer in airport business planning and implementation with broad knowledge in both the aviation and non-aviation segment.
  • Engaged representative to industry stakeholders, airlines in traffic development and alliances.
  • 360-degree experience and engagement in commercial airport planning processes.
  • Global representation in due diligence projects in the airport industry.

Norbert is Chief Commercial Officer for Lima Jorge Chavez International Airport.  He is an experienced Chief Commercial Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the airport industry. Skilled in negotiation, business planning, operations management, retail and airlines. Business development professional graduated from Liverpool John Moores University. 

At Lima Airport Partners he oversees the Non-Aeronautical & Aeronautical Concessions Planning, Airport City and Property Development Strategy, Airport Retailing, Landside Access & Parking Management and Route Development & Airport Marketing.

At Maldives Airport Company he oversees the Non-Aeronautical Strategic Planning and Development, Duty Free and Commercial Concessions Management, Aeronautical Contracts Management and Planning, Traffic Development, Airport & Destination Marketing.

At Avialliance (formerly HOCHTIEF Airport) as Senior Manager Non-Aviation he oversees the Commercial and Property Activities in Airport Privatization and the Airport City and Property Development as well as Airport Retail and Parking Management Consulting.

During his 14 years at Fraport AG he was Project Director Commercial Airport Development, Commercial Non-Aviation Development, Route and Traffic Development, Planning and Forecasting Airport Marketing, Cargo Director Business Development & Marketing.  Duty Free & Concession Planning and Management. Property and Lease Management. Route Development. Business Development & Strategic Planning, Airport Marketing.  


Participating Talks and Sessions

Stephanie Wear

Director of Air Service Development and Cargo Services, Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)

Stephanie Wear is the Director of Air Service Development and Cargo Services, responsible for air service development and cargo portfolios at the airport. She works to attract, retain, and expand air service routes as well as increase cargo volume. Stephanie works within the revenue department by maintaining effective working relationships with carriers, logistical firms, aviation organizations and other airports. She also facilitates corporate and stakeholder relationships that maximize commercial air service operations at Philadelphia, ensuring that PHL thrives as a globally competitive gateway.

Stephanie is a member of the United States Tour Operator Association (USTOA), Associate Board of Directors and the Airports Council International-North America's (ACI-NA) Air Service and Cargo Committees. She lives in the Rittenhouse neighborhood of Philadelphia with her husband and their Labrador retriever. She holds an MBA and a master’s degree in marketing and Communications.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Jorge Roberts

Chief Executive Officer, Avports

Mr. Roberts is the CEO of Avports, which is America’s most experienced and trusted airport operator and manager. Avports is currently owned by West Street Infrastructure Partners III, a family of infrastructure investment funds managed by the Merchant Banking Division of The Goldman Sachs Group.

His global airport management and P3 (public-private partnership) investment career spans over thirteen years, where he has founded and worked for companies owned by the leading US airport operators and institutional investors. These past companies have included Carlyle Airport Group, CCR Group and Airports Worldwide (formerly ADC & HAS, an airport investment platform owned by OMERS and Houston Airport System). He has also worked on landmark airport P3 projects including the largest airport P3 in US history – the new $7 billion Terminal One at JFK Airport.

Jorge is an active thought leader in the aviation industry, including developing the next generation of industry leaders and is currently a Board Member (Advisor) of Airports Council International’s Latin American and Caribbean region (ACI-LAC), a member of the President’s Advisory Board for NY’s Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology and a volunteer for the Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC).

He holds an International Airport Professional accreditation from Airports Council International (ACI) and ICAO’s airport management program (AMPA), two degrees in Business and Economics from the University of Washington in Seattle and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Participating Talks and Sessions