Routes Reconnected

Reuniting the community to rebuild the world's air services

26 – 29 April 2021

Conference Programme Speakers

Hear directly from industry heavyweights as they examine the impact of COVID-19 and engage in conversations that will shape future, collective industry action. Our conference sessions will provide you with unmatched insight, informing future business strategies and recovery plans.

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Eddie Wilson

Chief Executive Officer, Ryanair DAC

Edward Wilson was appointed CEO of Ryanair DAC on September 1, 2019. He was appointed Director of Personnel and In-flight in December 2002, prior to which he served as Head of Personnel since joining Ryanair in December 1997. Prior to joining Ryanair he served as Human Resources Manager for Gateway 2000 and held a number of other human resources-related positions in the Irish financial services sector.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Alexis von Hoensbroech

Chief Executive Officer, Austrian Airlines

Alexis von Hoensbroech was born on 3 October 1970 in Cologne.

He studied physics at the University of Bonn before obtaining a doctorate in an astrophysics-related subject at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy. Between 1999 and 2005, he worked at management consultancy company The Boston Consulting Group in Munich and Tokyo, most recently as a Project Manager. His customers were primarily from the airline industry. In 2005, Dr Alexis von Hoensbroech moved to Lufthansa, taking on responsibility for the Strategy & Subsidiaries division of Lufthansa Passage. In 2009, he was named "Project Manager for Airline Integration Management", where he was responsible for the integration of various airlines, such as Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines, into the Lufthansa Group. From July 2010, the Manager has been "Head of Commercial Frankfurt" for Lufthansa Passage and responsible for network management, revenue management and commercial business management at the airline's biggest hub. On 1 December 2014, he moved to Lufthansa Cargo AG, serving on its Executive Board as CCO.

Since August 1, 2018 von Hoensbroech has been a Member of the Executive Board of Austrian Airlines as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He holds management responsibility for the following divisions: Cabin Operations, Human Resources, Business Development & Corporate Strategy, Corporate Communications, Legal Affairs and Internal Audit as well as International & Aeropolitical Affairs. Since January 1, 2021, CEO Alexis von Hoensbroech has assumed responsibility for "Finance" on the Management Board.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Vipula Gunatilleka

Chief Executive Officer, SriLankan Airlines

Mr. Vipula Gunatilleka serves as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SriLankan Airlines since August 2018. Under his leadership, SriLankan Airlines was:
- Named the ‘World’s Most Punctual Airline’ twice in 2019
- Awarded ‘World’s Leading Airline to the Indian Ocean’ and rated as a Four-Star Major Airline by Passenger Experience Association (APEX)
- Placed sixth among the world’s top international airlines at the prestigious and influential CondeNast Traveller ‘2020 Readers Choice Awards’ having competed with other top international airlines

SriLankan Airlines also made a significant financial turnaround in 2019/20 by reaching a positive EBITDA amidst the devastating impact of the global pandemic.

Prior to joining SriLankan, Vipula was a board member and the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of TAAG Angola Airlines. He played a key role with a team of airline experts appointed by Emirates airline to bring the Angolan national airline that was previously losing in excess of USD 100 million, to an operationally profitable and efficient airline.

Mr. Gunatilleka held the position of CFO/Acting CEO at SriLankan Airlines from 2004 to 2008 when the airline was managed by Emirates airline. As the acting CEO, he steered the airline during the management transition from Emirates airline to the Government of Sri Lanka in 2008 and ensured a smooth transition.

Mr. Gunatilleka has held senior leadership positions across companies in Sri Lanka, Singapore and Australia leading business transformations, change management and strategic business planning in a cross section of industries such as: Aviation; Hospitality; Telecommunication; Information Technology; Travel; and Banking sectors.

Mr. Gunatilleka is a member of the Tourism Advisory Board of Sri Lanka, Governing Board Member of “oneworld” Airline alliance and an Advisory board member of Air Finance Journal. He was the past Chairman and a board member of CIMA Sri Lanka regional board and served as a board member of Sri Lanka Auditing & Accounting Standards Monitoring Board.

Mr. Gunatilleka is a Chartered Management Accountant of UK, Chartered Accountant of Sri Lanka and Certified Public Accountant from Australia. He holds an MBA from the University of Colombo and a GE trained Six Sigma.

Participating Talks and Sessions

George Michalopoulos

Chief Commercial Officer, Wizz Air

Mr. Michalopoulos is Managing Director at Wizz Air Hungary and Chief Commercial Officer at Wizz AIr. He joined Wizz Air in 2010 as Head of Pricing and Revenue Management and was then promoted to Head of Network Development, Scheduling and Sales in May 2015. Prior to WIZZ, Mr. Michalopoulos built an extensive commercial and revenue management career at Flybaboo and Blu-Express. Mr. Michalopoulos is a Swiss, British and Greek citizen and holds both Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Estuardo Ortiz

Chief Executive Officer, JetSMART

Since 2016, Estuardo Ortiz has been CEO of the ultra low cost airline since inception.  JetSMART is part of the Indigo Partners portfolio airlines. Mr. Ortiz has been responsible for all aspects of the new company's operations to date with a fleet of all brand-new Airbus A320 and airlines in Chile and Argentina, serving 62 domestic and international routes to several countries including Peru, Colombia and Brazil.

For the previous ten years, he served in senior management positions in the airline industry in Latin America.  Most recently as EVP and Chief Revenue Officer and Chief Operating Officer in Avianca Holdings, from 2010 to 2016.  (NYSE: AVH).  During his tenure, he led the growth of the network and the development of the business units; he served as member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors; as well as the Lifemiles and Cargo Business Units.  Mr. Ortiz conducted the integration of TACA and Avianca into the second largest aviation group in the region, managing several operating carriers and leading them into a single airline and an active member of Star Alliance.  Before that served as VP Sales, VP Commercial, Chief Operating Officer and appointed President in TACA Airlines from 2005 to 2009.

Mr. Ortiz also has experience in the consumer goods industry, as he had an international career at Philip Morris International & Kraft Foods, across several countries in Latin America; mainly as Managing Director in several markets and head of Commercial for Latin America & Canada based at the New York HQ. 

Mr. Ortiz graduated with honors as Chemical & Industrial Engineering at Universidad Rafael Landivar; and a MBA with specialization in Productivity at Universidad Francisco Marroquin; executive programs at Harvard Business School, Kellogg School of Management and Darden School of Business.


Participating Talks and Sessions

Luis Felipe de Oliveira

Director General, ACI World

Luis Felipe joined ACI World as Director General in June 2020 bringing with him vast experience in commercial and technical aviation.

He successfully led the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) between October 2017 and May 2020, promoting positive change in the organization. Prior to joining ALTA, Luis Felipe served as World Fuel Services’ Vice President Supply Development for Latin America and Caribbean where he was responsible for improving World Fuel’s aviation fuel business in the region.

For 10 years, Luis Felipe served IATA, leading fuel and airport campaigns with governments, oil companies, fuel service providers and airports for the Americas, Africa and the Middle East regions, based in Switzerland. He also served 12 years at Shell with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean, and Africa and Europe, based in The Netherlands.

He is a Chemical Engineer and graduated from the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and has a postgraduate qualification in Finance from the University of São Paulo, an MBA from Dom Cabral Foundation in São Paulo, and Post MBA from Kellogg University in Chicago.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Lara Maughan

Head Worldwide Airport Slots, International Air Transport Association (IATA)

Participating Talks and Sessions

Rupert Kraus

Director Network & Airport Relations, Eurowings Discover

Participating Talks and Sessions

Marco Goetz

Chief Revenue Officer, Eurowings Discover

Participating Talks and Sessions

Simon Cox

Director, Airport Development & Procurement, easyJet

Participating Talks and Sessions

Niek de Rijk

Strategic Network Planning Manager, Transavia

Participating Talks and Sessions

Oliver Newton

Strategic Network Planning Manager, Transavia

Participating Talks and Sessions

Andrew Hogg

Executive General Manager Eastern Markets and Aviation, Tourism Australia

Andrew Hogg joined Tourism Australia in June 2015 as Regional General Manager Greater China and was promoted to North Asia Regional General Manager in November 2015. Andrew is based in Shanghai, working closely with colleagues over the North Asia Region from China, Japan and Korea. 

Andrew is responsible for driving Tourism Australia’s strategies to grow demand from the South East Asia, India and North Asia markets. With his strong airline background, here in Australia and overseas, Andrew will be also responsible for the restoration of international aviation capacity.

Prior to joining Tourism Australia, Andrew had a more than 26 year career with Australia’s national carrier, Qantas Airways. Andrew had a number of senior roles at Qantas across finance, sales, marketing and operations. Most recently he was General Manager China for the airline, taking up this role in in 2011.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Patrick Muller

Chief Operating Officer, Berlin Airport

Patrick is a French National who spend most of his professional career in Germany, the UK and the Middle East. He has over 30 years of Experience. He Started his Carreer with Air France at Frankfurt Airport where he spent nearly 10 years. In 1996 he joined
Frankfurt Hahn airport as the EVP Operation and developped the airport into a cargo hub and was driving the implementation of the first German Base for Ryanair.

In 2004 he joined Heathrow airport before moving to Saudi Arabia where he was part of the FRAPORT team for the management of Jeddah Airport. In 2010 he was asked to take on the role of COO for Doha International Airport and he was the driver behind the succesful opening of Hamad International Airport in 2014.

At the end of 2014, Patrick joined to Dubai airports and subsequently specialised in Airport openings between 2015 and 2018. Some of his assignments were Cairo Airport Terminal 2, Jeddah King Abelaziz International Airport - new terminal infrastructure and Kuwait terminal 4.

In 2018 he joined the team of Berlin airport as their COO with the mandate to drive the succesful opening of BER which materialized on Oktober 31st 2020.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Michael Bell

Senior Client Partner in the Civil Aviation Practice, 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

Steven Small

Director of Events, Routes

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

Roles in inward investment, specifically site selection and project management, led Steven to the Northwest Regional Development Agency, where he developed a grant to help support regional airports' route development strategies.

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

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

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

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

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

Participating Talks and Sessions

Dave Stroud

Managing Director, ASM Global Route Development

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

David Appleby

Director Latin America and the Caribbean, ASM Global Route Development

Participating Talks and Sessions