Routes Americas 2022

The route development forum for the Americas

San Antonio, Texas
15 - 17 February 2022

Conference Programme Speakers

Juan Carlos Zuazua

CEO, VivaAerobus

Juan Carlos is the CEO of Viva Aerobus, Mexico’s Ultra-Low Cost Carrier.

He was part of the founding team of Viva Aerobus. He started in the Commercial Department and became CEO in 2010 at age 29.

Since then, Viva Aerobus has grown with a CAGR of 25%, it has one of the lowest unit costs worldwide (CASMx US 3.4c), ancillaries represent almost 50% of their revenues, and it has a 30% domestic market share.

Juan Carlos has a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Monterrey’s Technological University and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Public Policy School of Monterrey’s Technological University.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Rafael Echevarne

Director General, ACI LAC

Rafael Echevarne is the Director General of Airports Council International – Latin America and the Caribbean (ACILAC). Previously he was CEO of Montego Bay Airport, Jamaica, and held positions in international organizations and airport companies in Europe, Australasia and the Middle East, specialising in airport economic regulation, privatisation and infrastructure and business development. Rafael holds a PhD in Air Transport Economics from Cranfield University, UK.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Philippe Puech

Director Domestic Planning, American Airlines

Philippe is responsible for the development of American Airlines’ domestic network strategy. He has been with AA since 2013 in various Commercial and Strategy roles.

Philippe grew up in Paris, France and holds Master’s degrees in Corporate Finance, Risk Management & Actuarial Sciences from a French Grande Ecole and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Wei Jin

Director of Network Planning, Volaris

Wei is responsible for strategy, network planning and scheduling at Volaris. He joined the airline in February 2020, just as the COVID pandemic reached Mexico. Wei has been instrumental in forming Volaris’ recovery plans and is now focused on guiding the airline as it grows beyond its pre-pandemic levels. 

Prior to joining Volaris, Wei led the network planning department for the AirAsia Group based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and was an aviation consultant with InterVISTAS Consulting in Vancouver, Canada. With 10 years of experience across various geographies, Wei’s global perspective positions him as a key strategist in shaping Volaris’ future.

Wei holds a bachelor's degree in commerce, specializing in transportation and logistics from the University of British Columbia and a diploma in airport operations from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Wei was born in China and immigrated to Canada as a child, thus he is fluent in both English and Mandarin Chinese.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Henning Greiser

Head of International Network Planning, American Airlines

Henning is responsible for AA’s international network strategy, long-haul scheduling and slots as well as the coordination with international joint venture partners. He has been with AA since 2013 in various network and strategy roles. Prior to that he worked as a consultant with ICF International where he focused on air service development.

Henning grew up in Germany and holds master’s degrees from the MIT Sloan School of Management and HEC Paris along with an undergraduate degree in Economics and International Relations from the University of St Andrews.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Alvaro Leite

Director Aviation Development, VINCI Airports

Alvaro Leite has 17 years of airport experience in various roles. In July 2021, he has been named Aviation Development Director at VINCI Airports HQ, in Paris, responsible for the supervision of traffic development (passenger, cargo and business aviation) and the identification of opportunities to increase and stimulate the aeronautical revenues of the 52 airports of the network, located in 13 different countries. At a very challenging time for aviation, a significant part of his duties consists in making sure that the airports of the network will rebound and recover 2019’s traffic levels faster than the competition. At the same time, his department is responsible for all the aeronautical revenues and traffic forecasting for the airport tenders that VINCI Airports bids on. He is also a Board Member of Guanacaste Airport, Costa Rica, actively participating in the strategic decisions of the asset and its development.

From 2017 to 2021, he was the Chief Commercial Officer and ExCom Member of Aerodom (six Airports in the Dominican Republic), responsible for managing all commercial affairs and revenues for the airports, business planning, strategy development & implementation, and passenger experience. In 2019, Aerodom airports reached for the first time more than six million international passengers, which was the best performance ever recorded. In parallel, since the acquisition of AWW’s portfolio by VINCI Airports, he contributed in the integration of the commercial activities of these airports in the US and Costa Rica.

From 2014 to 2017, he was Project Director for VINCI Airports; he was responsible for assessing the aviation potential for the bids and M&A projects in which the company participated in, with special focus on the Americas and Caribbean. Alongside building long-term traffic forecasts and defining the future strategy of potential new airports, he played a role in the integration and optimization of some of the Airline Marketing Departments of VINCI Airports’ portfolio worldwide.

Since joining VINCI Airports, he participated in over 60 airport tender processes around the world. Alvaro Leite was a key member of the successful team that won the concessions of Osaka Airports (three airports in Japan), Aerodom (six airports in Dominican Republic), Santiago Airport in Chile, Salvador Airport in Brazil and Lyon Airport in France, contributing decisively to the fast growth of VINCI Airports’ network.

Prior to this, he worked for 9 years at Porto Airport where he was responsible for airline marketing. Porto has been a very successful story. From 3.4 million passengers in 2006, it served 7 million passengers in 2014 and reached 13M passengers in 2019.

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 and he is now based in Paris. He holds an International MBA from the Universidade Catolica Porto / ESADE Barcelona 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

Kenneth Gibson

Head of Business Development & Membership, The International Air Cargo Association

Kenneth Gibson is the Head of Business Development at The International Air Cargo Association.

He’s been with the organization since 2015; supporting members in growing their brands and strengthening their industry relationships.

Kenneth holds a Master of Science degree in Global Strategic Communications, with a Graduate Certificate in Conflict Resolution and Consensus Building from Florida International University School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Kenneth is originally from Caracas, Venezuela. Fluent in English and Spanish… with a touch of Portuguese.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Aaron Karp

Contributing Editor, Aviation Week Network

Aaron Karp has been an aviation journalist for more than 20 years. He has served as Managing Editor of Air Cargo World and Editor-in-Chief of Aviation Daily. He is a contributing editor to the Aviation Week Network. He’s based in Rockville, Maryland.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Bruno de Paula Balan

Network Planning Manager, Gol

Bruno is the Network Planning Manager at GOL. He began his career as an intern at the airline in 2008 and since then has been working with Scheduling and Network Planning, settling strategies and capacity plan for Brazilian strong Domestic and Regional Markets, as well as for International Expansion. He holds a degree in Civil Aviation and Airline Management, a postgraduate degree in Marketing and is an alumni for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Aviation Management Programme.

Participating Talks and Sessions

David Casey

Senior Network Planning Editor, 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

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

Mark Weithofer

Director Domestic Network Planning, United Airlines

Mark is responsible for the development of United’s domestic capacity plan for its Chicago, Houston, New York, and Washington D.C. hubs, creating the airline’s consolidated rolling capacity forecast, and overseeing United’s network data analytics/forecasting team based in Delhi, India. Throughout the pandemic, Mark and his team have focused on quickly re-engineering United’s flight network to align with customer demand while maintaining critical access to destinations throughout the domestic route map. Mark is a Ohio native, attended Bowling Green State University, and is a lifelong fan of Cincinnati’s professional sporting teams. Mark joined United in 2006 and is based at its Chicago, IL headquarters.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Peter Cerdá

Regional VP Americas, IATA

Peter Cerdá is the Regional Vice President in the Americas for IATA, the trade association whose 260 member airlines transport more than 84% of total air traffic. He leads a multinational team of professionals which proactively pursues IATA’s industry priorities with governmental authorities and industry stakeholders to make the air transport industry safer, more secure, efficient and profitable.

Peter possesses a wealth of senior industry experience acquired over a long and successful career in aviation. Most recently, he served as Regional Director for Safety, Operations and Infrastructure for the Americas and Atlantic until 2013.

Fluent in English and Spanish, Peter was born in Spain and received his Master’s Degree in Aeronautics and Aviation Management from Embry Riddle University and a Bachelor of Business Administration at Florida International University.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Wesley Charnock

Editor-in-Chief, 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

Honourable Anthony Mahler

Minister of Tourism & Diaspora Relations, Belize Tourism Board

With his wealth of experience in marketing and executive leadership, the Hon. Anthony Mahler has led multiple teams, directing portfolios spanning destination branding, product development, sustainable tourism development, public relations, crisis management and social media marketing.

As the Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, Minister Mahler plays a significant role in leading Belize’s economic recovery in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. He is focused on providing strategic leadership and direction for Belize’s tourism development, promoting the destination, and ensuring the ongoing innovation and transformation towards more sustainable and resilient models of tourism development.

Minister Mahler served as a previous Director of Product Development at the Belize Tourism Board, then later moved on to Speednet Communications Limited as the Chief Marketing Officer, before being elected to the House of Representatives. Minister Mahler holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix, a Master’s Program Graduate Certificate in Financial Analysis, a Certificate in Strategic Management from Tuck Institute at Dartmouth, and has served in managerial capacities in both the public and private sectors.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Chris Keen

Director Network Planning, Aer Lingus

Participating Talks and Sessions

Elliott Paige

Director Air Service Development, Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Elliott Paige is the Airport Director for Air Service Development at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. He joined the world's busiest and most efficient airport after a successful career promoting trade and investment for over 25 years. Elliott worked as an international civil servant with the World Trade Organization Secretariat and the United Nation's International Trade Center. Before joining these organizations, Elliott was a diplomat representing various OECS countries in multilateral trade negotiations.

During this period, Elliott designed and delivered strategies to increase trade, open markets, and develop industries. He applies his experience to ensure that the airport has a positive economic impact by creating jobs and promoting trade while taking advantage of new trade paradigms. 

Since joining Hartsfield-Jackson, he has built solid relationships with aviation executives worldwide, recruited several international passenger and cargo airlines, plus several domestic airlines. He collaborates with various stakeholders – Mayor's Office, Metro Atlanta Chamber, Atlanta Conventions and Visitors Bureau, Georgia Department of Economic Development, the diplomatic community, and private sector partners.  

Elliott is implementing the first cargo community system in the United States in Atlanta while facilitating an Atlanta cargo network among cargo stakeholders. 

He is keen to implement new technologies and maximize the use of already established technologies that can help increase passenger and cargo flow while improving operations efficiencies. Elliott often shares his experience at various speaking engagements on aviation, trade, and economic policy. 

Elliott enjoys running, hiking, reading, writing, following international affairs, and spending time with friends and family when not traveling. He has a master’s degree in economic development, and a bachelor’s in economics and management. He holds global certifications as International Airport Professional (IAP) and Airport Executive Leadership Professional (AELP) from Airports Council International and University. You can find out more on https://elliottdpaige.com/ or connect with him on LinkedIn.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Scott Hall

Executive VP, Airbahn

Scott Hall is currently the Executive Vice President of Airbahn, an A320 airline currently in certification with the FAA to become a domestic, flag and supplemental carrier. He has held previous executive level positions at ExpressJet Airlines, Atlantic Southeast Airlines and Chicago Express/ATA Connection. His background is mainly in flight and airline operations and he is also a commercial pilot.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Vijay Bathija

CCO, Lynx Air

Vijay Bathija is the Chief Commercial Officer of ultra-affordable airline, Lynx Air, that launched for sale in Canada recently. Vijay has over 20 years of experience in commercial airline strategy and planning. Prior to joining the launch executive team of Lynx Air, Vijay was Vice President, Revenue management at Etihad Airways. He was previously in the launch management team of Air Canada rouge, where he led the commercial activities for the launch of Air Canada’s low-cost, long haul leisure carrier. He has also consulted on commercial turnaround projects for over 15 airlines on five continents as Head of Planning Consulting division of Sabre Airline Solutions. At Lynx Air, Vijay is responsible for fleet planning, network design, pricing and revenue management, customer experience, marketing and E-commerce.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Paul Bobson

Director Business Development & Marketing, Omni Air

Paul B. Bobson is an award-winning aviation business development and marketing professional with over 15 years of experience. Over the course of his career Paul has led teams and programs for Las Vegas and the State of Maryland in the United States. Paul currently serves as the Director of Business Development and Marketing for Omni Air International where he directs all nontraditional commercial business and commercial marketing. Paul holds a BS in Aviation Business Administration and a MBA in Aviation from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Christina Cole

Senior Digital Aviation Brand Strategist, Advance Aviation

With 23 years of media and marketing experience, Christina leads the team at Advance Aviation whose sole focus is helping small and mid-sized airports across the country increase enplanements, decrease leakage, and increase community commitment to fly local. Christina and her team bring their airport partners leading technology and expertise in the digital marketing field through proven consistent digital-centric strategies.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Fabricio Cojuc

Chief Network Officer, Aeromar

A highly experienced and multicultural executive, Fabricio has held numerous senior leadership positions with legacy, LCC and regional airlines, as well as start-ups and aviation holding companies throughout his 33-year industry career. He has also been retained for freelance international aviation consulting engagements in Europe and South America, including work for Star Alliance and Avianca.

Currently based in Mexico City, Fabricio is in his second tenure with Aeromar, Mexico’s leading regional carrier. His main responsibilities include network strategy and performance; route development; scheduling; alliances and interline agreements; and industry affairs.

Fabricio graduated from the University of Texas-Pan American (BBA in Management) and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (MBA in Aviation). He also attended executive courses at Harvard Business School. Fabricio is a frequent speaker in industry events worldwide. He has been married for 27 years and has two children (23 and 19).

Participating Talks and Sessions

Zack Oakley

Deputy Director Operations & Planning, Chicago Rockford International Airport

Zack Oakley is Deputy Director Operations and Planning for the Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD). RFD is the 17th (2020) largest cargo airport in the US and just finished 2021 at 3.4 billion pounds of landed weight, an increase of 25% over 2020. RFD was also named the fastest-growing cargo airport in the world in 2019.

As deputy director of the Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) Zack has overseen the planning and construction of over $150 million of air cargo infrastructure improvements and is currently working with airline stakeholders on the next phase of infrastructure improvements to continue to support air cargo growth at RFD.  

He is an Accredited Airport Executive (A.A.E.) through the American Association of Airport Executives. He received a BS in Aviation Management from Southern Illinois University, a MS in Aerospace Operations and Management from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and has been at RFD since 2006.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Jesus H. Saenz

Director of Airports, San Antonio International Airport

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

Jude Bricker

CEO, Sun Country

Jude Bricker has served as our Chief Executive Officer since July 2017. Mr. Bricker has 17 years of experience in the aviation industry. He previously served as the Chief Operating Officer of Allegiant Travel Company from January 2016 to June 2017, as well as various other leadership roles from 2006 to 2016. As Chief Operating Officer of Allegiant Travel Company, Mr. Bricker was the senior executive responsible for marketing, network, operations, treasury, fleet, scheduling, pricing, ancillary products, digital, distribution, charters, loyalty and investor relations. From July 2004 to May 2006, Mr. Bricker was a finance manager at American Airlines. Mr. Bricker holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University and an MBA from the University of Texas.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Lukas Johnson

CCO, Breeze

Lukas Johnson joined Breeze Airways in November 2018, having come from previous senior leadership roles at Canada Jetlines and Allegiant Travel Company. At Breeze he oversees the revenue, network strategy, marketing, technology, and guest experience teams.

Lukas started his aviation career with Allegiant as part of their Revenue Management team in 2010, leaving his final role of Senior Vice President, Commercial in 2018. Prior to joining the field of aviation, he worked as an actuary for Transamerica and Milliman Inc. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Northwestern University.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Bert van der Stege

CCO, Swoop

Bert is overseeing Commercial & Finance at Swoop, Canada’s leading ULCC, operating as an independent subsidiary of the WestJet Group of Companies. He and the Swoop team are on a mission to make travel more affordable and accessible for all Canadians. Bert joined Swoop in February 2020 with responsibility for revenue, network, finance, marketing, sales, airport and traveller experience teams. He started his aviation career in Germany as management trainee at Lufthansa. Since, Bert gained more than 20 years of commercial and operational experience in air transport, while living and working on all but one of seven continents. Bert is originally from the Netherlands and now lives in Calgary, Canada.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Bjørn Tore Larsen

CEO, Norse Atlantic

Bjørn Tore Larsen is the founder, CEO and the major shareholder of Norse Atlantic Airways, Bjørn Tore has been interested in and passionate about aviation for as long as he can remember. He holds several type ratings, including the Boeing 747.

Bjørn Tore has extensive international shipping experience, which includes founding and controlling OSM Maritime Group in 1989, a ship owning company headquartered in Norway with more than 16,000 employees internationally and ADS Maritime Holding, a company listed on the Euronext Growth Exchange in Oslo. He is the majority shareholder of OSM Flight Academy, which has pilot schools in the U.S., Norway and Sweden. He is also the majority shareholder of OSM Airtech, which offers aircraft maintenance services in Norway and Sweden.

Bjørn Tore is a self-made entrepreneur who spent a year at sea when he was 16. Soon after returning home to go to high school, he decided to pursue his dream of becoming a businessman, and at the age of 18 acquired a travel agency near his now hometown of Arendal, Norway. Three years later he founded OSM Maritime, which is now among the largest ship management companies in the world.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Marc Anderson

President & CEO, Visit San Antonio

As President and CEO of Visit San Antonio, Marc Anderson is a leading figure in San Antonio’s $15.2 billion hospitality industry, the third-largest business sector in the community. San Antonio ranks as the top tourism destination in the state of Texas, attracting more than 40 million visitors in 2019.

Anderson, who joined Visit San Antonio in May 2021, has nearly three decades of experience in the tourism and hospitality industry, including work in global sales, marketing, public relations and e-commerce. For six years before heading to Texas, Anderson was Chief Operating Officer for Choose Chicago, the sales and marketing entity for the City of Chicago, and McCormick Place, the largest convention center in North America. When he arrived at Choose Chicago in 2015, he implemented a short-term leisure and group marketing strategy that dramatically increased short-term business in a 36-month window for McCormick Place and city hotels.

Most recently, Anderson was critical in the rebuilding of Chicago’s hospitality industry by designing and implementing a tactical COVID-19 Recovery Plan that included dynamic sales, marketing and media relations initiatives to generate new short-term group and leisure opportunities. He is introducing a similar proactive strategy in spearheading the rehabilitation of San Antonio’s impactful travel landscape.

Anderson, a graduate of Drake University, owns extensive international experience, promoting the United States as well as developing new territories with influential relationships in Canada, China and the Middle East. Prior to Choose Chicago, Anderson was the Regional Director of Marketing for The Peninsula Hotels, for which he oversaw the regional sales, marketing, public relations and e-commerce office for all the company’s business development in the Midwest and Canada.

Anderson is currently on the Board of Directors for the United States Travel Association (USTA), an Executive Committee Member of the Meetings Mean Business Coalition, co-Chair of the USTA CEO Roundtable and is a member on Destination International’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee. In addition, he was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). In September 2018 and October 2019, he was named one of the Top 500 Leaders in the Events Industry/Top 20 DMO Leaders in North America.

Anderson has completed Executive Edge programs with The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

Anderson and his wife, Brooke, are parents to college-age daughters, Avery and Lily. They all join him in relocating to San Antonio.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Rikke Christensen

VP Networks & Alliances, Virgin Atlantic

Rikke Munk Christensen is Virgin Atlantic’s Vice President of Networks, Alliances and Commercial Planning. Rikke has been with Virgin Atlantic since September 2019, and leads on Virgin Atlantic’s network strategy, route planning, slot portfolio, partnerships and JV. Rikke has more than 15 years of network planning expertise, across four different airlines – she is also chair of International Air Transport Association (IATA) Slot Policy Working Group and member of Worldwide Slot Board. Rikke is originally from Denmark and lives now in London, she loves sports, good food and of course travelling.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Dave Harvey

Vice President Southwest Business, Southwest

David Harvey became a Southwest Airlines Co-Heart in 1999. He spent the first eight years of his career in Technology serving Crew Management, Dispatch, Network Planning, Finance, Technical Operations, Fuel Management, and Marketing. He then spent five years leading Corporate Strategy with Enterprise PMO and Integrated Business Planning responsibilities across Fleet, Commercial, Customer, and Operations. In 2013 he supported Southwest’s first Chief Commercial Officer to build a Commercial Planning and Performance function across Network Planning, Marketing, Revenue Management, and Financial Planning & Analysis. In late 2013 he transitioned to Network Planning leading Network Strategy and Capacity Planning. In 2016 he was asked to lead a new Southwest department promoted to Managing Director of Business Development. Responsibilities included Regional Planning & Performance, International Strategy & Capacity, Airline Partnerships, and Corporate Sales. Then in 2018, he was promoted to Vice President Corporate Sales responsible for all selling and B2B distribution activities. In August of 2019 Southwest launched a new brand representing a new distribution strategy, major channel investments, and scaling of the sales team to provide increased hospitality making him Vice President of Southwest Business. David is currently on multiple boards and appointments related to the Travel Industry and Business Travel including being a Representative Member of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Advisory Committee on Travel and Tourism Infrastructure (NACTTI) as well as advisory positions with Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and Business Travel News (BTN). BTN named Dave among the 25 Most Influential People in Business Travel in 2019, 2020, and 2021. He received his BBA from UT Austin in Management Information Systems and both his MBA in Operations Management and MS in Organizational Strategy from UT Dallas. David earned his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification in 2007. He has five sons that keep him active outside Southwest and a beautiful wife who is an educator and writer.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Shane Downey

VP Government Relations, GBTA

Shane Downey is Vice President of Government Relations and Volunteer Relations at The Global Business Travel Association, the voice of the $1.4 trillion business travel industry. GBTA is the world’s largest organization representing this sector and counts among its members more than 9,000 business travel professionals across six different continents.

In addition to serving as the association’s lead lobbyist in Washington, D.C. Shane oversees GBTA’s volunteer engagement including GBTA Chapters, Committees and grassroots political activity. He also leads GBTA’s efforts with EU officials in Brussels. Shane has worked at GBTA since 2006, achieving many legislative successes and expanded the profile of GBTA on the Hill and abroad.

Prior to joining GBTA, Shane was a Senior Associate at a lobbying firm in Washington, D.C., and before that Shane worked on several Congressional Campaigns.

Shane received his B.A in History from The Ohio State University. Shane also served in the United States Marine Corp and is a Desert Storm veteran.

Participating Talks and Sessions