Routes Americas 2023

The route development forum for the Americas

Chicago, Illinois
21 – 23 March 2023

Conference Programme Speakers

Abhi Shah

President, Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras

Member of the startup team and currently leading the Network Planning, Revenue Management, Sales, Marketing, Loyalty and Azul Cargo teams at Azul Brazilian Airlines - Brazil`s largest airline by departures and destinations.

We currently have over 100 destinations, 900 daily departures and more than 230 nonstop routes. In 2019 we carried 27 million
passengers. Previously with JetBlue Airways, based in New York working in the areas of network planning and revenue management. Specialties: Revenue Management, Network Planning, Revenue Analysis, Marketing, Merchandising, E-commerce, Airline loyalty

Participating Talks and Sessions

Jamie L. Rhee

Commissioner, Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA)

Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) Commissioner Jamie L. Rhee is a leader in the aviation community, overseeing operations at both O’Hare and Midway International Airports – one of the largest airport systems in the world.

Over the course of 28 years with the City of Chicago, Rhee has served in multiple positions at the airports, from customer service foreign language assistant while in law school to General Counsel for the O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP). In 2009, Rhee was named the City’s Chief Procurement Officer. She returned to the CDA in 2018 as Commissioner.

Rhee has dedicated much of her career to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The procurement reform efforts she led during her City career have received national and international recognition and Rhee herself has received dozens of industry awards for her contributions.

She has overseen the purchasing of more than $2 billion in goods and services, authored articles and publications on aviation safety and security, and increased the accessibility of municipal contracts to minority, women, disabled, and veteran-owned businesses.

A steadfast advocate for accountability in government, Rhee and her team have developed a Code of Conduct for the Chicago airport community, detailing principles, values, and standards to be upheld by everyone working for and with the CDA.

In 2021, Rhee was elected to the board of directors of Airports Council International – North America, which works to strengthen the commercial aviation industry in North America and promote cooperation between airport governing bodies; she was elected as U.S. Policy Chair in 2022. Commissioner Rhee serves on ten additional local, national, and international boards and has authored multiple industry publications. In addition, Commissioner Rhee also serves on ten other local, national, and international boards.

Rhee earned her undergraduate degree from Michigan State University, and a Juris Doctor from DePaul University

Participating Talks and Sessions

Aaron Karp

Contributing Editor, Aviation Week Network

Chris de Man

Director, Air Service, Halifax Stanfield International Airport

Chris is responsible for leading the development and implementation of new air service routes, as well as maintaining and growing existing routes for the Airport Authority.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Alderman Matt O'Shea

Chairman, Chicago City Council Committee on Aviation

Participating Talks and Sessions

Michèle Barre

Chief Revenue Officer, Air Transat

Michèle Barre joined Transat in 2017 as Vice-President, Network, Revenue Management and Pricing. In January 2023, she was appointed Chief Revenue Officer. Her main mandate is to ensure revenue growth and network development. Michèle has more than 25 years of professional experience in the aeronautical industry, mostly at Air France-KLM. Throughout her career at Air France-KLM, Michèle has led teams in several departments, such as revenue management, pricing, and network planning. She also held the position of Vice-President, Corporate Strategy for the Air France-KLM Group. Her career has been marked by many major achievements, including her contribution to the development, and strengthening of Air France’s long-haul network. She also played a key role in the merger of Air France and KLM management and pricing sectors, successfully developing numerous strategic partnerships and alliances within the group, and taking part in the start-up and development of Air France’s regional subsidiary. Michèle is an engineer and graduate of the École Supérieure d’Informatique in Paris, an establishment specialized in telecommunication and information systems engineering. She obtained an MBA from the Air France-KLM joint management program in Lausanne, Switzerland.



Participating Talks and Sessions

Daniel Belmont

Director of Market Development, SkyWest Airlines

Daniel has worked at SkyWest for over seven years. His work experience includes Operations Analysis, Fleet Planning, Scheduling, and Route Planning. In his current role as the Director of Market Development, Daniel oversees the relationships between SkyWest and the communities they operate to. Daniel also interacts with SkyWest’s mainline partners to optimize schedules.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Rama Myers

Head of Business Development, ZeroAvia

Rama Myers is ZeroAvia's Head of Business Development for the America's. He joined ZeroAvia in January 2023 and is responsible for driving the market adoption of ZeroAvia's zero emissions powertrains among airlines and operators across the America's. Rama has over a decade of experience collaborating across the aviation ecosystem, leading new market creation, and working with clean technology and aviation startups.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Kevin Jackson

Director - Solutions Engineering,

Christina Cole

Senior Digital Aviation 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

Kayleigh Tarbet

Senior Graphic Design and Marketing Specialist, Advance Aviation

Kayleigh has been working in the industry for over 12 years. Her specialties include aviation creative strategy, graphic design, photography and videography, video production, web design, and social media marketing. With Kayleigh’s strong knowledge of digital marketing and eagerness to stay up to date on industry best practices, she has become an expert on increasing conversions using landing pages and specializes within the aviation industry.  Kayleigh enjoys helping our airport clients reach their goals by developing creative strategies driven by industry trends and data.

Participating Talks and Sessions

Robert J. Kokonis

President & Managing Director, AirTrav Inc

Robert Kokonis holds over 30 years of corporate and consulting experience in the global aviation and travel sectors. He currently leads Toronto-based AirTrav Inc., a boutique advisory founded in 2001 which engages clients at the senior executive and board levels in airlines, airports, governments, and trade associations. Robert and his team provide comprehensive strategic guidance on business planning, commercial, economic, financial, fleet evaluation, fuel procurement and hedging, loyalty program, operational, regulatory, risk management, route profitability, and other topics. He also performs due diligence for banks, private equity, and law firms for M&A and bankruptcy transactions and has sat on numerous advisory boards. Robert frequently appears with A-list media outlets such as BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, and WSJ, and speaks at leading industry conferences worldwide. Robert holds an International M.B.A. (Honors Finance) from the Helsinki School of Economics.

Lee Lipton

Senior Vice President, Aviation Strategy, ASM Global Route Development

Michael J. Bell

Senior Client Partner in the Civil Aviation Practice, Korn Ferry

Karen Walker

Group Air Transport Editor-in-Chief, Aviation Week Network

Karen Walker is Air Transport World Editor-in-Chief and Aviation Week Network Group Air Transport Editor-in-Chief. She joined ATW in 2011 and oversees the editorial content and direction of ATW, Routes and Aviation Week Group air transport content.

Karen serves on the board of directors of the International Aviation Club of Washington and was the IAC’s President in 2017-2018.

Karen has been writing about the aerospace and air transport industries for more than 35 years and is a recognized authority and commenter on the airline industry. She is a regular speaker and moderator at aviation events worldwide and a commentator on radio and TV news programs. In 2019, she was a judge and a presenter for IATA’s inaugural diversity awards.

Based in Washington D.C., she gained her degree in journalism in the U.K. and is a multiple winner of the Royal Aeronautical Society’s aerospace journalism awards.

She is the recipient of the Aerospace Media Awards 2021 Aerospace Writer of the Year.

Wesley Charnock

Content Marketing Director, Aviation Week Network

David Casey

Editor-in-Chief, Routes

Steven Small

Director Events, Routes

Participating Talks and Sessions