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Speakers

Dr. Andrés Conesa

CEO, Aeroméxico

Dr. Andrés Conesa was appointed as CEO of Grupo Aeroméxico in 2005. He has been a member of the IATA Board of Governors since 2008 and was elected IATA’s Chairman during the 2015 term. He has served as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) and the Mexican Directive Council of the National Chamber of Aviation (CANAERO).

Prior to these appointments, from 1990 through 2005 he held several senior positions in the Mexican government, including Chairman of CINTRA’s Board of Directors (the holding company of Aeroméxico and Mexicana), Deputy Undersecretary of Public Credit with the Ministry of Finance. Dr. Conesa has also been member of the Boards of Directors of several public companies including the Mexican Stock Exchange from 2006 to 2007, Genomma Lab International from 2012 through 2015, Ienova 2013-2017 and since 2016 a member of the Board at Sempra, one of the most important energy companies in the US and currently listed on the NYSE.

Dr. Andrés holds a PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM).


Robert Fornaro

CEO,Spirit Airlines 

Robert Fornaro was appointed as President and CEO of Spirit, the largest Ultra-Low Cost Carrier in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, in January 2016. He became a member of, and will continue to be a member of, the Spirit Airlines Board of Directors in May 2014.

Prior to his appointment as CEO of Spirit he served as President of Parkview Partners LLC, an Orlando-based transportation and travel industry advisory firm. Mr. Fornaro retired as Chairman, CEO and President of AirTran Holdings, Inc., and its subsidiary, AirTran Airways in May 2011. Fornaro joined AirTran in March 1999 as President and Chief Financial Officer, was named Chief Operating Officer and elected to the board of directors in 2001, and became Chief Executive Officer in 2007.

Fornaro has more than 35 years of marketing, planning, finance and general management experience. Bob also has substantial experience in financial turnarounds and operational restructurings. During his tenure at AirTran, the Company transformed itself from a regional to an international airline and experienced a near seven-fold increase in revenue to nearly $3 billion. AirTran achieved the unique position of being the lowest cost provider of any major U.S. airline as well as achieving industry - leading service metrics.

Prior to joining AirTran Airways, he operated a successful aviation consulting practice. From 1992 to 1997, Fornaro served as senior vice president - planning for US Airways where he directed the company's route planning, pricing and revenue management and overall corporate strategy. From 1988 to 1992, Fornaro held the position of senior vice president - marketing planning at Northwest Airlines. His responsibilities included strategy and planning as well as managing Northwest's international alliances and regional airline partner relationships.

Fornaro holds a Master's degree in City & Regional Planning from Harvard University and a Bachelor's degree in economics from Rutgers College.


Federico Germani

Chief Commercial Officer, Gategroup

Federico Germani joined gategroup as Chief Commercial Officer in October 2017. Mr. Germani is a seasoned aviation industry expert with more than 14 years of experience in the Latam Group where he held the position of Corporate Senior Vice President for Services and Innovation, and several corporate global leadership roles first based in the U.S. and later in Brazil. Before joining Latam Group, Federico held leadership roles in McKinsey, Goldman Sachs and IBM. Mr. Germani holds an MBA in marketing and finance from the Kellogg School of Management and an MSc in Industrial Engineering from Instituto Tecnologico of Buenos Aires.

 


Aaron Heslehurst

Award Winning  TV Presenter, Talking Business, BBC World News

Aaron Heslehurst is one of the main faces on BBC World News. He’s been a high profile BBC business news presenter since February 2002.

 

In May of 2017 he launched his own named show Talking Business with Aaron Heslehurst, a daily half hour global show delivering the big business stories and the latest innovations in technology, cutting through the jargon with top CEO interviews.

 

Aaron has also interviewed some of the world's biggest corporate leaders and leaders, from the World Bank, the IMF, the European Union and the World Trade Organisation. His passion and specialty lies in the global aviation industry. Aaron has interviewed the heads of most of the world’s largest and leading airlines.

 

In 2018 Aaron was named in the top 120 of the World’s Most Influential Business Journalists list by Richtopia, and in 2009 he won "Best Industry Commentator of the Year" , voted by the British Public in the Daily Telegraph Wealth Management Awards.

 

Over the past 16 years Aaron has presented across the BBC, including on the 24 hour News Channel, the BBC Travel Show and as part of the presenter team on BBC Breakfast, the acclaimed morning program on BBC One in the UK.

 

Prior to joining BBC World News, Aaron was a Senior News Anchor with CNBC Nordic, a branch of NBC America, based in Denmark. He was the European Bureau Chief for Paramount Pictures and Real TV News in the USA and later in London. Aaron graduated first in his class from university in California with an honours degree in Broadcast Journalism and Media Studies. 

 

Aaron is a native of Sydney, Australia.


 

Stephen Kavanagh

CEO & Executive Director, Aer Lingus

Stephen Kavanagh was appointed as Chief Executive Officer and executive director with effect from 1 March 2015. Prior to his appointment as Chief Executive Officer, Stephen had served as Chief Strategy & Planning Officer since early 2014 and before that Chief Commercial Officer from 2009. Stephen joined the Company in 1988; he undertook a number of analytical and management roles in fleet scheduling and business planning departments before being appointed Operations Planning Manager in 2003. He joined the senior management team in March 2006 as Planning Director and was appointed

Corporate Planning Director in November 2007. He is a graduate of University College Dublin.


Dr. Stathis Kefallonitis 

President and Founder, branding.aero

Stathis is the President of branding.aero consulting & the co-founder of noesis laboratories. His work focuses on customer engagement, experiential marketing and biometric data use. He has directed projects with air transport regulators, catering and onboard hospitality providers, and numerous airlines and airports. He has a proven track record of facilitating workshops, seminars and conference presentations in partnership with gateroup, IATA, WTCE, the Passenger Experience Conference, APEX, and IFSA. He has authored several aviation textbooks and is a regular contributor to air transport business publications. Stathis was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce (RSA), and a Fellow of the Royal Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). He holds a Ph.D. in aviation marketing from Cranfield University and postgraduate degrees from Cornell University & University of London. 


Steve King

CEO and Co-Founder, Black Swan

Steve King is the CEO and Co-Founder of Black Swan, the fastest growing start up in the UK, which combines cutting edge data science and software development to accurately predict trends in consumer behaviour. Since reading Cognitive Science the 90s, Steve has applied his tech, coding and visualisation skills to solving his clients’ challenges, helping them work out what will be important tomorrow by arming them with products that transform the way their brands create value from data. Black Swan works with some of the world’s leading consumer-faced brands including PepsiCo, Panasonic, npower and Disney.

 


Stephen Kingsley

Managing Director of Flight Service Food & Beverage, American Airlines, Inc.

Stephen Kingsley is a thirty six year airline veteran who has served in a variety of roles of increasing responsibility in the onboard and flight service divisions since joining the industry in 1982. He was named Managing Director of Flight Service Food & Beverage for American Airlines in December 2013.  In his current role, he has responsibility for all aspects of Americans’ Food & Beverage programs including product planning, onboard retail, catering equipment, logistics & systems as well as operational performance. He was the architect for Americans highly successful strategy to integrate global Food & Beverage operations with       US Airways. He is currently an officer and on the board of directors for the International Flight Services Association (IFSA) and serves as a member of the association’s executive committee. 

Stephen has a Master of Business Administration degree from Queens University, Charlotte, North Carolina. He and his wife, Heather, currently reside in Frisco, Texas with their two boys Christopher and Jordan.  


Susanne Meyer

Association Director, Kellen Brussels 

Susanne, an association director at Kellen’s Brussels office, has been serving European trade associations in the food sector since 2005.  With over 20 years’ experience following EU food policy, agricultural policy, trade policy and regulatory affairs, Susanne has a thorough understanding of the intricacies of the EU decision making process, and has a proven track record of successful advocacy. She also manages consulting projects for food industry clients.  Prior to managing associations she worked as research assistant in the European Parliament in the areas of food safety and consumer legislation.  Susanne holds a Master degree in Modern Languages and Educational Sciences from Leipzig University. A German national, she speaks fluent English and French, good Russian as well as basic Dutch.

 


Doug Parker

CEO, American Airlines

Doug Parker was named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in 2013. He oversees American Airlines Group and American Airlines, its principal subsidiary company.

Previously, Parker was chairman and CEO of US Airways. Before the merger of US Airways and America West 

Airlines in 2005, he was chairman, president and chief executive officer of America West. Parker became the CEO at America West just 10 days before Sept. 11, 2001, and led the carrier through the crisis.

Under Parker’s leadership, US Airways achieved record revenue growth, operational performance and profit margins that outpaced most industry peers. Parker has been a vocal proponent of airline industry consolidation, which provides a more stable and competitive industry for employees, customers, communities and stockholders.

Parker’s experience prior to joining America West in 1995 includes four years with Northwest Airlines as vice president, assistant treasurer and vice president of Financial Planning and Analysis. From 1986 to 1991, he held a number of financial management positions with American.

Parker received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Albion College in 1984 and a Master of Business Administration degree from Vanderbilt University in 1986.

 


Calin Rovinescu

President & CEO, Air Canada

Calin Rovinescu has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada since April 1, 2009. Mr. Rovinescu was the Executive Vice President, Corporate Development & Strategy of Air Canada from 2000 to 2004, and also held the position of Chief Restructuring Officer during the airline's 2003-2004 restructuring. From 2004 to 2009, Mr. Rovinescu was a Co-founder and Principal of Genuity Capital Markets, an independent investment bank. Prior to 2000, he was the Managing Partner of the law firm Stikeman Elliott in Montré

al, where he practiced corporate law for over 20 years and was a member of the firm's Partnership Board and Executive Committee.

Mr. Rovinescu was Chair of the Star Alliance Chief Executive Board from 2012 to 2016 and Chair of the International Air Transport Association in 2014-2015. He is also a Member of the Board of Directors of BCE Inc. and Bell Canada, and of the Business Council of Canada.

Mr. Rovinescu holds Bachelor of law degrees from the Université de Montréal and the University of Ottawa, and has been awarded six Honorary Doctorates from universities in Canada, Europe and the United States. Mr. Rovinescu was named the 14th Chancellor of the University of Ottawa in November 2015. In 2016, Mr. Rovinescu was recognized as Canada's Outstanding CEO of the Year.


Claudia Sender

CEO, LATAM Airlines Brasil
Vice President of Customers, LATAM Airlines Group
 

Claudia Sender is Vice-President of Customers LATAM Airlines Group and Chief Executive Officer of LATAM Brasil. She leads marketing, services, customer experience and digital areas in all the countries where LATAM Airlines Group operates, besides being responsible for the Holding business in Brasil.

Mrs. Sender joined the company in December 2011, as the Commercial and Marketing Vice-President of TAM Airlines. After June 2012, with the conclusion of TAM-LAN combination and the creation of LATAM Airlines Group, she became the head of Brasil's Domestic Business Unit, and her functions were expanded in order to include TAM’s entire Customer Service structure. She became TAM Airlines’ CEO in May 2013.

The executive dedicated most of her career in consumer goods industry, focusing on Marketing and Strategic Planning. Mrs. Sender was Marketing Vice-President at Whirlpool Latin America and she also worked as a consultant for Bain & Company.

Mrs. Sender has a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the Polytechnic School at the University of São Paulo (USP) and a MBA from Harvard Business School, in the United States.s a consultant for Bain & Company.