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2019 EXPO Speakers

Ed Bastian

CEO, Delta Airlines 

As CEO of Delta Air Lines, Ed Bastian leads a team of 80,000 global professionals that is building the world’s premiere international airline, powered by a people-driven, customer-focused culture and spirit of innovation.

Under Ed’s leadership, Delta is transforming the air travel experience with generational investments in technology, aircraft, airport facilities and, most importantly, Delta’s employees worldwide. A 20-year Delta veteran, Ed has been a critical leader in Delta’s long-term strategy and champion of putting Delta’s shared values of honesty, integrity, respect, perseverance and servant leadership at the core of every decision.

Since being named Delta’s CEO in May 2016, Ed has expanded Delta’s leading position as the world’s most reliable airline while growing its global footprint and enhancing the customer experience in the air and on the ground. During his tenure as CEO, Delta has become the world’s most awarded airline, having been named the Wall Street Journal’s top U.S. airline; Fortune’s most admired airline worldwide; the most on-time global airline by FlightGlobal; a Glassdoor Employee’s Choice company and more. Delta has returned to sustained profitability, regaining its investment-grade credit rating with all three major ratings agencies and paying out more than $1 billion in profit-sharing to employees every year over the past four years. In 2018, Fortune magazine named Ed among “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders,” and in 2019, he was elected to the membership of the Council on Foreign Relations.

When asked to sum up his job in five words, Ed’s response is: “Taking care of our people.” The answer reflects his leadership philosophy, which is based on the “virtuous circle” – if you take care of your people, they take care of your customers, whose business and loyalty allows you to reward your investors.

Ed joined Delta in 1998 as Vice President – Finance and Controller and was promoted to Senior Vice President in 2000. He left Delta in 2005 and became Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Acuity Brands. He returned to Delta six months later to become Chief Financial Officer, and in 2007 was appointed to serve as Delta’s President.Prior to joining Delta, Ed held senior finance positions at Frito-Lay International and Pepsi-Cola International. Ed started his career with Price Waterhouse where he became an audit partner in its New York practice.

Ed grew up in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and graduated from St. Bonaventure University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. He lives in Atlanta, and is deeply involved in his faith, family and community.

Follow Ed on LinkedIn for his thoughts on leadership, culture, aviation and more.

 


Jaime Bautista 

President & COO, Philippine Airlines   

Jaime J. Bautista is President and Chief Operating Officer of Philippine Airlines (PAL). He re-assumed these positions on 23 October 2014 after holding the same roles from August 2014 to April 2012.

Mr. Bautista has a strong financial management background. Prior to being PAL president, he was president and chief executive officer of Air Philippines, now PAL Express. He led PAL through some of its most significant milestones. From 2004-2005 (when he assumed the PAL presidency) to 2007-2008 and most recently from 2014-2016 when PAL posted profits despite tough industry conditions. PAL’s 2015 profit was five times that of 2014.

In the last two years, he orchestrated the collective efforts for PAL to be rated 4-Star and achieve several other global awards and recognitions, including Most Improved Airline. In September 2007, he successfully steered PAL out of an eight-year receivership period. He was subsequently named “Aviation Person of the Year” for 2007 by Orient Aviation magazine.

His PAL service record spans nearly three decades starting with vice president – comptroller in 1993. Other key PAL posts include senior vice president and chief finance officer, and executive vice president in the mid-1990s.

Mr. Bautista holds various management posts and board memberships in different companies under the Lucio Tan Group of Companies since the 1980s. He is a member of several socio-civic professional organizations and recipient of numerous awards. A certified public accountant, Mr. Bautista holds a Bachelor of Science in Commerce degree, magna cum laude, from the Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Manila.


Jóhanna á Bergi 

CEO, Atlantic Airways 

Jóhanna á Bergi is the CEO of Atlantic Airways.

Jóhanna á Bergi has extensive leadership and board experience. For the past nine years she has been CEO of the shipping company Faroe Ship. She has a degree in leadership from Robert Gordon University, Scotland, and has also studied sales and marketing at Den Danske Eksportskole. Formerly Jóhanna á Bergi was sales manager at JFK, which is both a ship owner and runs fish processing plants that produces and exports fish products from the Faroes. At one point she was sales manager for the fish exporter Faroe Seafood in France. In addition to her leadership positions, she has held diverse board positions over the past several years.


Ted Christie 

CEO, Spirit Airlines

Ted Christie is the President and Chief Executive Officer at Spirit Airlines, the largest Ultra Low Cost Carrier in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean. Christie joined Spirit in April 2012 as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. In January 2017, Mr. Christie was promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, and was promoted again to President one year later. In his various roles, Christie has overseen responsibility for the finance and commercial functions of the business, as well as operations, IT and human resources.

Prior to joining Spirit, Christie served as CFO of Pinnacle Airlines Corp, an airline holding company with subsidiaries flying as Delta Connection, United Express and US Airways Express. Christie began his airline career at Frontier Airlines in 2002. He was appointed Vice President of Finance in 2007 and promoted to Senior Vice President and CFO in 2008. During his tenure at Frontier he helped the carrier to restructure and to achieve a competitive cost structure. 

Christie has also held the position of Vice President of Finance at a Denver asset-based finance institution and also worked as an Economist for the Arizona taxing authority. 

Christie earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Arizona in 1992.


 

Zhao Dong 

President & CEO, Xiamen Airlines

Mr. Zhao Dong is the Chairman and Party Secretary of Xiamen Airlines and the Chairman of Hebei Airlines.

Mr. Zhao Dong is a senior management leader with 33 years of experience in civil aviation. He graduated from the Civil Aviation University of China with a major in air traffic control and from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University with an MBA degree. He also completed the Executive Development Programs (EDP) of School of Management in Xiamen University. 

December 2016-2019, he served as the General Manager and Deputy Party Secretary of Xiamen Airlines. Under his leadership, Xiamen Airlines continues to maintain a sound momentum of growth. It currently owns over 200 airplanes, 2 subsidiaries of Hebei Airlines and Jiangxi Airlines, and branches and offices in 45 cities across Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania, with nearly 500 routes in operation globally. It is the only airline company in China with profitability for 32 consecutive years, which is also a rarity in the world. Chinese President Xi Jinping commended Xiamen Airlines as the "epitome of the development of China's aviation industry for its good performance.

In February 2017, Mr. Zhao promoted the signing of an SDGs agreement between Xiamen Airlines and the United Nations. Hence Xiamen Airlines becomes the first airline in the world to work with the United Nations on SDGs.

February 2019-present, he serves as the Chairman and Party Secretary of Xiamen Airlines. 


Joanna Geraghty 

President, JetBlue 

Joanna Geraghty is President & Chief Operating Officer of JetBlue, responsible for JetBlue’s operations and commercial performance including network, brand and marketing and revenue management.  

Geraghty’s focus is on delivering a leading customer service experience, enhancing operational and commercial performance while nurturing JetBlue’s unique culture and standing as one of the best places to work. 

Prior to being named President & COO she served as JetBlue’s Executive Vice President, Customer Experience, responsible for Airport Operations, Customer Support, and Inflight Service. She served as Executive Vice President, Chief People Officer from 2010-2014, after serving as Vice President and Associate General Counsel and Director of Litigation and Regulatory Affairs. Geraghty has been with the New York-based airline since 2005. 

Geraghty is a member of the board of the JetBlue Foundation and chairperson of the board of Concern Worldwide, an international not for profit. Before joining JetBlue, she was a partner at the law firm Holland & Knight.   She received her B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross, her master’s in international relations from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and her J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law.  


Claudia Sender 

CEO, LATAM Airlines Brasil
CXO, Emeritus and 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 a 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.


Shai Weiss 

CEO, Virgin Atlantic

Shai Weiss is Chief Executive Officer at Virgin Atlantic and an Executive Director of the Virgin Atlantic board.  
 
Shai and the team are keenly focused on Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays together becoming the most loved travel company.  
 
Shai joined Virgin Atlantic as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in July 2014 from Virgin Management Ltd, where he had been an Investment Partner since 2012 and was a Founding Partner of Virgin Green Fund.  In January 2017 Shai assumed the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer responsible for shaping the airline’s strategic position in the market, driving opportunities for new revenue, and leading the loyalty, alliances and marketing programs that distinguish the airline.  Through his role at Virgin Group Shai has been a member of the Virgin Atlantic board from summer 2012. 
 
Shai has extensive financial and operational expertise. Prior to joining Virgin Group, he held several senior management positions at ntl:Telewest (now Virgin Media), the UK and Europe’s largest cable operator. Shai was part of the turn-around of ntl with roles including Managing Director of Consumer Products, Director of Operations, and Director of Financial Planning for the Consumer division. Shai was also behind the merger between Virgin Mobile UK and ntl:Telewest and the re-brand to Virgin Media. 
 
Prior to ntl, Shai established the European office of early-stage technology venture fund JVP and was a senior associate with Morgan Stanley. 
 
Shai also serves as a non-executive director of Checkpoint Software Technologies (NASDQ: CHKP), a leading provider of cyber security solutions to governments and corporate enterprises globally. 
 
Shai holds an MBA from Columbia University in New York and a BBA from City University of New York, Baruch College. He resides in London with his family, attends Arsenal games whenever he can, reads The New Yorker magazine from cover to cover and attempts to play basketball.


Alex Wilcox

CEO, JetSuiteX

Alex Wilcox is Co-Founder and CEO of JetSuite, Inc. and JetSuiteX.

For over two decades, Alex has identified and developed disruptive business models and enhancements that have improved air travel for millions. As a founder of JetBlue, Alex brought much-needed innovation to the low fare carrier sector with the introduction of LiveTV and all-leather seating. In 2008, Alex created a simple and streamlined approach to private flying, quickly growing it to one of the leading private jet charter companies in the U.S. In 2016, Alex saw an opportunity to offer a simpler and quicker alternative to flying short distances. Today, JetSuiteX operates over 330 flights a week between major West Coast destinations including Orange County, The Bay Area, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and seasonally to Mammoth Mountain, from private terminals at costs close to a traditional airline seat. A graduate of University of Vermont, Alex was named a Henry Crown Fellow by the Aspen Institute and is a member of the Lone Star chapter of Young Presidents Organization (YPO).