Join us in Puerto Rico for the CAPA Americas Aviation & LCCs Summit 2022, 25/26 May


CAPA’s renowned air transport events return to the Americas in 2022 with the CAPA Americas ‘Aviation & LCCs Summit’.

Hosted by Puerto Rico Tourism Company, the summit will be held on 25-26 May 2022 on the sunny shores of Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

With more than two years having passed since the last regional Americas summit, this event is expected to attract hundreds of attendees from the breadth of the air transport industry and beyond. 

Key airline leaders from across North America, Latin America and the Caribbean will be joined by global aviation experts, local regulators, tourism bodies, aviation technology and distribution innovators and representatives from peak aviation bodies.

With the Americas leading the way in the recovery of passenger traffic, the focus of the two-day Aviation & LCC Summit will be how the air transport industry navigates the new situation it finds itself in, and how it prepares for the changes that are coming in the future.

The global COVID-19 pandemic produced an extreme shake-up of the sector in the short term. However, key aviation megatrends – such as consolidation & ownership, sustainability & decarbonization, new market entrants & operating models and digitalization & distribution innovation – continue to transform the industry’s long term outlook.

Industry thought leaders from CAPA and other globally recognized aviation experts will present their outlook for key markets in the Americas for 2022 and beyond.

Major aviation decision makers will undergo interviews, engage in panel discussions and present masterclasses across the summit.

Topics that will be under discussion include:

  • The keys to success for airlines and airports in navigating the new situations they find themselves in.
  • How destinations can implement health and safety programmes to support the return of international travelers and tourists.
  • The realities of the aviation industry’s environmental goals, in light of the fresh impetus towards decarbonization seen during the COVID-19 pandemic.  
  • The role of partnerships, mergers and consolidation in airline survivability.
  • The incoming wave of new market entrants and their adoption of new LCC operating models.
  • Accelerated changes to the distribution and retailing landscape during the pandemic.
  • The new travel ecosystem and changes to passenger service expectations, network planning and the industry supply chain.

The CAPA Americas ‘Aviation & LCCs Summit will include strong representation from industry thought leaders, with speakers and panelists who include at least a dozen airline C-level executives representing all types of business models – from full service, LCCs and hybrid airlines.

The Summit will also offer unique and unparalleled networking opportunities, with the opportunity to interact and engage with hundreds of C-Level Executives, suppliers and buyers.

For more information or to register visit the CAPA Americas ‘Aviation & LCCs Summit’ registration website. 

Day 1 Highlights:

CAPA’s State of the Industry.

CAPA – Centre for Aviation offers independent, clear-sighted analysis on the key macro and micro trends for the air transport industry.

CAPA’s regional experts will provide an overview of the key changes that the markets in the Americas have undergone over the past two years, and provide an insightful outlook on how they will continue to develop.

Benefit from CAPA’s unique position in the industry to get an unprecedented understanding of where the air travel industry is now and where it is headed.

Interview with Frontier Airlines President & CEO Barry Biffle:

Frontier Airlines made headlines in 2021 with its bid to acquire rival Spirit Airlines in a friendly, USD2.4 billion deal.

More headlines were made earlier in 2022, when JetBlue swooped in with a rival bid to acquire Spirit Airlines for USD3.7 billion.

Whichever of these bids is successful, they will create the fifth largest carrier in the US and provide renewed impetus towards industry consolidation. Alternatively, competition regulators could upset the whole thing and end the recent trend of airline mergers.

Frontier Airlines President & CEO Barry Biffle is better positioned than any other to talk about the competitive situation in the US market and beyond. Mr Biffle has more than twenty years of experience in management in the aviation industry, focusing on pioneering the ULCC model’s development in North and South America during the past decade.

He most recently served as CEO at VivaColombia, and prior to that he served as executive vice president of Spirit Airlines. He also held several management positions with US Airways and AMR Corp., where he began his airline career. Mr Biffle holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama.

Interview with Spirit Airlines Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer Matt Klein:

What’s better than one first-hand perspective on a major industry change? Two first-hand perspectives.

Matthew H. Klein is an aviation and distribution executive with more than 25 years of experience. Mr Klein has served as Spirit Airlines’ Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer since Dec-2019, after joining the company in August 2016 as its Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer.

Mr Klein oversees Spirt Airlines’ marketing, pricing & revenue management, network planning & scheduling, and commercial & operational analytics. Before that he held positions with lastminute.com, Travelocity, AirTran Airways and at US Airways. He has also served on the board of the Airlines Reporting Corporation, an air travel intelligence and commerce company.

Interview with Sun Country CEO Jude Bricker:

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic Minnesota based Sun Country was one of the building success stories in the US domestic market.

Between 2016 and 2019 the ultra-low cost carrier managed to nearly double passenger traffic. Sun Country changed ownership in late 2017, coming under the control of Apollo Global Management. The airline was listed on the NASDAQ in March 2022 and became publicly traded.

Sun Country CEO Jude Bricker has led the carrier through most of these changes. He has served as the airline‘s CEO 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 holding various other leadership roles from 2006 to 2016.

Regional Snapshot: the Latin American landscape – a story of resilience and opportunity

Latin America has been one of the fastest markets to recover since the onset of the pandemic. Despite near zero government support and tight regional lockdowns, the region has learned key lessons learned in getting health and safety measures right to encourage travelers and tourists to start crossing borders again.

Not everything is going the way of airlines though.

Profits remain concentrated in a few key markets and the threat of increased charges and taxes looms once again. Despite the strong regional performance, IATA has warned that governments across the Americas need to “fundamentally change their mindset” and the way that they collaborate with the aviation industry – otherwise, the recovery will stall.

IATA Regional VP Americas Peter Cerdá will lead an expert panel of Latin American aviation leaders to discuss the resilience and opportunities in the region. Participants include Azul Chief Revenue Officer Abhi Shah, Viva CEO Felix Antelo and ALTA Executive Director & CEO Jose Ricardo Botelho.

Day 2 Highlights: 

Interview with Viva Air Group President & CEO Felix Antelo:

Viva Air Group’s mission is to ‘democratize air travel’ in Latin America.

Guided by its three pillars of ‘Security’, ‘Efficiency’ and ‘Attitude’, the LCC group operates across Colombia and Peru and is looking to spread its model across the region. Having undergone a rebranding in early 2021, the group is now undertaking a period of rapid network and fleet expansion.

Viva Air Group President & CEO Felix Antelo joined the company in May-2018 and has shepherded it through not only the COVID-19 crisis but also rebranding and expansion into new markets. Mr Antelo spent more than 13 years at LATAM Airlines, including his roles as VP International Sales, VP Sales Long Haul and CEO LATAM Airlines Peru.  

Meet the new entrants: 

With the unprecedented downturn and curtailment of operations, COVID-19 created new opportunities for start-ups and new entrants.

As full service network airlines and LCCs have undergone downsizing and base closures, rightsized their networks and fleets, and shed personnel and airport slots, market space has opened decisively.

Better than 80 airlines have launched or commenced preparations for launch since the start of the crisis, and more are set to join them.

Panelists include Arajet Co-Executive & Founder Victor Pacheco, Eastern Airlines President & CEO Steve Harfst, Flair Airlines President & CEO Stephen Jones, Global Crossing Airlines Chairman & CEO Ed Wegel, and Northern Pacific Airways & Flycoin President Tom Hsieh.

They will discuss key considerations for new market entrants in the wake of the pandemic, including:

  • The opportunities that exist across North America and the Caribbean for new entrants
  • The performance of the new generation of start-ups and the progress of others moving towards their launch
  • The prospects for the new entrants as demand rebuilds and the incumbents restore their networks 

 Key industry leaders attending the Airline Leader Summit include... 

Frontier Airlines President & CEO Barry Biffle 

Viva CEO Felix Antelo 

Spirit Airlines EVP & CCO Matt Klein 

American Airlines Head of ESG  Jill Blickstein 

Sun Country CEO Jude Bricker 

Transat V.P. Network, Revenue Management and Pricing Michèle Barre 

Azul Chief Revenue Office Abhi Shah

Swoop Head of Commercial & Finance Bert Van Der Stege

Virgin Atlantic Airways VP Networks & Alliances Rikke Munk Christensen 

Global Crossing Airlines Chairman & CEO Ed Wegel

 Arajet Co-Executive & Founder Victor Pacheco 

...and many others.

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