Powerhouse airline CEO line-up to assemble in Amsterdam for CAPA World Aviation Summit

In two weeks, the leaders of some of the largest and most influential airlines will assemble in Amsterdam for the World Aviation Summit on 26/27 November to debate the key trends and strategic outlook for the commercial aviation industry in 2014.

The summit, carrying this year's theme, "Asia and the Middle East, Changing the World: new markets, new partnerships, foreign ownership" will be hosted by Amsterdam Airport Schiphol at the Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin at Noordwijk near Amsterdam.

The event opens with an in-depth review of how China, Asia and the Middle East are reshaping global aviation, with Keynote Addresses from KLM COO, Pieter Elbers; Spring Airlines CEO, Zhang Xiuzhi; Arab Air Carriers Organization Secretary General, Abdul Wahab Teffaha and IAG CEO, Willie Walsh. A blockbuster opening panel follows involving Emirates President, Tim Clark, Ethiopian Airlines CEO, Tewolde GebreMariam, Air Astana President, Peter Foster and IAG's Willie Walsh. The opening session concludes with a Keynote Address from Aeroflot Director General and CEO, Vitaly Saveliev.

The heads of AirAsia, Ryanair, Aer Lingus, Air Astana, Air Baltic, CityJet, Ethiopian Airlines, FastJet, SATA Airlines Group, Spring Airlines, Transavia, VietJet and Vueling all feature in six sessions spread over the two-day event. Topics to be covered include airline retailing, distribution, LCCs and hybridisation, the future of global airline/equity alliances and much more.

In all, some 40 airlines will be represented at this landmark CAPA event which also features a gala dinner for the CAPA Awards for Excellence for 2013 on 26 November. Some 200+ participants are expected.

Please visit the World Aviation Summit website for more information.

The event is also supported by Travelport, Sabre, Bombardier, Flight Sciences International, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and OAG.

CAPA is hosting a World Corporate Travel Innovation Summit at the same venue on 25 November, focusing on the outlook for corporate air travel procurement and trends in 2014.

The latest agenda for the World Aviation Summit is provided below.

Day ONE, Tuesday 26 November 2013


Playlist: Start me up – The Rolling Stones



Welcome from our hosts: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Jos Nijhuis, President and CEO


Chairman’s introduction – Asia and the Middle East, Changing the World: new markets, new partnerships, foreign ownership

CAPA – Centre for Aviation, Peter Harbison, Executive Chairman

Session 1: China, Asia and the Middle East reshaping global aviation


Playlist: China Girl, David Bowie


Keynote Addresses



Partnerships for growth in Asia

KLM, Pieter Elbers, COO


China: aviation policy changes and LCCs

Spring Airlines, Xiuzhi Zhang, CEO


The Middle East market: long haul

Arab Air Carriers Organization, Abdul Wahab Teffaha, Secretary General


A European perspective on world change

IAG, Willie Walsh, CEO




CEO panel: China and the Middle East: changing the world

  • Will the China market deliver its promise - and when?
  • Asia’s airlines head to Europe
  • Gulf carriers shifting the balance of power
  • How do European airlines respond?


Playlist: A New Sensation, INXS

Moderator: CAPA – Centre for Aviation, Peter Harbison, Executive Chairman


Air Astana, Peter Foster, President

Emirates, Tim Clark, President

Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO
IAG, Willie Walsh, CEO
Spring Airlines, Stephen Wang, Deputy President





The Russian view of the evolving world

Aeroflot, Vitaly Saveliev, CEO

Session 2: Where are Alliances headed? – Global, multilateral and bilateral


  • Is there room for a fourth global alliance?
  • Is the network of ATI immunised alliances undermining GBA values?
  • Bilateral partnerships, virtual airlines and 3rd country codeshares
  • Where do the niche airlines fit today?
  • Have the GBAs delivered promised cost efficiencies?

Playlist: Let’s Stick Together, Bryan Ferry

Moderator: easyJet, Rigas Doganis, non-Executive Director


Aeroflot, Giorgio Callegari, Deputy Director for Strategy and Alliances

ALTA, Alex de Gunten, Advisor to the Executive Committee

Emirates, Tim Clark, President

Gol, Ciro Camargo, Head of Alliances

KLM, Pieter Elbers, COO
SkyTeam, Michael Wisbrun, CEO
Star Alliance Services, Mark Schwab, CEO

Session 3: Swapping LCC experiences: Asia, Middle East/Africa, Europe (and the Americas)

  • Developing new markets (or not?)
  • Interlining and connectivity
  • Will long haul low-cost translate to Europe and North Atlantic?
  • FSC subsidiaries: do they work outside Asia?

Playlist: Roam, the B52s

Moderator: McGill University Institute of Air and Space Law, Peter Van Fenema, Adjunct professor


Aeroflot, Giorgio Callegari, Deputy Director for Strategy and Alliances

Fastjet, Ed Winter, CEO

Irelandia, Tony Davis, Partner

Spring Airlines, Xiuzhi Zhang, CEO

Travelport, Derek Sharp, Group Vice President & Managing Director
Vueling, Alex Cruz, CEO

 16:10  COFFEE  

Session 4: European airline restructuring; survival strategies

  • Strategies for competing in a new order. Cutting costs is just the beginning
  • The role of lower cost subsidiaries and partners
  • Complementary partnerships or subsidiaries in short-haul markets
  • Catering for all segments on long-haul while leveraging brand identity
  • Adjusting strategies for non-hub long-haul operations as the 787 and A350 arrive – and the NEOs and MAXs – and the new generation narrowbodies

Playlist: Revolution, The Beatles

Moderator: easyJet, Rigas Doganis, non-Executive Director


Aer Lingus, Christoph Mueller, CEO

Bombardier, Steven Aliment, Vice President Sales Europe

Lufthansa, Tamur Goudarzi-Pour, Director of Network Planning Hub Munich
Transavia, Mattijs ten Brink, Managing Director – Chairman

Virgin Atlantic, Edmond Rose, Director of Airline Planning

Vueling, Alex Cruz, CEO

17:40 Close of Day 1  
19:30: Gala Dinner Presentation: The CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence 2013


Day TWO, Wednesday 27 November 2013

Session 5: Exploiting (and holding onto) market niches /mergers and consolidation



  • Is there such a thing as a defensible market niche?
  • A long-term role as an independent?
  • Selecting the route network
  • Finding the right partners
  • Working with host airports


Playlist: Somewhere (There’s a Place for Us)


Moderator: Aviation Strategy & Concepts, Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus, Managing Director


Aer Lingus, Christoph Mueller, CEO

Air Baltic, Martin Gauss, CEO

CityJet, Christine Ourmieres, CEO

SATA Airlines Group, Antonio Menezes, CEO

Session 6: Everything you wanted to know that’s wrong with the airline business



(Most) airlines don’t have sustainable business models. Regulators, nationally and bilaterally, are out of step with what’s good for the industry and the economy; airlines couldn’t sell ice creams in a heat wave.

This is a business that performs a massively important socio-economic global role. Why doesn’t anyone understand?


(1) Why don’t airlines get merchandising, loyalty and ‘big data’? And why are the distribution models unable to meet market needs?

  • Airline Merchandising and Ancillaries – who are the best performers, and why?
  • GDS evolution – are they really putting the right tool into airlines’ hands?
  • NDC – what 2014 will herald for ‘new’ distribution
Playlist: Ticket to Ride – The Beatles


Moderator: Association of Asia Pacific Airlines, Andrew Herdman,Director General


Farelogix, Jim Davidson, CEO

IATA, Eric Leopold, Director, Passenger

Ryanair, Michael Cawley, Deputy CEO & COO

Skyscanner, Filip Filipov, Head of B2B

Vueling, Fernando Estrada, Chief Strategy and Networks Officer





Keynote Address: The Asian market, long and short haul LCC

AirAsia, Tony Fernandes, Group CEO


(2) Why don’t airlines get retail?

  • How far behind the retail curve are airlines? Lessons from the market leaders
  • Several leading retail groups, online and otherwise giving some non-aviation pointers
  • Working at connectivity
  • Selling to customers
  • Developing partnerships
  • Using IT effectively

Playlist: Material Girl, Madonna 

Moderator: TBC


ACI-Europe, Olivier Jankovec, Director General

AirAsia, Tony Fernandes, CEO - TBA

Sabre - TBA

Travelport, Ian Heywood, Head of Supplier Strategy



Session 7: What makes the ideal airline CEO?



Playlist: Good Day Sunshine, The Beatles

  • Results of CEO survey
  • Is aviation different from any other business when it comes to leadership?
  • What are the criteria – profitability?; productivity?; happy families?
  • Do contract terms/incentives distort long-term thinking?
  • Who are the role models?



Moderator: CNN, Richard Quest, Anchor – TBC


AirAsia, Tony Fernandes, CEO - TBA

Boston Consulting Group, Nicolas Boutin, Partner and Managing Director

Heidrick & Struggles, Con Korfiatis, Aviation Partner

IAG, Willie Walsh, CEO


High-level Summit wrap



Conference Close

Playlist: Don’t Dream it’s Over – Crowded House


Please visit the World Aviation Summit website for more information. 


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