CAPA Airline Leader Summit

Dublin, Ireland
17-18 May 2018

18 May 2018

08:00 Registration, Networking & Coffee
9:00 Chairman's Welcome
09:05 Panel: Trapped in the geriatric framework. The outlook for Europe and the North Atlantic as Brexit looms
While sales and distribution seem to have no territorial boundaries, the actual operation of airlines remains trapped in the archaic design of 70 years ago. The constraints of the bilateral system are a massive constraint on airlines' ability to make truly commercial decisions.Open skies is a chink in that armour, albeit perhaps a diminishing one, but nothing illustrates the shortcomings of the system better than the tremors created by Brexit. Despite the uncertainty created, the UK remains one of the world's key aviation markets and will now be forced into a transition to an as yet unknown set of bilateral and multilateral relationships.Negotiating a package with the multiple interests of the EU countries is one thing; recreating a complex North Atlantic multilateral is another. An array of innovations has been enabled by the freedom created by both the Single Market and the US-EU multilateral, many of them strenuously opposed by US and other pilots unions, so disruption is clearly on the cards.

Moderator: John Byerly, Consultant, Principal, John Byerly

  • Croon Callaghan Aviation Consulting, Partner, Jim Callaghan
  • European Aviation Club, Chairman, Rigas Doganis
  • European Commission, Director General for Mobility and Transport, Henrik Hololei
  • IAG, CEO, Willie Walsh
09:50 Keynote: The “new entrants”: Blockchain, Winding Tree, data miners and a host of apps
Mezi, Vice President, Travel Strategy & Partnerships, Johnny Thorsen [Download Presentation]
10:10 Panel: The “new entrants”: Blockchain, Winding Tree, data miners and a host of apps
Literally tens of thousands of travel related apps are under development and fundamentally new forms of transacting business are emerging. Combining that with the growing effectiveness of artificial intelligence adds another dimension to the equation. Then add to that the proliferation of large web based entities like Amazon, google, Facebook, Alibaba and others who have massive potential for data mining across the travel spectrum. Coming to grips with the new potential and how all of these might fit together offers myriad opportunities. However, sorting out what is important and sustainable is key to making the right executive decisions.

Moderator: Mezi, Vice President, Travel Strategy & Partnerships, Johnny Thorsen

  • Google, Global Travel & Expense Lead, Michael Tangney
  • Lufthansa Group, Head of Distribution, Xavier Lagardère
  • Winding Tree, Founder & COO, Pedro Anderson
  • WTMC, Founder & CEO, Sarosh Waghmar
10:55 Coffee Break & Networking

Panel: Airports and airlines sharing data to enhance market penetration (make more money) and customer satisfaction. A pipedream?
When it comes to cooperation, airports and airlines typically revolve in separate hemispheres, colliding only when discussions turn to charges and "who owns the passenger". Yet each of them collect enormously valuable granular data about customer behaviour that they can only maximise if they combine it with the other. There are visionaries on both sides who see the opportunities, but mutual suspicion mostly prevails.

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

  • Belfast Airport, CEO, Brian Ambrose
  • Eurowings, CCO, Oliver Wagner
  • ForwardKeys, CEO, Olivier Jager [Download Presentation]
  • VietJet Air, Member of Board of Directors, Cuong Chu
12:00 The Cost Equation: cutting costs and strategies for competing with low cost carriers
Underlying cost is necessarily a key part of an airline’s revenue outcome. Maintaining cost discipline is a complex art. It is made more difficult by the fluctuations in uncontrollable input costs such as fuel, but every full service airline is continually seeking to reduce costs by 3 to 4% per annum.This continually raises the bar – or lowers it. The fact that fuel prices slumped over the past three years has in many cases reduced the intensity of management determination to cut every cost possible. The resulting 10-20% reductions in cost thanks to lower input costs tended to make marginal attempts appear futile, in turn making it harder to persuade employees to accept frugality. As fuel prices rise again, the need to regain cost discipline becomes imperative; but only so much can be achieved when starting from a high base.
Meanwhile low cost carriers have proliferated and intrude increasingly into areas where full service carriers previously dominated, both long and short haul.This has created the need for new initiatives which necessarily extend beyond mere cost saving in the legacy airline. Achieving adequate cost reductions to meet future market conditions simply are not possible from the current levels; to use the Irish idiom, if you want to get there, I wouldn’t start from here. On the basis of if you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em - or at least emulate them - new approaches are being adopted.
These include: establishing a formal alliance with one or more LCCs; creating a low cost subsidiary, or even more than one, thus forming a group of segment-sensitive operators; or combinations of all of these. Then again, there is also the option of acquiring an independent operator…
What are the barriers to achieving significant cost reductions in legacy airlines?
What are the preferred strategy options for preparing for a lower cost competitive environment in future
How effective are LCC subsidiaries and what factors determine their success or failure?
Managing an FSC-led “group” of multi-segment airlines is complex; for example, aside from the potential cannibalisation, managing brand perception in codesharing and partnerships can raise significant issues. What are the secrets for success?

Moderator: Skylight Aviation, Senior Advisor and former easyJet Group Strategy & Network Director, Cath Lynn

  • AACO, Secretary General, Abdul Wahab Teffaha
  • AAPA, Director General, Andrew Herdman
  • Amedeo, CEO, Mark Lapidus
  • Eurowings, CCO, Oliver Wagner
  • IAG, CEO, Willie Walsh
12:55 Summit Wrap
13:00 End of Summit and Lunch
13:15 Golf Tournament: THE CAPA CUP: Europe vs ROW
Tourism Ireland are kindly hosting a special Golf Day at the Powerscourt Golf Course. Tee off will be at 13:15 following lunch at the end of the Summit for delegates already registered to play.