CAPA Airline Leader Summit: Airlines in Transition 2022

Manchester, United Kingdom
7-8 Apr 2022
08:00-09:00 Registration, Networking & Coffee
Hosted By Registration Partner  
09:00-09:05 Chairperson's Welcome
CAPA - Centre for Aviation, Chief Financial Analyst & European Airlines Analyst, Jonathan Wober
09:05-09:50 Mega-Trend 5: Meet the New Entrants
New airlines will cause more pain for incumbents. As incumbent airlines of whatever colour are weighed down by debt and high costs, conditions are perfect for new entry; money is cheap, there is a glut of skills, and of cheap aircraft; even airport slots are opening up.

The time is as right as it has ever been – but at a time when the incumbents can least afford it. Since the pandemic struck in early-2020, no less than 46 new airlines had started up in the 18 month to mid-2021; there were at least 36 more startup airlines in the throes of preparing to operate. These new entrants will be fundamentally low cost and mostly narrowbody.

While most of them are relatively small, many are well funded and more than sufficient to disrupt existing markets. Not surprisingly, lessors will again be important here, as start-ups prefer not to spend capital on buying aircraft – and a number of lessors have eyes specifically on this new opportunity. Narrowbodies will inevitably be prominent in the new wave.

Moderator: Strikitsa Consulting, Managing Director, Yolanta Strikitsa
  • Emerald Airlines, CEO, Conor McCarthy
  • Eurowings Discover, CEO, Wolfgang Raebiger
  • Flypop, CEO, Nino Singh Judge
  • Play, CEO, Birgir Jónsson
09:50-10:05 CAPA Elevate: Aviation Innovation Roadshow
CAPA Elevate is designed to showcase the most influential innovations transforming aviation in the next decade. In this unmissable session key stakeholders from select CAPA partner organisations will deliver overviews of their products or services and explore its real-world applications.

Showcasing innovation has always been at the forefront of CAPA’s event strategy, and it has never been more important than it is in 2022. Expect to hear from a wide variety of interesting speakers who are revolutionaries in their own right.

Each supplier will be given a 10-minute time slot to showcase their innovation and explore how it is set to change the industry.

Speaker: Spotnana, VP Strategy & Partnerships, Johnny Thorsen [Download Presentation]

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10:05-11:00 Mega-Trend 6: Digital Transformation
US Airline passenger revenues as a percentage share of US GDP over the long term. For much of the 1980s and 1990s, that share was about 1%, but since 2000 that share has dropped below 1% and it has collapsed to below 0.3% with the pandemic. What this shows is the airlines share of the overall ‘economic wallet’, at least in the US, has been falling as the digital economy has taken hold over the past two decades.

Consumers are at the heart of Digital Transformation and the pandemic has only accelerated the shift to digital retailing and e-commerce, backed by sophisticated IT platforms. And we have seen how effective the non-travel online retailers, like Amazon, have been – and they’ve grown their wallet share substantially.

These new players have gathered more data and learned more about us over the past two years than ever before and the worry is, for a heavily indebted and struggling airline industry – can it keep up and regain its fair share of the ‘economic wallet’ and unlock new revenue streams, as well as meeting shifting customer needs.

Airlines are at a disadvantage in that their starting point are often ageing tech systems of IT platforms, software and hardware that are highly complex, fragile, susceptible to cyber-attacks and expensive to maintain.

Added to this, an ever-more demanding customer, who wants greater ticketing flexibility, instant refunds, better service, disruption recovery that’s fast and effective and a seamless online and journey experience. The digital experience expectation also extends into the role of the airline’s loyalty programme, as well as its alliances and partnerships. Many airlines are falling behind in this digital arms race.

But for those airlines that get it right, there can be rich rewards in being an effective player in a digital world – and that’s what we’ll be exploring today.

Moderator: Skyscanner, VP of Flights, Hugh Aitken
  • Accelya Group, Global Head of Sales, Bryan Porter
  • Dohop, CEO, David Gunnarsson
  • Lufthansa Airlines Group, SVP Channel Management & CCO SWISS, Tamur Goudarzi Pour
  • Manchester Airports Group, Digital Product Director, Peter Atkinson
11:00 Coffee Break & Networking
11:30-12:30 Closing Airlines in Transition Debate
Global economies, and in particular the global aviation sector, have been hit by consecutive and indeed overlapping “winds of change” – the global pandemic, soaring inflation rates, recession, heavily indebted governments and companies, notably airlines and airports, sweeping economic sanctions against Russia as a result of war hostilities in Europe, and the makings of what will ultimately become a new global economic and political order. The question is whether we are not already in the midst of a tsunami.

The aviation sector had grown accustomed to operating within a stable post-WW2 global regulatory framework. And yet in the past years, governments across the world imposed an array of measures heavily impacting the aviation sector. Many governments recognised the strategic value of airlines for their respective national economy and provided state aids to help them overcome the absence of a functioning market.

Consequently, the long list of economic sanctions imposed on Russia include the closure of airspace by the USA, Canada, the EU and many other countries for overflights and operations by Russian airlines. Is it reasonable to assume that governments across the world would, in the near future, once again seek to internationally align aviation-related measures with each other so as to facilitate planning stability?

And will aviation, in a probable scenario of ongoing mistrust between Russia and its political allies on the one hand, and the rest of the world on the other, be able to function as a market in a post-war era determined by national debts, military expenditures and woefully underfinanced airlines? Who will fund the urgently required investments into interoperable technology, cybersecurity and climate change mitigation measures?

The aviation sector will once again emerge stronger from these crises. This will, however, depend on conditions which need to be clearly identified and expressed compellingly and consistently by the entire aviation sector in the years to come.

Moderator: Aviation Strategy & Concepts
, Managing Director, Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus
  • CAPA - Centre for Aviation, Chairman Emeritus, Peter Harbison
  • CNN, Anchor, Richard Quest
  • Extensity Consulting, Director, Andy Knill
  • Gramercy Associates, Managing Director, Tony Davis
  • IATA, Director General, Willie Walsh (virtual)
12:30-12:45 Closing Remarks and Welcome to Lunch and Golf Tournament by Accommodations Plus International (API)
Accommodations Plus International (API), CCO, Ramzi Kamal
12:45-14:00 Networking Lunch
Hosted By Day 2 Lunch & Golf Partner
14:00 Golf Tournament: Tee off will be at 14:00 on the Cheshire Course following lunch at the end of the Summit for delegates already registered to play. 
Hosted By Day 2 Lunch & Golf Partner