CAPA Airline Leader Summit Americas 2024

Calgary, Canada
9-10 May 2024

Day 1 - Thursday 9 May 2024


Registration, Networking & Coffee


Land Acknowledgement

Tourism Calgary, Director of Business Development for the Champions Program, Fraser Abbott


Chairperson's Welcome

Claudia Kunz


Host Welcome

The Calgary Airport Authority, President & CEO, Chris Dinsdale


CAPA Outlook: State of the Industry {Download Presentation}

CAPA - Centre for Aviation, Senior Analyst Americas, Lori Ranson


Aviation Leader Interview - WestJet, Group EVP & CCO, John Weatherill

WestJet, Group EVP & CCO, John Weatherill

KornFerry, Senior Client Partner, Michael Bell


Airline Business Models in North America - Who is succeeding? Is the market poised for change?

The low cost carrier (LCC) and ultra low cost carrier (ULCC) models are facing diverging competitive situations in North America. In the US, the models are under pressure with legacy airlines seeming to have success at segmentation, with ULCCs reporting challenging demand conditions. At the same time the ULCC concept is still somewhat fresh in Canada. However, WestJet is also adopting a different approach by folding Swoop into its operations and segmented products.

As market dynamics shift and travel demand patterns change, how are ULCCs and LCCs performing?

Moderator: IATA, Regional VP Americas, Peter Cerda


WestJet, Group EVP & CCO, John Weatherill

Breeze, President, Tom Doxey

Viva Aerobus, EVP - Chief Planning & Alliances Officer, Javier Suarez Casado

Flair, President & CEO, Stephen Jones


Coffee Break & Networking


Aviation Leader Interview - Frontier, President, James Dempsey

Frontier, President, James Dempsey

KornFerry, Senior Client Partner, Michael Bell


Alliances and joint ventures - where and how will the lines shift in 2024?

2022 and 2023 saw some dramatic shifts in the airline competitive landscape. The Northeast Alliance between JetBlue and American Airlines was dissolved following a court judgment, and JetBlue's proposed take-over of Spirit Airlines is also at the mercy of the legal system.

At the same time, Alaska Air Group has started an acquisition merger with Hawaiian Airlines, while Air Transat and Porter are working to build scale through a new partnership and WestJet has finished its merger with its Swoop ULCC unit and is in the process of folding Sunwing into its operations over 2024.

What will the competitive landscape of the market in North America look like in 2024?

Moderator: Independent, Senior Advisor, Betsy Snyder


Allegiant, VP Corporate Development & Government Affairs, John Pepper

Viva Aerobus, EVP - Chief Planning & Alliances Officer, Javier Suarez Casado

Porter Airlines, EVP & CCO, Edmond Eldebs


Introduction to Lunch

IBS Software, Director, Client Executive NA, Rich Thompson


Lunch Break & Networking


International travel - How long until the recovery bubble bursts?

Spending on outbound foreign air travel surged in 2022 and 2023, with many markets across the Americas and Europe seeing travel volumes substantially above 2019 levels. The surge was supported by the progressive return of inbound foreign travelers across 2023, although a number of trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic markets are still well down on usual levels. Major North American airlines like United and Air Canada are now betting big on long-haul demand and bolstering their widebody fleets.

  • What's driving their forecasts and outlooks for the foreseeable future?
  • How are the fleet decisions of long-haul operators driving network planning?
  • Will the surge in international demand be sustained, or will the pendulum swing back in the opposite direction?

Moderator: CAPA - Centre for Aviation, Senior Analyst Americas, Lori Ranson


Virgin Atlantic, Head of Americas, Simon Hawkins

Skyscanner, VP Strategic Relations and Development, Hugh Aitken

The New Terminal One at JFK, Chief Revenue Officer, Carl Schultz


Will North America lead the transformation of travel retailing?

Artificial intelligence, big data and automation are ushering in a new era of travel retailing that is personalized, immediate and dynamic. Airlines, travel intermediaries, airports and their technology suppliers are lining up behind a new vision of retailing that offers continuous pricing, personally relevant content and contextual insights into ancillaries and product offers. Yet, at the same time there are unsolved questions about the practicalities of adoption and implementation, how the seller-customer dynamic will change and who benefits most from this transformation.

Moderator: Confluence Partners, President, Gene Quinn

Hitit, Head of Business Development, North America, Ray Pawley

Sun Country, Chief Revenue Officer, Grant Whitney

FLYR, Senior Director, Global Sales Engineering, Tiffany Saquet

IBS Software, Director North America, Ravin Mehra


Coffee break & Networking


MRO capacity, planning and its implications for the industry

MRO capacity and planning have substantial implications for the North American airline business. Even as air travel volumes have returned, the sector continues to experience significant issues. The most notable are around aircraft engine issues, as well as capacity for heavy checks and a lack of spares and parts availability. MRO is going to continue to affect airlines across all business models in the region.

How do providers and their airline partners plan around the numerous constraints that remain in the maintenance supply chain?

Moderator: Aviation Week Network, Managing Editor MRO, Lindsay Bjerregaard


The Calgary Airport Authority, Chief Real Estate Officer, Rob Bachart

AAR Repair & Engineering, VP Global Sales & Marketing, Aircraft & Engineering Services, Troy Jonas

Sun Country, Director Maintenance Planning & MRO, Peter Schumann

CAE, Director, Product Manager, Tim Wellensiek


Environmental Sustainability and the path towards net zero

The air travel industry has embraced major sustainability targets in the last few years, but now comes the difficult and delicate task of meeting these ambitions while also remaining financially viable. Emerging technologies are showing promise, but in the near term what are airlines doing to live up to their commitments?

  • Are sustainable aviation fuels really the main path forward, and how will airlines absorb the cost?
  • Is carbon offsetting a viable method for airlines to mitigate their emissions? How do airlines overcome the say-do gap between the public's stated desire to reduce emissions and their willingness to pay for offsets?
  • What roles do technologies like electric aircraft, AI-enhanced flight operations and new air traffic control systems have in near-term emissions reductions?

Moderator: CAPA - Centre for Aviation, Head of Analysis, Rich Maslen

WestJet, Chief People, Corporate & Sustainability Officer, Angela Avery

Neste, SVP Renewable Products, Carrie Song

Harbour Air, Head of Customer Experience & Sustainability, Suzanne Bremski

Air Canada, Head of IR & Corporate Sustainability, Valérie Durand


Day 1 Closing Remarks


Networking Dinner