CAPA Airline Leader Summit Americas 2024

Calgary, Canada
9-10 May 2024

Day 2 - Friday 10 May 2024


Chairperson's Welcome


The future of the Canadian Aviation Market: A in-depth review

Canadian airlines continue to carve out their positions in the marketplace. The country's major operators will continue to preserve their position, but the fate of the country's smaller airlines is less certain. In this session, local industry experts and thought leaders will analyze key factors influencing the Canadian aviation market, including state of the market, regulatory frameworks, technological advancements, and shifting consumer demands.

Although more competitors have entered Canada's domestic market during the past three to four years, Air Canada and WestJet have both maintained their leading positions in Canada.

Air Canada has joined other North American global network airlines in experiencing strong trans Atlantic demand - particularly in the summer high season in the Northern Hemisphere. The airline has also entered into a partnership with Emirates to broaden its network depth, and has expanded on its own metal into the Indian market.

WestJet has decided to shutter its ultra-low cost subsidiary Swoop and to fold that airline's operations back into the mainline. The company, which has also acquired Sunwing, is folding Sunwing's Boeing 737s into the WestJet brand.

The big question mark for Canada is whether all the start-up ultra-low cost carriers will have staying power. Lynx Air, which was headquartered in WestJet's hometown market of Calgary ceased operations in 2024, while Flair Airlines is based in another WestJet stronghold of Edmonton.

  • What impact does the current consolidation/mergers & agreements occurring in Canada have on the market?
  • What do international travel demands look like both to and from Canada?
  • What will the market look like in 5 years?
  • How can airports aid in boosting the market for local airlines?

Moderator: University of Winnipeg, Professor, David Duval


Edmonton Airport, Vice President Air Service & Business Development, James Jackson

IATA, Regional VP Americas, Peter Cerda

Global Crossing, President & CFO, Ryan Goepel



Understanding the Americas aviation Labor market

Airline employment in the Americas has now reached levels not seen since the beginning of the millennium. The labor market is challenging with inflated workforce costs after a recent round of labor contract negotiations, while demand is arguably settling into more predictable patterns. How are airlines preparing for the next down cycle with much higher fixed labor costs? Do current contracts feature enough gains in efficiency to offset the inevitable headwinds airlines are going to face as macroeconomic uncertainty remains an overhang? Airlines spent 2021-2023 rebuilding workforces that were slashed during the pandemic but with some serious challenges and operational reliability remains a challenge. Have shortages in the workforce been resolved, or are airlines going to continue their hiring drive?

Moderator: KornFerry, Senior Client Partner, Michael Bell


Porter, Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer, Lawrence Hughes

Avianca, Chief People & Talent Officer, Renato Covelo

Atlas Air, Chief Human Resources Officer, Patricia Goodwin-Peters


Coffee break & Networking


Region Focus: Feeding into the South America market

The North America to South America market has been one of the great airline success stories of recent history. The strength of the market has prompted a fresh wave of airlines to connect new markets in North America to South American sun destinations. Arajet and Sun Country have launched or are launching flights to Canada. LCCs/ULCCs have typically avoided Canada since airport costs are high.

  • What has changed in the market that these airlines now think it can work?
  • Is the recovery of the US/South America market at its peak?
  • What opportunities still exist for this important market?

Moderator: HEICO, Senior VP Government & Industry Affairs, Alex de Gunten


Sun Country, Chief Revenue Officer, Grant Whitney

IATA, Regional VP Americas, Peter Cerda

American Airlines, Director, South America Operations & Strategic Partnerships, Gonzalo Schames


Region Focus: Trans-Pacific travel - will the delayed recovery happen in 2024?

Trans-Pacific flights have been among the slowest to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to a messy combination of unclear rules and regulations, geopolitical tensions and substitution to other markets. Yet, airlines on both sides of the Pacific seem buoyant about the prospects in the market for 2024, with a flurry of capacity additions and new routes announced late in 2023. Traditional network carriers are eager to expand their somewhat limited operations, while LCCs are increasingly interested in the market.

  • What are the prospects for a return of travel to/from mainland China and Asia and Australasia for 2024?
  • What are the important new destinations in Asia and Australasia to look out for?
  • Who is set to benefit from the delayed recovery?

Moderator: Arthur Little, Principal, Sabine Reim


Cathay Pacific, Senior VP Americas, Chris van den Hooven

Qantas, Senior Executive VP Americas, Oronzo Miccoli

Japan Airlines, VP of Global Sales, the Americas, Steve Myer


Chairperson's wrap up

CAPA - Centre for Aviation, Content & Marketing Director, Marco Navarria


Closing Lunch & Networking