CAPA Asia Aviation Summit 2019

Singapore, Singapore
14-15 Nov 2019

Thursday 14 November 2019

Registration, Networking & Coffee
Chairman’s Welcome
CAPA – Centre for Aviation, Chairman Emeritus, Peter Harbison
Asia Aviation Outlook Keynote 
CAPA – Centre for Aviation, Chairman Emeritus, Peter Harbison [Download Presentation]
Airline Keynote: Resilient Skyline
Thai AirAsia, Executive Chairman, Tassapon Bijleveld [Download Presentation]
Outlook: The keys to airline survival and success in an economic downturn
Over recent years we’ve been through a period of relatively benign external inputs, with low fuel prices supporting lower fares and a solid global economy supporting demand. This has propelled the industry into a period of unprecedented profitability (although US airlines, mostly operating domestically, have accounted for around half of this).

The period of high profitability is unlikely to continue as oil prices, currently in the mid-USD60s/barrel for Brent Crude, creep up and as business and consumer confidence – at least, outside the US – slips rapidly.

The IMF recently issued a warning that the global economy is weakening “faster than expected” and downgraded GDP growth forecasts for 2019, and the European Central Bank has “substantially” revised downwards its economic growth projections for 2019, implying a slackening of demand in markets which have become increasingly price sensitive. At the same time, the entire aviation system is undergoing a technology-led upheaval of volcanic proportions, challenging conventional norms and demanding new solutions to new problems (and opportunities).

Airline management’s role is to prepare for and manage the airline prudently through good times and bad; in a downturn this means minimising the impact on profitability while remaining competitive.
  • What would a downturn look like in Asia compared to the rest of the world?
  • If growth continues how will the industry overcome problems like overcapacity and aggressive competition?
  • What challenges face Asia? Is it just more of the same challenges?
  • What impact will fuel prices have on the industry?

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

  • Garuda Indonesia, President & CEO, I. Gusti Ngurah Askhara Danadiputra
  • IndiGo, Chief Commercial Officer, Willy Boulter
  • Jetstar Asia, CEO, Barathan Pasupathi
  • Thai AirAsia, Executive Chairman, Tassapon Bijleveld
10:35 Coffee Break & Networking
11:05 Airline Keynote: How Garuda Indonesia Survived in Turbulent Industry 
Garuda Indonesia, President & CEO, I. Gusti Ngurah Askhara Danadiputra
11:25 Emerging Aviation Powerhouses: China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam
Asia has enjoyed spectacular growth over the past several years. While China has clearly led the way, South Korea and Taiwan have also grown rapidly, and even Japan has had a resurgence in the past few years.

After several years of double-digit traffic growth, supported by accelerating international expansion plans by its home carriers, India is expected to emerge as the world’s third largest aviation market within the next five years.
  • What impact will this have on aviation in the region?
  • Can both powerhouses sustain this growth?
  • How will infrastructure constraints impact growth?

Moderator: National University of Singapore, Professor of Law, Alan Tan

  • China Southern Airlines, SVP of International and Corporate Relations, Guo Xiang Wu 
  • Hong Kong Airlines, Vice President, Ben Wong
  • Malaysian Aviation Commission, Director - Aviation Development, Germal Singh Khera
  • VietJet Air, Member of Board of Directors, Cuong Chu
12:10 Distribution and digital transformation: Where we are up to with NDC?
, Global Head of New Distribution, Ian Heywood
12:25 Challenges to traditional distribution and selling in Asia’s fast changing market
Legacy distribution systems have for decades presented airlines with the twin problems of high costs and product commoditisation. In efforts to address these issues, a handful of carriers throughout the world have invested heavily into establishing their own API channels with agents, while the concurrent push by IATA for airlines to implement the NDC standard has encouraged the industry to adopt a retail focused approach to distribution.

The GDS will also need to evolve in order to remain relevant and to compete effectively against other intermediaries and aggregators such as metasearch companies (some of which now have direct booking capabilities), as well as digital behemoths such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook - to gain a slice of the pie.

But as airlines work on enhancing their retail offering and improving their merchandising capability via both direct and indirect channels, a resounding message from industry players is that airlines need to consider the importance of mobile and messaging platforms, which are slowly replacing the desktop as the preferred interface for researching and booking travel.
  • Is this increasingly fragmented and complex commercial and technological distribution landscape sustainable? How will business models evolve in response? Is there a need for a direct connect aggregator?
  • Should airlines build lots of direct connects or revert back to lean, centralised distribution channels?
  • Who is going to be offering services to bridge the gap between airlines/aggregators that are NDC compliant and those that aren’t? Will it be the GDS and IT providers, other airlines or speciality providers?
  • How are newer intermediaries adding value to airline distribution?
  • How do airlines enhance their digital shopfront? Are airlines over-emphasising the importance of airline.com over mobile messaging platforms and bot technologies?

Moderator: Travelport, Global Head of New Distribution, Ian Heywood

  • Corning, Asia Strategic Sourcing Manager, Travel and Professional Services, Peter Koh
  • IATA, Director, Industry Distribution Programs, Yanik Hoyles
  • Japan Airlines, Vice President and Head of Global Sales, Steve Smith
13:05 Lunch & Networking


14:00 Infrastructure Constraints in Asia
Infrastructure remains a common issue around the world and especially in Asia, forcing airlines in some markets to grow at secondary airports draw on different catchment areas. The Philippines (Manila), Indonesia and Vietnam are all problematic at the moment, and Bangkok's new three airport policy is worth debating.
These infrastructure constraints in Asia are impacting greatly on aviation. This session will review:
  • The role of the airline and airport relationship;
  • What lessons can be learned from the rest of the world?
  • How does Route Development look for the future in Asia? Will congestion be an impediment?
  • Do Asian airports and air navigation service providers have the capacity to accommodate the growth ambitions of the region’s carriers?

Moderator: ASM Global, Senior Consultant, Omar Hashmi


  • Bangkok Airways, Advisor to Board of Directors, Peter Wiesner
  • Cam Ranh Airport Terminal JSC, COO, Sulaiman Zainul Abidin
  • Hong Kong Airlines, VP, Ben Wong
  • Taoyuan International Airport, Director, Yuanhung Ting
14:40 Air Finance Outlook
As with the funding of any business, those providing any type of funding will consider the business model/management, the quality of the corporate credit and any underlying assets to be financed. In each of these areas, financiers look at a wide range of factors.

In many ways, LCCs are no different from full service airlines in this respect. The LCC business model is now well established throughout the world and low cost operators are among some of the biggest airlines globally.

Nevertheless, it is still regarded to some extent as a newer model, and financiers will typically take a more rigorous approach when considering the provision of funds to start-up and younger airlines. Even where the model is not really very new, low cost operators often pursue higher growth rates, and this can also be a source of additional risk.

Perhaps because many low cost airlines typically have shorter track records and are less well capitalised, the share of the world LCC fleet that is leased is higher than for the total fleet of all airlines. In particular, LCCs make significant use of sale and leasebacks.
  • Finding the funding – debt and equity – to support expansion. Is the money there?
  • What special features need to be considered in funding FSC and LCCs?
  • Which funding models are most attractive for different business models?
  • What roles have the OEMs played in expansion?
  • What is the risk profile of an independent LCC vs a subsidiary?
  • Should airlines lease or purchase outright from the OEM?

Moderator: Watson Farley & Williams, Partner, Alan Polivnick


  • BOC Aviation, Managing Director & CEO, Robert Martin
  • ICBC Aviation Leasing, Managing Director, Market Planning, Ross McKeand
  • Korea Development Bank, SVP Aviation Finance, Dong Kyun Ha
  • PwC, Chief Consultant Aviation Business Services, Johnny Lau
14:00 The accommodation outlook and technology 
innovations education forum.

Brought to you by Booking.com

What do we want? 
Is this session we ask the custodians of key corporate travel programmes in Asia to bring their "burning" questions related to their accommodation programmes. Hear how other buyers are feeling, learn from their programmes and voice your own opinion.

The experts weigh in  
In response to concerns from corporate travel buyers, we bring together key industry experts to educate our audience on:
  • Benchmarking Asia against the international average?
  • Reviewing the supply/demand balance - which side of the ledger are we at in 2019?
  • What's really happening locally with rates, occupancy rates, new properties and seasonality?
  • How can buyers create a high performing hotel programme, and reduce spend?
  • What are the best practices for negotiating rates?

Moderator: CTC, Executive Director, Benson Tang [Download Presentation]


  • Accor Asia Pacific, Vice President Sales Asia Pacific, Kerry Healy
  • Autodesk, Senior Director, Global Travel and Meeting Services, Bruce Finch
  • Booking.com, Manager Business Travel Partnerships, Lola Kursataite
  • FCM Travel Solutions, Account Manager Leader, Lionel Wellesley
  • Siemens, Commodity Manager ASEAN, Jane Sim
  • STR, Business Development Manager - Southeast Asia, Ma Fenady Uriarte
14:40 Technology and  payments education forum: 

What do we want?
In this session we ask the custodians of key corporate travel programmes in Asia to bring their “burning” questions related to their technology and payments.

The experts weigh in
In response to concerns from corporate travel buyers, we bring together key industry experts to educate our audience on: 
  • Virtual payments and the benefits for corporate programmes;
  • Maximising reporting capabilities;
  • New technologies available to improve payments and expense.

Moderator: CTC, Executive Director, Benson Tang


  • Apple, APAC Travel Manager, Patricia Chua
  • ATPI, Chief Innovation and Technology Officer & Managing Director Asia, Ali Hussain
  • Mastercard, Director Business Development, Peter Rand
  • Oldendorff Carriers Singapore, Travel Manager, SherLi Lim
15:20 Coffee Break & Networking
16:00 Frequent Flyer and Loyalty Programmes - Driving traveller value and airline revenue
Frequent flyer programmes have been a common part of many airlines’ loyalty strategies over several decades now. But they have evolved from elemental loyalty models with modest money-making strategies into major revenue earners. With growing industry maturity and drastically improved technology and data analytics capabilities, the nature of FFPs is being transformed.

The contrast between these programmes and the activity of flying is dramatic. One has limited capital investment needs and generates cash almost merely by existing; the other, ringed by safety and economic regulation is highly capital intensive and even more risky, in exceptional circumstances returns a modest profit.

There are however few exponents who have climbed the heights of optimising the FFP business – for it is a business now, with a sideline of loyalty.

Qantas is a leader in the field. It is for example targeting EBIT of AUD500 million from its FFP by 2021. To put that in context, in FY2019 Qantas returned a total profit of just over AUD1 billion.

And Air Canada, arguably the first airline to create a genuine financial model for FFPs early this century, having sold off its programme, has recently re-acquired it.

With the advent of sophisticated data analytics, FFPs have also become much more than an internalised activity, with the ability now to drive change right across the business, from revenue management to network planning and beyond.

In short, FFPs have become a valuable commodity in more ways than one. But, mingled with their poor cousins, the flying part of the airline, market valuations are often suppressed.
  • How important is loyalty in an age of commoditisation?
  • What are the strategies behind smart FFPs?
  • How valuable is data analytics as information is accumulated?
  • What are the arguments for and against owning and hiving off?
  • What other avenues exist to increase customer loyalty?

Moderator: On Point Loyalty, Managing Partner, Evert de Boer

  • Aimia, CEO, Jeremy Rabe
  • Cebu Pacific, General Manager Loyalty, Nik Laming
  • Jet Privilege, Chairman, Gavin Halliday
  • Standard Chartered Bank, Global Head of Alliances, Alice Goh
16:40 How Data Analytics is reshaping the industry
For decades airlines carelessly discarded information about their customers, leaving this powerful tool in the hands of intermediaries and the GDSs. As airlines sought to wrest back market power and to reshape their focus from flying towards distribution and other revenue forms, this coincided with vastly increased computing power and an ability to assimilate vast amounts of data into something meaningful.

This is transforming the way airlines think and work, from operational analytics to leveraging data to generate better commercial returns. But it is still early days and the potential of this art has many forms still to display. And of course it’s not just airlines who are playing in this park. Few organisations have more consumer data than Facebook, Amazon, Google – and the numbers of potential players is growing by the day.

Inevitably some airlines are more advanced than others, so the gap between big and small tends to grow.
  • Exploring categories of activity where analytics is being used effectively
  • Converting data to save costs and generate revenue. What streams are possible?
  • Who has the capability to use data effectively? – is outsourcing necessary?
  • Will the big consumer data aggregators play in the airlines’ park?

Moderator: APEX, CEO, Dr. Joe Leader

  • China Eastern Airlines, Head of Data Labs, Shawn Wang
  • Google, Industry Manager, APAC Travel, Axel Bader
  • Skyscanner, VP, Commercial, Hugh Aitken
  • Tata SIA Airlines (Vistara), Chief Innovation & Information Officer, Ravinder Singh
17:20 Q&A with VietJet
Moderator: CAPA - Centre for Aviation
, Chairman Emeritus, Peter Harbison
VietJet, President & CEO, Thao Nguyen Thi Phuong
Closing Remarks
CAPA - Centre for Aviation
, Chairman Emeritus, Peter Harbison
17:35 Closing Remarks
CAPA - Centre for Aviation
, Chairman Emeritus, Peter Harbison
17:40 Welcome to Networking Drinks
Malaysia Airports
, General Manager, Airline Marketing Division, Sallauddin Mat Sah
17:45 Day 1 Close
18:45 Pre-Dinner Drinks
Hosted by Malaysia Airports
19:30-22:00 CAPA Asia Pacific Aviation Awards for Excellence
Hosted by Travelport