CAPA Latin America Aviation & LCCs Summit

Salvador, Brazil
25-26 Aug 2022

Jerome Cadier is LATAM Brasil’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Since 2013, he has been at LATAM Group. In Santiago (Chile), as LATAM’ Senior Vice President of Marketing, he was responsible for the areas of communication and branding, loyalty program, travel experience, business intelligence and digital for the entire LATAM Group. Previously, the executive worked for Whirlpool in the sales area as Vice President of Marketing and, later, he became CEO of the company for Oceania. He also worked for eight years at McKinsey Brasil.

With over 26 years experience in the airline industry, William capped off his learning with a masters degree from Stanford´s Graduate School of Business. He took Viva Air from the drawing board (his Stanford Business School project) to profitability and sold the company in 2016 to Irelandia Aviation (part of their founding investors). He has experience negotiating with unions, managing a P&L, consumer marketing, pricing policies, government lobbying in Latin America.

Textron is a $12.4 billion, multi-industry company employing 33,000 talented makers, thinkers, creators and doers worldwide. We make things that fly, hover, zoom and launch. Things that move people. Protect soldiers. Power industries. We serve customers in industries spanning aerospace and defense, specialized vehicles, turf care and fuel systems. 

FLYR is an intentional team of industry and domain experts passionate about improving the practice of revenue management. Our purpose is the relentless application of advanced and intuitive technologies to help transportation leaders achieve their highest potential.

The CEO of Colombian startup Ultra Air provides an update on the carrier’s roll-out, future fleet plans and how airlines are navigating higher fuel costs.

IATA’s Regional VP for the Americas Peter Cerda discusses how the industry needs to pivot its approach to advocacy in Latin America

ALTA’s Executive Director Jose Ricardo Botelho discusses the association’s work to foster the development of SAF, the recovery of Latin America’s aviation sector and the economic benefits the industry creates in the region.

The head LATAM Airlines Brazil Jerome Cadier offers an outlook on the carrier’s domestic strategy, market dynamics in Brazil and fuel cost headwinds.

Azul’s CEO John Rodgerson discusses market conditions, including strong corporate revenue, and how Brazil’s airlines are deploying capacity and its work to accelerate deliveries of new generation aircraft

The CEO of GOL talks about the airline’s efforts to push Boeing to develop an extended ranges 737-8 and the airline’s international strategy.

Henrique Heidemann, head of sustainability, commercial aviation at Embraer spoke to CAPA TV on the sidelines of the CAPA Latin America Aviation & LCCs Summit 2022 in Salvador, Brazil. Hear views on the rising role of sustainability across the air transport sector and how Embraer is working to explore various paths to deliver a more-efficient airliner for the future.

Julio Cesar Ribas, CEO VINCI Airports Brasil, VINCI Airports spoke to CAPA TV on the sidelines of the CAPA Latin America Aviation & LCCs Summit 2022 in Salvador, Brazil. Hear views on VINCI Airports’ commitment to its Brazilian airport portfolio, how the concession agreement will drive long-term change in the country’s aviation sector, and how VINCI Airports remains open to further growth.

Pierre-Hugues Schmit, chief commercial and operational officer, VINCI Airports spoke to CAPA TV on the sidelines of the CAPA Latin America Aviation & LCCs Summit 2022 in Salvador, Brazil. Hear views on VINCI Airports’ commitment to bring people together by enhancing air connectivity responsibly and with sustainability central to its strategy, and how the company approaches the management of airports in different geographic markets and why a local flavour is important.

Skyscanner Horizons: the latest insights and trends shaping travel's recovery

Overview: Skyscanner offers a glimpse into the latest trends shaping recovery, as revealed in their Skyscanner Horizons reports. Based on forward-looking data, the trends provide an unparallelled look into how traveller behaviour is unfolding and evolving in the current landscape. Discover the latest regional and market-specific trends including current booking horizons, forward-looking demand and popular destinations. 

Celso Guimarães Ferrer Junior is 39 years old, 17 of them devoted to GOL, where he started his professional career as an intern. Since 2019, Celso has been GOL’s COO, heading the Operations, Operational Safety, Airports, Planning, Air Network, Supplies and Fleet departments. Previously, he worked as Planning Vice President for five years, with extensive experience in Pricing and Alliances. On July 1st, Celso becomes the new CEO at GOL. Celso has a degree in Economics from USP and International Relations from PUC-SP and an Executive MBA from INSEAD - France. He is also an experienced airline pilot and is part of GOL’s crew in the Boeing 737 fleet. 

During the past year Latin American airlines have worked diligently to build their fleets to be competitive as the COVID-19 pandemic moves to an endemic state.

Airlines restructuring in Chapter 11, and those fortunate enough to weather the crisis without seeking formal bankruptcy protection, have engaged in a flurry of activity to ensure that they will remain competitive for years to come. 

The fleet moves made by airlines in the region is unsurprisingly tilted towards next generation narrowbodies, as operators look to gain fuel efficiency and in some cases, to compete more effectively with low cost operators.

It is not a surprise that next generation narrowbodies are in high demand in the region. Those aircraft have improved fuel burn and help lower unit costs, which is an increasingly competitive benchmark among airlines in Latin America.  

Narrowbodies dominate Latin America's aircraft order book with CAPA’s Fleet database showing that 2,262 aircraft are in service in Latin America and 790 on order. Of the aircraft on order, narrowbody jets represent 91% and Airbus accounts for nearly 70% of the narrowbodies on order in the region.

It is not a surprise that next generation narrowbodies are in high demand in the region. Those aircraft have improved fuel burn and help lower unit costs, which is an increasingly competitive benchmark among airlines in Latin America. 

Key points:

  • Avianca's future fleet rests on order of more than 80 narrowbodies.

  • Viva, has stated that it is aiming to operate 50 Airbus narrowbodies by 2025, and has 24 A320neos on order. 

  • Narrowbodies are also the backbone of LATAM's fleet.

  • Aeromexico exits Chapter 11 and aims to end 2022 with 145 aircraft.

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. 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.

New selling strategies are also going to be key for the region. From branded fares to subscription services, airlines are shifting the ways they sell tickets.

  • How is the distribution chain adapting to changing strategies?

  • What are other trends in selling that are emerging that will work well specifically in Latin America? 

Globally, consumers, communities, corporations, and governments are focusing more intently than ever on the need to arrest growth in carbon emissions and ways to transition to a net-zero future.

Following a dramatic 2021 IPCC report, and the 2021 COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, there has been more pressure than ever for industries to demonstrate decarbonisation strategies and outcomes.

The airline industry is a prominent target, despite generating a relatively small 2.5% to 3.5% of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions – but it is a conspicuous target.

In 2016 ICAO, supported by IATA, established CORSIA, the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, which was arguably the first industry to target 2050 emission ceilings. But now its programme is no longer considered stringent enough. As its name implies, the strategy combined reducing emissions, as well as offsetting them. 

The industry now potentially faces interim 2030 targets as demands intensify to reduce emissions even faster. This will be an extreme challenge, as most of the anticipated technological solutions are not expected to occur until the 2030s and beyond.

Two of Brazil’s largest operators believe there’s a built-in infrastructure in the country for the urban mobility market, and are in the process of working to launch operations with electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in the not too distant future. Are operators in other Latin countries considering this technology? In this session we hear from industry experts as they look to the future to determine when, and if, targets can be achieved.

  • What are the milestones that need to be met in the near term to reach those targets? 

  • What are the biggest challenges the industry faces as it works towards meeting those ambitions?

  • How are governments and airlines in the region approaching the development of SAF? 

  • What level of investment is necessary, and is the interest there? 

  • What innovative strategies are airlines adopting in the short term to meet their sustainability goals as investors increasingly place more emphasis on environmental stewardship?

Christine is an international Senior Business Leader in the Travel, Transport & Infrastructure sectors. She has a particular experience as an Organizational Change Expert, designing and implementing business innovation, optimization strategies to drive growth through restructuring processes. Most recently she has been an Independent Consultant and a Non-Executive Board Director for various organizations. She was previously CEO and Board Director at Flybe Group between 2017 and 2019 and CEO and Director of the Board at CityJet between 2010 and 2015. Earlier positions include over two decades at Air France-KLM Group, including her role as USA Vice President and General Manager responsible. Ms. Ourmières-Widener is now the first female TAP CEO and is committed to the cause of gender equality and diversity, continually working to increase the representation of women across all facets of the airline industry. She is actively working with the new generation of female aviation professionals – including pilots, engineers, and those in management teams and in board seats. Christine believes it is part of her duty to use her position and voice to continually draw attention to the existing gender divide and positively impact change. Passionate about sustainability and Climate Change she is a board member of ZeroAvia, builder of the first practical zero-emission aviation powertrain and a Non Executive Director of the Met Office, world leader in climate and weather related services. Born in Avignon, France, she received an MA from ESSEC Business School and graduate degree from Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Mécanique et d’Aérotechnique. Newly appointed TAP CEO, Christine is married & mother of three children (stepmother to two). She also likes running, the gym and is currently learning Portuguese.

John Rodgerson is the CEO of Azul Brazilian Airlines. He started the company in 2008 and was a key driver of its development over the last 10 years. Under the leadership of David Neeleman and John Rodgerson, Azul has become the largest airline in Brazil by number of cities, serving more than 150 destinations in the country. With over US$2.5 billion in annual revenue and more than 13,000 crewmembers, Azul has been rated by Trip Advisor as the best airline in the world. John played a key role in developing Azul’s original business plan, its strong corporate culture, and differentiated customer experience. Prior to becoming Azul’s CEO in 2017, John was the airline´s CFO, responsible for raising over US$ 1 billion in capital and leading its IPO, with simultaneous listings at the New York Stock Exchange and the São Paulo Exchange. Prior to joining Azul, John served as Director of Planning and Financial Analysis at JetBlue from 2003 to 2008, where he fell in love with the airline sector. Before JetBlue, he worked for IBM Global Services. John holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Brigham Young University. John has been living in Brazil for the past 13 years, and besides his busy schedule as Azul’s CEO he volunteers as an English teacher. He is happily married with Brooke and together they have three sons.

Although Brazil has faced the same waves of COVID-19 as most other countries worldwide, demand has seemed to recover swiftly in the country. Domestically, the country’s airlines appear to be behaving rationally with their capacity deployment, and have started to slowly rebuild their international networks. The pace of the international rebuild depends on countries continuing to open up, and perhaps within Latin America, some uniformity in the requirements for international travel across the region. 

The country’s three largest airlines – GOL, LATAM Airlines Brazil and Azul – are working to build up their fleets with next generation aircraft to bolster fuel efficiency, lower unit costs, meet environmental targets and potentially open new markets for all of those operators. 

All Brazilian operators are facing similar challenges that other airlines are dealing with, including geopolitical conflicts and rising fuel costs. How are those operators factoring those dynamics into their near-term planning? What market dynamics are emerging in Brazil as the pandemic moves to an endemic state?

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Mauricio Sana was born in Colombia and has been living in Argentina for more than 4 years, although he has lived in the country before. He is 43 years old, married and has two children. One of the things he likes most about the country is meat and barbecue. He enjoys cooking, watching series and movies and, of course, traveling. He is a Systems Engineer from the University of Colombia and a true data-driver. Mauricio joined Flybondi in February 2019 to lead the company's commercial strategy and planning and the generation of new business opportunities as Chief Commercial Officer. In June 2020 until February 2021 he was appointed interim CEO and in March 2021 Mauricio was appointed as CEO of Argentina's first Low Cost airline. With more than 17 years in the commercial area, he has extensive experience in the airline and tourism sector. His professional career has been developed in the execution of commercial strategies in airlines, hotels and travel agencies. As for his time in the airline industry, he worked for 4 years in Aerolíneas Argentinas as head of the Strategic Support Unit of Revenue Management and, previously, he was Pricing and Revenue Manager at Copa Airlines for 5 years. In addition, at the beginning of his career, he was part of the Pricing team at Avianca Colombia for 2 years. Prior to joining the low cost airline, he was Corporate Director of Revenue Management at Decameron Hotels & Resorts and before that, Commercial Planning and Business Intelligence Manager at Almundo during the consolidation process of the brand at a regional level.

Lori Ranson is currently a Senior Analyst at the Centre For Aviation (CAPA). Her coverage has touched on all aspects of commercial aviation, including marketing and distribution, network development, safety, maintenance, repair and overhaul, aircraft programmes, alliances, regulatory developments, finance and the passenger experience. Prior to joining CAPA, Lori spent more than a decade covering the commercial aviation industry, specializing in the North American market. Previously she was Americas Air Transport Editor for Flightglobal, where she led a team of journalists and worked with freelancers to produce content for Flightglobal, FlightglobalPro, Flight Daily News and Airline Business magazine. Prior to that, she worked as a Senior Editor for Aviation Week, covering low-cost and regional airlines.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt across the entire aviation ecosystem and while the airlines are receiving the most attention in the media, one cannot forget the impact on the airports and their supporting businesses.

Airports in their own right are facing a range of challenges from adapting in a post COVID world in dealing with both passengers and airlines, to the status of privatising some airports in the region.

A recent CAPA study identified Latin America as one of the least able regions in the world to articulate what measures it is taking to tackle the environmental issue at its airports. What can it do to up its game?

Meanwhile, CAPA’s airport construction database reveals that Latin America is making the least investment of any region in its existing airports, only one sixth of the total in the Middle East. Its saving grace is that investment in new airports is roughly at the level of Europe, and far greater than that of North America. Where is that investment coming from in the future?

One potential source is the private sector of course, but it isn’t that straightforward. Latin America is one of the most privatised regions on Earth where its airports are concerned, most of them by way of concession contracts, and some of them dating back as far as the late 1990s. Latterly, the action has mainly been in Brazil but the auction process there is coming towards the end of its usefulness, just as some of the original deals are being retendered because the concessionaires are angry their expectations were not fulfilled.

What are we to make of the privatisation process here over 20 years after it first began? Can it be deemed a success or failure? Where will it go from here and what lessons can be learned by countries which are considering going down the same route, themselves?

David Thompson, chief commercial officer at Salvador Bahia Airport spoke to CAPA TV on the sidelines of the CAPA Latin America Aviation & LCCs Summit 2022 in Salvador, Brazil. Hear views on VINCI Airports’ commitment to modernise and develop the airport, how the COVID-19 pandemic disruption was used as a time for reorganisation, the arrival of the airport’s first ever business lounge and a new duty free offer, securing a GOL hub operation, and the recovery of international travel and return of European connectivity to pre-pandemic levels.

Christine Ourmières-Widener, chief executive officer, TAP Air Portugal spoke to CAPA TV on the sidelines of the CAPA Latin America Aviation & LCCs Summit 2022 in Salvador, Brazil. Hear views on the recovery of air travel, the infrastructure problems that have been influencing the recovery path, external pressures such as the rising fuel price and exchange rate fluctuations, the return of capacity and flight frequencies, building a more resilient business, how the Airbus A321LR is bringing a ‘narrow-wide’ network solution, and future aspirations for TAP Air Portugal.