CAPA Latin America Aviation & LCCs Summit

Querétaro, Mexico
31-Aug - 1-Sep

Day 1 – Thursday 31 August 2023


Registration, Networking & Coffee


Chairperson’s Welcome


Host Welcome

Queretaro State Government, Secretary for Sustainable Development, Marco Antonio del Prete Tercero


CAPA Outlook: State of the Industry (recorded)

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


CAPA Think Tank: Latin America market overview

CAPA will host a selection of high profile South American aviation leaders in a roundtable discussion, covering key topics and important trends in the regional air transport industry. Thought-leaders from across the breadth of the regional aviation market will provide insights into the competitive landscape for airlines and airports in the region, regional progress on traffic and financial recovery, opportunities for future development, trends towards privatisation and consolidation and more.

Key themes to be discussed during this Think Tank include but not limited to:

  • Consolidation: The formation of pan-Latin American aviation groups promises to reshape the competitive landscape in the region. However, regional competition authorities and lawmakers appear to be critical of recent attempts at mega-mergers, claiming it will damage competition
  • Airport privatisation: Latin American governments have been among the most successful in privatising their airports. Yet, the drive to privatisation has not been an easy one and some recent attempts have been less than successful. What are the next steps in the process?
  • Profitability: Latin American carriers suffered proportionally the worst losses in 2020 and are not forecast to return to profitability until 2024 or later. What can be done to improve the financial performance of airlines in the region?
  • Workforce: Sourcing, building, training and retaining a talented workforce remains one of the greatest challenges for travel and tourism businesses in Latin America. Until workforce shortages are resolved, aviation will struggle to meet its full potential in the region
  • Financing: The COVID-19 pandemic saw a number of key Latin American airlines – including  Avianca, LATAM Airlines, and Grupo Aeromexico – enter bankruptcy proceedings. Other airlines took on large amounts of debt in order to survive. How does the regional industry deal with its heavy debt load?
  • Changing face of tourism: Tourism preferences have changed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. How can Latin America, with its combination of natural beauty and unique cultural experiences, capitalise on the latest visitation and tourism trends?
  • ULCCs: Ultra LCCs are now performing successfully in a number of Latin American markets. Does the model represent the new standard for travel in the region, or is it just another model added to the mix in the market?

Moderator: IATA, Regional VP Americas, Peter Cerda


OMA, CEO, Ricardo Duenas (Mexico Airports Operator)

Spirit, Director International Airports, Camilo Martelo

Bank of America Mexico, CEO, Emilio Romano


Coffee Break & Networking



Collaborating with Government to allow for aviation market growth

While traffic in Latin America and the Caribbean is now above pre-pandemic levels, a familiar regional issue has also returned: governments intervening in the aviation market. Latin America’s aviation market remains plagued by preferential regulatory and legal frameworks, high taxation, the passing along of operating costs and challenges with infrastructure programmes. Progress on market liberalisation and airport privatisation also appears to be slowing in certain quarters.

  • As normality returns to the regional aviation market, how does the aviation industry ensure that governments support rather than hinder the growth of their aviation markets?
  • What can be done to lower taxes and other fees that act as a barrier to intra-regional and international travel?
  • What are the best options to collaborate across the aviation sector to push back against the imposition of high taxes and excessive charges?

Moderator: Holland & Knight, Partner, Anita Mosner


Atka Capital, Managing Partner, Mike Powell 

ALTA, Executive Director & CEO, Jose Ricardo Botelho

IATA, Regional VP Americas, Peter Cerda


Keynote Presentation: Transitioning to Offer & Order: Simplifying change management through the power of AI

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FLYR, Sales Executive NAM, JP Gonzalez


Understanding partnerships, consolidation, and mergers in Latin America

Latin American airline consolidation is proceeding, although the path and timing is difficult to forecast. Avianca and GOL are seeking to create a pan-regional airline group capable of competing with LATAM on an equal footing. Regional aviation leaders are projecting that three or four major airline groups will emerge, either via partnerships, mergers or other tie-ups.

  • Is the Latin American market best served by the transition towards ever larger and more powerful airline groupings?
  • Will regional governments allow more large multi-national airline groups to form? Will the regional market come to resemble Europe, with its large airline groups based around carriers with state holdings?
  • Given regional aviation regulations and other limitations on synergies and networks, how successful can cross-border consolidation be? Should the model be to concentrate on partnerships rather than mergers?

Moderator: Heico Aerospace, SVP Government & Industry Affairs, Alex de Gunten  


Viva Aerobus, Chief Alliance Officer, Javier Suarez

Atka Capital, Managing Partner, Mike Powell

Azul, Revenue Management & Network Planning Director, Andre Mercadante Americo


Lunch Break & Networking


Airline Leader Interview - Viva Aerobus

Viva Aerobus, Chief Alliance Officer, Javier Suarez

Moderator: Peter Cerda


Keynote Presentation - The future of airline operations \

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CAE, Head of Sales, Americas, Flight Services, Jeffrey Humin


Getting operational integrity right – is the system really stable and what lessons have been learned?

The recovery of passenger traffic during 2022 was accompanied by severe operating disruptions across the globe, with Latin America and the Caribbean proving no exception. While delays and cancellations have ebbed and staffing levels are recovering across the region, the Latin American aviation system still faces disruption on multiple fronts. As travel builds into the peak summer travel period, the regional sector could be facing with another trying period.

  • How have operators adapted and changed since the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the robustness of their systems and to quickly recover from irregular operations? 
  • How have regulators reacted to the disruption of the past few years?
  • What are the key technologies that airports, airlines and the supply chain are implementing to ensure operational stability?
  • How are issues around areas such as ATC, infrastructure shortages and workforce training/retention being addressed? 
  • What bottlenecks remain in the air travel process and what are potential failure points?

Moderator: CAE, Head of Sales, Americas, Flight Services, Jeffrey Humin 


Azul Brazilian Airlines, Vice President of People, Customers and ESG, Jason Ward  

Viva Aerobus, COO, Adrian Torija

Queretaro International Airport, Director General, Jorge Gutiérrez de Velasco Rodríguez

Avianca, CEO Cargo, Gabriel Oliva


Coffee break & Networking


Improving traveller behaviour through retailing, distribution and digital transformation

COVID-19 produced an immense impetus for changes in aviation distribution and retailing. On the customer side, buying patterns and expectations about selling, booking and personalization all shifted. On the airline side, the pandemic saw many airlines reevaluate their distribution, retailing and technology approaches. For the intermediaries and other third parties, an opportunity was created to adopt new approaches and technologies and negotiate new partnerships. 

  • How is the distribution landscape shifting as airlines, their customers and suppliers map out new relationships? 
  • As passengers continue to seek more personalised and flexible content, what digital strategies are being embraced to meet this demand shift?

Moderator: IATA, Regional Director, Financial & Distribution Services, Americas, Alicia Lines


Arajet, Senior VP Customer Experience, Carlos Mesa

Lufthansa Group Airlines, Regional Distribution Manager Americas, Perry Davis 

Southwest Airlines, Managing Director of B2B Strategy & Sales Ops, Rob Brown

Bluebox Aviation Systems, VP Global Sales, Kevin Birchmore

TravelX, Co-Founder & CEO, Juan Pablo Lafosse


Airline Leader Interview

Copa, CEO, Pedro Heilbron

Moderator: ASM Route Development Consulting, Director Air Service Development, David Appleby


Day 1 Closing Remarks


Networking Dinner Casona de los 5 Patios.