Defining the future of

the aviation industry

Accelerate: Aviation 2018 brought together the most innovative speakers in the aviation industry, who shared their knowledge and provided real-life examples from their wealth of experience.
At least year’s event, pioneering speakers discussed how they were embracing digital transformation, tackling the goldmine of passenger data, personalising the customer experience and dealing with disruption.

“A valuable event with a thoughtfully compiled agenda and a good range of speakers”


Chief Executive Officer, Virgin Atlantic Airways

“Important inspiring annual conference with high-quality attendance across the aviation industry”


Chief Commercial Officer, Finnair

2018 Speakers

Chris Browne

Chris Browne

Chief Operations Officer, EasyJet

Adel Al Ali

Adel Abdullah Ali

Group Chief Executive Officer, Air Arabia

Lars Sandahl Sorensen

Lars Sandahl Sørensen

Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer, SAS


Gonen Usishkin

President and Chief Executive Officer, El Al Israel Airlines


Henk Jan Gerzee

Chief Digital Officer, Royal Schipol Group

Sebastian Mikosz - Kenya Airways

Sebastian Mikosz

Chief Executive Officer, Kenya Airways

Dupsy Abiola

Dupsy Abiola

Head of Global Innovation, International Airlines Group

Paul Sies

Paul Sies

Chief Commercial Officer, Air Malta

More Speakers

2018 Agenda

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Day 1 Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Day 2 Thursday, 15 November 2018


Welcome address and chair's opening remarks

Session 1

Leaders' forum - building an airline fit for the 21st century

Case study | Southwest Airlines

Low-cost not low-care: creating corporate culture that encourages customer loyalty

Regularly ranked as one of the best places to work in America, Southwest Airlines has strived to foster a corporate culture that values its employees. As such, staff fell valued and willingly go above-and-beyond for their airline – often at the benefit for the passenger. Cheryl Hughey will discuss how creating a culture of corporate care encourages staff allegiance and how that trickles-down to both customer satisfaction and loyalty

Cheryl Hughey
Cheryl Hughey

Managing Director, Culture , Southwest Airlines

Keynote address

Towards an equal sky: gender balance in the pilot community

Chris Browne
Chris Browne

Chief Operations Officer , EasyJet



Fireside chat

Fleets that are fit for purpose: designing, defining and digitising fleets

  • What is the right fleet make-up for tomorrow’s world?
  • How can carriers ensure their fleet is flexible enough to weather future change?
  • In what ways could an oversupply of planes affect the industry?
  • What must airlines do in terms of digitisation to ensure they keep pace with fleet innovation?
  • Have low fuel costs allowed inefficient planes to fly for too long?
  • Should carriers play a bigger role in fleet development or should R&D be left to manufacturers?

Chris Browne
Chris Browne

Chief Operations Officer , EasyJet

Lars Sandahl Sorensen
Lars Sandahl Sørensen

Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer , SAS

Session 2

The next wave of distribution – a panacea for profitability


Connected skies: leading the way in inflight connectivity

Isabelle Bachelier-Journel

Vice President Sales Europe , Inmarsat Aviation

David Fox

Vice President, Inflight Services and Connectivity , Deutsche Telekom


Reimagining distribution for the digital age

  • How can airlines put passengers at the centre of the flight shopping experience?
  • How will technological changes affect the way flights are booked?
  • Preparing for the mobile dominance: understanding apps as first point of interaction.
  • Digital design: understanding the wants of the customer when creating online presence.
  • How might AI allow for more seamless customer interactions?
  • Will virtual assistants evolve to become the dominant form of booking?
  • In what ways will VR tech provide new opportunities for marketing?
  • How can airlines reverse the negative view of direct channel booking?

Candice Iyog
Candice Iyog

Vice President, Marketing and Distribution , Cebu Pacific

Andreas Koester
Andreas Köster

Senior Director Sales UK, Ireland & Iceland , Lufthansa

Isabelle Bachelier-Journel

Vice President Sales Europe , Inmarsat Aviation

David Fox

Vice President, Inflight Services and Connectivity , Deutsche Telekom

Case study | IATA’s blockchain program

Taking transactions back in-house

In late 2017, the IATA Financial Committee set up a pilot scheme to investigate the ways that blockchain payment systems could benefit airlines. If successful, the system could mean that banking fees become a thing of the past, bringing an estimated $7.7 billion back into airlines’ hands. Juan Iván Martín will share how the scheme is progressing and discuss the potential impact of blockchain the industry.

Juan Iván Martín - IATA
Juan Iván Martín

Head of Innovation , IATA



Session 3

Looking to carriers of tomorrow

Fireside chat

Death of premium classes?

  • Are there enough paying passengers to justify a first class service?
  • How will VR technologies affect business travel?
  • Are convertible cabins a realistic way of accurately matching demand?
  • How can airlines use basic and premium economy seats to gain passengers?

David Geer VirginAtlantic
David Geer

Senior Vice President of Revenue Management, Digital & Distribution , Virgin Atlantic


Unlocking the opportunities of conversational commerce

  • What opportunities does conversational commerce present for improving customer experience?
  • Defining your use case: understanding what the customer really needs
  • Multi-platform, multi-lingual: achieving omni-channel nirvana in a global setting
  • Early successes: stories from Finnair, Volaris, Scoot and more

Jonathan Newman - Caravelo
Jonathan Newman

Chief Commercial Officer , Caravelo

Case study | Joon

The next generation of low-cost

With chic style and a curated line-up of in-flight products, Joon was inspired by the money-conscious but quality-driven millennial. Célia Geslin will talk about why Joon is a vital part of the Air France brand and the process of creating an airline that goes beyond just flights and a fare to create a global travel experience.

Celia Geslin
Célia Geslin

Head of Product & Customer Experience , Joon

Session 4

Destination innovation – a spotlight on disruption

Keynote address                                                                                                     

Beat them or join them? Adapting business models to disruption

  • Should airlines try to outpace disruption or embrace it?
  • What are the practicalities of incorporating disruptors into businesses?
  • Can effective innovation come from outside or must it become native?
  • How can airlines create a flexible business model to quickly adapt to emerging threats?

Dupsy Abiola
Dupsy Abiola

Head of Global Innovation , International Airlines Group


Faster than the speed of light: the aviation start-ups accelerating the industry

Fasten your seatbelts, make sure your seats are in the up-right position and ensure you’re ready to be launched into the stratosphere by these revolutionary start-ups. You will be treated to an in-flight entertainment experience as each company gives a five minute lightning-pitch and then takes questions from the floor.


Lightning pitch | Lumo

Lumo predicts flight delays weeks, days, and hours ahead of time, helping users proactively deal with flight disruption–a weather forecast for your trip. Lumo’s predictions assist corporations, airlines, travel management companies, online booking tools, and other travel entities in managing flight disruptions.

Bala Chandran
Bala Chandran

Chief Executive Officer , Lumo


Lightning pitch | Destygo

Answering customer queries in an average of 42 seconds, Destygo’s dedicated travel chatbots provide an immediate response – boosting relationships with customers and allowing your staff to optimise customer service.

Guillaume Laporte - Destygo
Guillaume Laporte

Chief Executive Officer , Destygo


Lightning pitch | Migacore

There’s an explosion of content that influences travel causing a shift in your customers behaviour. Migacore enables you to capture your customers’ intent before it materializes. Migacore leverages contextual data to derive travel intent and apply it across pricing, marketing and planning.

Abheer Kolkathar - Migacore
Abheer Kolkathar

Chief Executive Officer , Migacore


Lightning pitch | Jetlite

Jetlite offers a holistic and algorithm-based approach to increase the comfort of passengers over the whole passenger journey by mitigating jetlag through three key factors: chrono-biologically improved lighting for aircraft & airports, customised nutrition concepts and personalised app-based schedules.

Dr Achim Leder - Jetlite
Dr Achim Leder

Chief Executive Officer , Jetlite


Lightning pitch | Kyte

The complete toolkit for travel companies, Kyte is new a initiative to provide a suite of developer friendly products and API’s allowing access to inventory, booking and payment functionality from major airlines.

Sam Houghton
Sam Houghton

Chief Executive Officer , Kyte


Lightning pitch | Taptrip

Taptrip is a mobile first, self-serve ‘managed’ travel solution for SME’s. Taptrip provides the experience of a managed travel solution served with an unmanaged approach. Taptrip makes business travel completely frictionless for businesses and travellers.

Thomas Young
Thomas Young

Chief Executive Officer , Taptrip


Chair’s closing remarks and drinks reception


Chair's opening remarks - Neil Glynn, Head of Transport Equity Research, Credit Suisse

Session 5

The industry of tomorrow: winning the race to become digital

Case study | Swoop

Lessons from the carrier born in the digital age

In 2017, Westjet announced a new challenger would be swooping the Canadian ULCC market. Born 21 years after its parent, Swoop entered the market in the midst of the digital age. Steven Greenway will present the opportunities that new technology has to disrupt the market, and how older carriers can learn from their counterparts who were born in the digital age.

Steven Greenway
Steven Greenway

President , Swoop


Predicting impulse: using personalisation to push passengers to purchase

  • How can airlines maximise their ancillary revenues through personalisation?
  • Is there a risk that too much personalisation could limit further revenue?
  • Using personal and contextual data to select the correct ancillaries
  • With connectivity approaching, how can IFE be adapted to stay relevant?
  • Can airlines predict what duty free to promote?

Jouni Oksanen - Air Baltic
Jouni Oksanen

Senior Vice President, eCommerce, Sales and Marketing , Air Baltic

Panel discussion

Tacking transformation head on: winning the race to become digital

  • How must the aviation industry radically redefine itself through digital transformation?
  • In what areas must airlines and airports invest to be best prepared for the future?
  • Necessary measures: upgrading legacy systems to increase efficiency
  • Passenger data: what are the major benefits that better analytics could unlock?
  • What are the barriers to effective use of data and how can they be overcome?
  • How can technology be used to provide the best possible customer experience?
  • Creating customer-centric digital programmes: key strategies for success

Steven Greenway
Steven Greenway

President , Swoop

Jouni Oksanen - Air Baltic
Jouni Oksanen

Senior Vice President, eCommerce, Sales and Marketing , Air Baltic

Oranit Beithalahmy

Managing Director, North Europe & Africa , El Al Israel Airlines



Session 6

The point of departure – delighting customers


Airports innovating for the customer

  • What are the innovations taking place to improve customer experience today?
  • Which points of contact are most in need of revitalisation?
  • Is automation really what passengers want?
  • How can we maximise passenger time in airports?
  • How can the image of airports as a transitory space be changed?

Henk Jan Gerzee

Chief Digital Officer , Royal Schipol Group

Fireside chat

Seamless passenger experience: co-operation between airlines and airports

  • How can airlines and airports work as a single unit to attract customers?
  • Should airlines be allowed to have greater inputs in terminals?
  • How does branding enhance and disrupt a passenger’s experience of an airport?
  • How can airports and airlines amalgamate their digital presence for the customer?

Joni Sundelin
Joni Sundelin

Executive Director - Helsinki Airport , Finavia

Karim Al-Soufi
Karim Al-Soufi

Vice President, Ground Customer Experience , Finnair



Session 7

Preparing for take-off – the future of the industry


Designing the airport of the future

  • What will the airport of the future look like?
  • In what ways will airports need to reinvent themselves to succeed?
  • What services will be integral to an airport’s appeal?
  • How will changes in design revolutionise the customer experience?

Antoinette Nassopoulos-Erickson
Antoinette Nassopoulos-Erickson

Senior Partner and Architect , Foster + Partners


Foresights from the CMO: how demand will shape the industry

  • What major trends lie ahead for the aviation industry?
  • In what ways will passenger traffic change over the next 20 years?
  • Which type of plane will come to define the leaders in industry over the next decade?

Jan Hogrefe

Chief Economist, Commercial Airplanes , Boeing


From blue skies to green: the sustainable evolution

  • How will sustainability shape the aviation industry of the future?
  • Are schemes like CORSIA enough or do airlines need to surpass regulation?
  • Biofuels: a feasible, long-term alternative?
  • What immediate steps can airlines take to sow the seeds for a sustainable future?

Philippe Lacamp

Senior Vice President, Americas , Cathay Pacific




Chair’s closing remarks, end of conference

Who attends

2018 Sponsors

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