OUR SPEAKERS

 

Managing Director
A4E

"Thomas Reynaert is Managing Director of Airlines for Europe (A4E), Europe’s largest EU airline association, since March 2016. A4E was founded in January 2016 by Air France-KLM, easyJet, International Airlines Group (IAG), Lufthansa Group and Ryanair. Prior to joining A4E, Thomas was President of United Technologies (UTC) International Operations (Europe), where he led their European government relations activities between 2008–2015. During this time, he provided counsel to the corporation and its business units on EU rulemaking and policy, and served as a corporate liaison for key decision-makers in the EU institutions and national governments. Prior to joining UTC, Thomas led the government relations and regulatory affairs team for Nortel Networks in EMEA, in 2000. Previously, he was director of EU public affairs for Lucent Technologies (today: ‘Alcatel-Lucent’). Thomas was a member of the Supervisory Board of the UTC Company OTIS Management GmbH (Germany) from 2008-2014. From 2011-2015 he was Chair of AmCham EU’s Security and Defense Committee, and in 2015 was appointed a Member of the Executive Committee of the European Centre for Public Affairs (ECPA). "

CEO
Air France-KLM

Benjamin Smith is a senior airline industry veteran, having spent twenty years at Air Canada before joining Air France-KLM as Chief Executive Officer. In 1990, while at university, he started part time as a Customer Service Agent at Air Ontario.

In 1992 he followed an entrepreneurial path and established his own retail corporate travel agency, successfully running this business for eight years. In 2002 he joined Air Canada, envisioning and subsequently leading its Tango subsidiary.

Benjamin later became Vice President, Network Planning, followed by Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer in 2007, and subsequently President, Airlines (Air Canada, Rouge, Express, Cargo) and Chief Operating Officer in 2014. He assumed overall responsibility for commercial, operations, and customer service functions, and spearheaded their commercial growth strategy, resulting in impressive financial performance.

In August 2018 Benjamin Smith was appointed CEO of Air France-KLM, and in December, a member of the Air France-KLM Board of Directors.

CEO
easyJet

Having joined easyJet in December 2017 Johan has launched the company’s biggest ever programme to increase operational resilience - reducing cost and improving customer experience. He has set out a significant increase in investment in easyJet Holidays, showcased a series of initiatives to increase business passengers, revealed plans to introduce a new loyalty programme and outlined plans to invest in data. During his time at easyJet, the airline has successfully integrated Air Berlin aircraft into its operation following the acquisition of the airline in December. Johan has also reaffirmed the company’s commitment to increase the proportion of female pilots with a target of 20% of new entrant pilots by 2020.

Johan has more than 30 years’ experience in the travel industry and spent his career working his way up through various organisations to become most recently the Group Deputy CEO of TUI AG and CEO of Mainstream Tourism at TUI AG.

Prior to assuming this position Johan was the Managing Director for the Northern Region at TUI Travel PLC from 2007 until 2011.

Member of European Parliament
European Parliament

Caroline Nagtegaal MEP (1980) was elected in the European Parliament since November 2017 on behalf of the Dutch liberal party VVD. The VVD is part of the Renew Europe group. She just started her new mandate and she wants to make the next five year to a success.

As substitute member of the Committee for Transport and Tourism (TRAN) and vice-chair she deals with aviation conventions, Single European Sky, rules for road transport and sustainability of the harbours. She wants to remove barriers for rail and inland shipping and tackling unfair competition from China and Gulf States for our maritime and aviation sector.

As substitute member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) she is involved in subjects as macro-economics, financial regulations, EMU, FinTech, Bitcoin and crowdfunding. She focusses on improving the resilience of the financial markets and enhancing growth potential of European SMEs, for example by developing an EU framework for crowdfunding. She is also working on a new budgetary tool that promotes structural reforms in the Member States. Besides that, she is part of the Sky & Space Intergroup in the European Parliament.

Prior to her election to the European Parliament, Ms. Nagtegaal worked at Royal Schiphol Group and Port of Rotterdam Authority. She dealt with public & external affairs for those companies.

Executive Director, Content
FlightGlobal

Max Kingsley-Jones is executive director content at FlightGlobal. He was appointed as editor of Flight Airline Business in December 2010, having spent 14 years with Flight International, where he ultimately became deputy editor. Kingsley-Jones previously spent a decade working at Airclaims and also had a short spell with Aviation Week magazine.

CEO
International Airlines Group (IAG)

Willie Walsh became chief executive of International Airlines Group (IAG) when the company was created in January 2011, joining from British Airways where he was chief executive from October 2005.

IAG is the parent company of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and LEVEL. It is one of the world’s largest airline groups with 588 aircraft flying to 279 destinations and carrying around 113 million passengers each year.

Prior to joining British Airways, he was chief executive at Aer Lingus, a position he was appointed to in the aftermath of 9/11.

Born in Dublin in 1961, Willie joined Aer Lingus in 1979 as a cadet pilot. He held several management positions in Aer Lingus before being appointed chief executive of Futura, a Spanish charter airline owned by Aer Lingus in 1998. He returned to Dublin with Aer Lingus in 2000 where he took up the role of chief operating officer and was subsequently appointed as chief executive in October 2001.

He completed a Master of Science in Management and Business Administration at Dublin’s Trinity College in 1992. 

Chairman of the Executive Board & CEO
Lufthansa Group

Carsten Spohr has been Chairman of the Executive Board and Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Lufthansa AG since May 2014. He has been a Member of the Executive Board of Lufthansa Group since January 2011 and held various management functions in the Lufthansa Group since October 1994 including CEO of Lufthansa German Airlines as well as CEO of Lufthansa Cargo AG. He completed a management training course at Deutsche Aerospace AG before pursuing his career at Deutsche Lufthansa AG. He holds a degree in industrial engineering and a Lufthansa captain´s license for the aircraft of the Airbus A320 family.

CEO
Ryanair Group

"Mr. Michael O’Leary has served as Ryanair CEO since 1993. Born in a stable, at Christmas 1961, he was a boy genius who excelled academically and in the sports field. Having represented Ireland at bog snorkeling and flower arranging, he graduated from Trinity College Dublin as soon as they could get rid of him. He became a very boring KPMG accountant until yet another failed career choice sentences to him to lifelong servitude in the airline business, as he is manifestly unsuitable for employment in any properly functioning industry. Due to his unique combination of rugged good looks, supreme intellect and profound humility, Ryanair has grown to become Europe’s favorite airline. Unlike many successful businessman, he holds no honorary doctorates or titles, since no respectable institution would wish to have its reputation tarnished by association with him. Bearing a remarkable resemblance to George Clooney’s younger brother, it is widely known that women find him (sadly) resistible, and even his 4 children think he’s ‘’stupid”. "

Associate Professor, Department of Management, Economics and Quantitative Methods
University of Bergamo

Bio coming soon.