EXPO Schedule

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Sunday 8 September 2019

15:00 – 18:30

APEX EXPO Registration

17:30 – 19:00

APEX Welcome Reception
Join us for appetizers and drinks to kick off the EXPO. Say hello to your old friends, connect with colleagues and make some new contacts. You have the rest of the night on your own to continue your conversations and enjoy Los Angeles.

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Monday 9 September 2019

7:45 – 8:45


8:45 – 12:05

General Sessions

8:45 – 9:00

Welcome & Introduction
• Katie Geraghty-Goshgarian, Executive Director, APEX
• António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations*

9:00 – 09:20

APEX/IFSA Board of Governors Update
Keynote Address
• Ed Bastian, CEO, Delta Air Lines

09:20 – 10:05

Focus: Airports, Biometrics
Moderated by: Aaron Heslehurst, Presenter, Talking Business, BBC World News
• Joanna Geraghty, President & Chief Operating Officer, JetBlue
• Andrés Conesa, Aeroméxico, CEO
• Shai Weiss, CEO, Virgin Atlantic
• Zhao Dong, Chairman, Xiamen Airlines

10:05 – 10:35

Networking Break
Sponsored by: Encore Inflight Limited

10:35 – 11:20

Focus: Advancing Passenger Experience
Moderated by: Aaron Heslehurst, Presenter, Talking Business, BBC World News
• Ted Christie, CEO, Spirit Airlines
• Jóhanna á Bergi, CEO, Atlantic Airways
• Gonen Usishkin, CEO, El Al
• Sebastian Mikosz, CEO, Kenya Airways

11:20 – 12:05

Focus: Sustainability
Interviewed by: Joe Leader, CEO, APEX/IFSA
• Tewolde GebreMariam, CEO, Ethiopian Airlines
• Tony Douglas, CEO, Etihad Airways
• Zhao Dong, Chairman, Xiamen Airlines

12:05 – 1:30

Women in Aviation Networking Lunch
Moderated by: Shawn Duffy, Senior Vice President and CFO, Viasat

1:30 – 4:00

Track A. NextGen IFEC
Evaluate technologies that play a crucial role in bettering the passenger experience in the rapidly changing aviation and content market. Analysis of big data enables personalization, creates efficiencies, and facilities a better experience. Sessions will also address the global impact technology has on the way airlines source content and connectivity solutions to present to their passengers.

Track B. PaxEx 2020
Airlines and their partners are able to engage with passengers at many stages along their journey. What are some ways that the industry uses these touchpoints as opportunities to enhance experiences and generate loyalty? Assess the multiple ways organizations are using predictive analysis, passenger feedback, demographic and economic growth figures, and travel trends to improve the passenger experience.

Track C. Driving Ancillary Revenue
Airlines invest incredible funds into their products and services to entertain and engage their passengers. How can revenue be generated from that investment to cultivate an attractive ROI? Sessions in this track will outline opportunities for ROI throughout the entire travel thread, while also addressing technical solutions and personalization.

Track D. In-Flight Service of the Future
Identifying passenger preferences and providing a personalized offering is key to customer satisfaction. Today’s savvy travellers not only consider taste and quality, but also environmental impact, physiological benefit and often locality that drive unique experiences. Airlines, caterers, and suppliers collate offerings to provide such experiences while also minimizing waste, achieving ancillary revenue and adhering to regulations from a range of global governing bodies. Explore ways to address these requests and requirements.

1:30 – 2:10

Breakout Sessions

2:10 – 2:25

Sponsored by: Encore Inflight Limited

2:25 – 3:05

Breakout Sessions

3:05 – 3:20

Sponsored by: Encore Inflight Limited

3:20 – 4:00

Breakout Sessions

4:10 – 4:45

APEX Annual General Meeting

5:45 – 7:15

APEX/IFSA Awards Ceremony

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Tuesday 10 September 2019

07:30 – 18:00

APEX Registration

07:30 – 08:45

Airline Breakfast
(Open to Airline Members Only)

09:00 – 18:00


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Wednesday 11 September 2019

08:00 – 18:00

APEX Registration

09:00 – 18:00


19:30 – 22:30

APEX EXPO Networking Event and 40th Anniversary Celebration
After building relationships and strengthening partnerships on the EXPO floor, come celebrate APEX EXPO’s 40th Anniversary with your industry colleagues for a night of networking.
Sponsored By: SmartSky

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Thursday 12 September 2019

08:00 – 15:00

APEX Registration

09:00 – 17:00


Meet the Speakers

Ed Bastian

CEO, Delta Air Lines

As CEO of Delta Air Lines, Ed Bastian leads a team of 80,000 global professionals that is building the world’s premiere international airline, powered by a people-driven, customer-focused culture and spirit of innovation.

Under Ed’s leadership, Delta is transforming the air travel experience with generational investments in technology, aircraft, airport facilities and, most importantly, Delta’s employees worldwide. A 20-year Delta veteran, Ed has been a critical leader in Delta’s long-term strategy and champion of putting Delta’s shared values of honesty, integrity, respect, perseverance and servant leadership at the core of every decision.

Since being named Delta’s CEO in May 2016, Ed has expanded Delta’s leading position as the world’s most reliable airline while growing its global footprint and enhancing the customer experience in the air and on the ground. During his tenure as CEO, Delta has become the world’s most awarded airline, having been named the Wall Street Journal’s top U.S. airline; Fortune’s most admired airline worldwide; the most on-time global airline by FlightGlobal; a Glassdoor Employee’s Choice company and more. Delta has returned to sustained profitability, regaining its investment-grade credit rating with all three major ratings agencies and paying out more than $1 billion in profit-sharing to employees every year over the past four years. In 2018, Fortune magazine named Ed among “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders,” and in 2019, he was elected to the membership of the Council on Foreign Relations.

When asked to sum up his job in five words, Ed’s response is: “Taking care of our people.” The answer reflects his leadership philosophy, which is based on the “virtuous circle” – if you take care of your people, they take care of your customers, whose business and loyalty allows you to reward your investors.

Ed joined Delta in 1998 as Vice President – Finance and Controller and was promoted to Senior Vice President in 2000. He left Delta in 2005 and became Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Acuity Brands. He returned to Delta six months later to become Chief Financial Officer, and in 2007 was appointed to serve as Delta’s President.

Prior to joining Delta, Ed held senior finance positions at Frito-Lay International and Pepsi-Cola International. Ed started his career with Price Waterhouse where he became an audit partner in its New York practice.

Ed grew up in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and graduated from St. Bonaventure University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. He lives in Atlanta, and is deeply involved in his faith, family and community.

Follow Ed on LinkedIn for his thoughts on leadership, culture, aviation and more.

Jóhanna á Bergi

CEO, Atlantic Airways

Jóhanna will be speaking during Conference Session 2 from 15.30 – 17.00, “Leading and inspiring our dynamic industry into the twenty-twenties.”

Jóhanna á Bergi has extensive leadership and board experience. For the past nine years she has been CEO of the shipping company Faroe Ship. She has a degree in leadership from Robert Gordon University, Scotland, and has also studied sales and marketing at Den Danske Eksportskole. Formerly Jóhanna á Bergi was sales manager at JFK, which is both a ship owner and runs fish processing plants that produces and exports fish products from the Faroes. At one point she was sales manager for the fish exporter Faroe Seafood in France. In addition to her leadership positions, she has held diverse board positions over the past several years.

Ted Christie

President and Chief Executive Officer, Spirit Airlines

Ted Christie is the President and Chief Executive Officer at Spirit Airlines, the largest Ultra Low Cost Carrier in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean. Christie joined Spirit in April 2012 as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. In January 2017, Mr. Christie was promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, and was promoted again to President one year later. In his various roles, Christie has overseen responsibility for the finance and commercial functions of the business, as well as operations, IT and human resources.

Prior to joining Spirit, Christie served as CFO of Pinnacle Airlines Corp, an airline holding company with subsidiaries flying as Delta Connection, United Express and US Airways Express. Christie began his airline career at Frontier Airlines in 2002. He was appointed Vice President of Finance in 2007 and promoted to Senior Vice President and CFO in 2008. During his tenure at Frontier he helped the carrier to restructure and to achieve a competitive cost structure. 

Christie has also held the position of Vice President of Finance at a Denver asset-based finance institution and also worked as an Economist for the Arizona taxing authority. 

Christie earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Arizona in 1992.


Andrés Conesa

Andres Conesa was appointed as CEO of Grupo Aeromexico in 2005. He has been a member of the IATA Board of Governors since 2008 and was elected IATA’s Chairman during the 2015 term. He has served as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) and the Mexican Directive Council of the National Chamber of Aviation (CANAERO).


Prior to these appointments, from 1990 through 2005 he held several senior positions in the Mexican government, including Chairman of CINTRA’s Board of Directors (the holding company of Aeromexico and Mexicana), Deputy Undersecretary of Public Credit with the Ministry of Finance. Mr. Conesa has also been member of the Boards of Directors of several public companies including the Mexican Stock Exchange from 2006 to 2007, Genomma Lab International from 2012 through 2015, Ienova 2013-2017 and since 2016 a member of the Board at Sempra, one of the most important energy companies in the US and currently listed on the NYSE.


Andres holds a PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM).

Zhao Dong

Chairman and Party Secretary, Xiamen Airlines; Chairman, Hebei Airlines

Mr. Zhao Dong is the Chairman and Party Secretary of Xiamen Airlines and the Chairman of Hebei Airlines.

Mr. Zhao Dong is a senior management leader with 33 years of experience in civil aviation. He graduated from the Civil Aviation University of China with a major in air traffic control and from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University with an MBA degree. He also completed the Executive Development Programs (EDP) of School of Management in Xiamen University.

1986-1989, he worked on aeronautical information in the Flight Department of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). 1989-2000, he worked in the General Flight Operation  Department of Xiamen Airlines and served as Director of the Information Office and Manager of Flight Operation Center. He joined in the establishment of Xiamen Airlines Flight Operation Center, and established a dispatching-centered system for guaranteeing organizational operations. In terms of for ground-cabin services, Mr. Zhao stressed the importance of ground handling and efficiency, laying a solid foundation for flight safety.

2000-2006, he assisted Wu Rongnan, the first General Manager of Xiamen Airlines in ensuring security, operations, management, services and external relations.

2006-2016, he served as the Deputy General Manager of Xiamen Airlines to manage marketing, network planning, revenue management, international business, air cargo, cabin-ground services, and brand promotion to vigorously advance the “integration of marketing services.” During this period, Xiamen Airlines delivered an impressive business performance, with its Operating Profit Ratio ranking among the top 10 airlines in the world. It successfully joined the SkyTeam Airline Alliance and had been rated as the “Chinese Airline with the Best Service” in mainland China for four consecutive years. Mr. Zhao led and participated in the application for the highest honor in China’s quality field, i.e. “China Award for Quality”.

December 2016-2019, he served as the General Manager and Deputy Party Secretary of Xiamen Airlines. Under his leadership, Xiamen Airlines continues to maintain a sound momentum of growth. It currently owns over 200 airplanes, 2 subsidiaries of Hebei Airlines and Jiangxi Airlines, and branches and offices in 45 cities across Asia, Europe, North America, and Oceania, with nearly 500 routes in operation globally. It is the only airline company in China with profitability for 32 consecutive years, which is also a rarity in the world. Chinese President Xi Jinping commended Xiamen Airlines as the “epitome of the development of China’s aviation industry for its good performance.

In February 2017, Mr. Zhao promoted the signing of an SDGs agreement between Xiamen Airlines and the United Nations. Hence Xiamen Airlines becomes the first airline in the world to work with the United Nations on SDGs.

February 2019-present, he serves as the Chairman and Party Secretary of Xiamen Airlines

Joanna Geraghty

President & Chief Operating Officer, JetBlue

Joanna Geraghty is President & Chief Operating Officer of JetBlue, responsible for JetBlue’s operations and commercial performance including network, brand and marketing and revenue management.
Geraghty’s focus is on delivering a leading customer service experience, enhancing operational and commercial performance while nurturing JetBlue’s unique culture and standing as one of the best places to work.
Prior to being named President & COO she served as JetBlue’s Executive Vice President, Customer Experience, responsible for Airport Operations, Customer Support, and Inflight Service. She served as Executive Vice President, Chief People Officer from 2010-2014, after serving as Vice President and Associate General Counsel and Director of Litigation and Regulatory Affairs. Geraghty has been with the New York-based airline since 2005.
Geraghty is a member of the board of the JetBlue Foundation and chairperson of the board of Concern Worldwide, an international not for profit. Before joining JetBlue, she was a partner at the law firm Holland & Knight. She received her B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross, her master’s in international relations from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and her J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law.


Claudia Sender

LATAM Airlines VP of Customers; member of LATAM Airlines Group Executive Committee 

Claudia Sender is vice-president of Customers LATAM Airlines Group and member of LATAM Airlines Group Executive Committee. She leads marketing, airports, on-board services, contact center, the frequent flyer program and customer experience in all the countries where LATAM Airlines Group operates.

Mrs. Sender joined the company in December 2011, as Commercial and Marketing Vice-President TAM Airlines. After June 2012, with the conclusion of TAM-LAN combination and the creation of LATAM Airlines Group, she became the head of Brazil Domestic Business Unit, and her functions were expanded in order to include TAM’s entire Customer Service structure. She became TAM Airlines’ CEO in May 2013.

The executive dedicated most of her career in consumer goods industry, focusing on Marketing and Strategic Planning. Mrs. Sender was Marketing Vice-President at Whirlpool Latin America and she also worked as a consultant for Bain & Company.

Mrs. Sender has a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the Polytechnic School at the University of São Paulo (USP) and a MBA from Harvard Business School, in the United States.

Shai Weiss

Chief Executive Officer, Virgin Atlantic Limited

Shai Weiss is Chief Executive Officer at Virgin Atlantic and an Executive Director of the Virgin Atlantic board.

Shai and the team are keenly focused on Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays together becoming the most loved travel company.

Shai joined Virgin Atlantic as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in July 2014 from Virgin Management Ltd, where he had been an Investment Partner since 2012 and was a Founding Partner of Virgin Green Fund. In January 2017 Shai assumed the role of Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer responsible for shaping the airline’s strategic position in the market, driving opportunities for new revenue, and leading the loyalty, alliances and marketing programs that distinguish the airline. Through his role at Virgin Group Shai has been a member of the Virgin Atlantic board from summer 2012.

Shai has extensive financial and operational expertise. Prior to joining Virgin Group, he held several senior management positions at ntl:Telewest (now Virgin Media), the UK and Europe’s largest cable operator. Shai was part of the turn-around of ntl with roles including Managing Director of Consumer Products, Director of Operations, and Director of Financial Planning for the Consumer division. Shai was also behind the merger between Virgin Mobile UK and ntl:Telewest and the re-brand to Virgin Media.

Prior to ntl, Shai established the European office of early-stage technology venture fund JVP and was a senior associate with Morgan Stanley.

Shai also serves as a non-executive director of Checkpoint Software Technologies (NASDQ: CHKP), a leading provider of cyber security solutions to governments and corporate enterprises globally.

Shai holds an MBA from Columbia University in New York and a BBA from City University of New York, Baruch College. He resides in London with his family, attends Arsenal games whenever he can, reads The New Yorker magazine from cover to cover and attempts to play basketball.

Alex Wilcox

Co-Founder and CEO, JetSuite, Inc. and JetSuiteX

For over two decades, Alex has identified and developed disruptive business models and enhancements that have improved air travel for millions. As a founder of JetBlue, Alex brought much-needed innovation to the low fare carrier sector with the introduction of LiveTV and all-leather seating. In 2008, Alex created a simple and streamlined approach to private flying, quickly growing it to one of the leading private jet charter companies in the U.S. In 2016, Alex saw an opportunity to offer a simpler and quicker alternative to flying short distances. Today, JetSuiteX operates over 330 flights a week between major West Coast destinations including Orange County, The Bay Area, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and seasonally to Mammoth Mountain, from private terminals at costs close to a traditional airline seat. A graduate of University of Vermont, Alex was named a Henry Crown Fellow by the Aspen Institute and is a member of the Lone Star chapter of Young Presidents Organization (YPO).

APEX Awards Ceremony

Passenger Choice Awards™

In 2010, APEX introduced a new and expanded recognition program, the APEX Passenger Choice Awards. These awards rapidly distinguished themselves as the industry’s foremost honor. With unrivaled authenticity, the APEX Passenger Choice Awards represents the opinions of passengers around the world via the Official Airline Ratings.

Official Airline Ratings™ Awards

The APEX Official Airline Ratings™ were created based on passenger feedback gathered through APEX’s partnership with TripIt® from Concur®, the world’s highest-rated travel-organizing app. Using a five-star scale, more than one million flights were rated by passengers across nearly 500 airlines from around the world between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2018.  First, passengers rated their overall flight experience from one to five stars.  On the same screen, passengers were given the opportunity to provide anonymous ratings in five subcategories: seat comfort, cabin service, food and beverage, entertainment, and Wi-Fi.  The single screen rating allows airline passengers to easily rate their flight in less than 15 seconds.

Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award shall be presented to a senior level executive from an APEX member company whose long-term efforts, dedication, and sustained commitment in support of elevating airline passenger experience and/or APEX have, in the opinion of the APEX Board of Directors, clearly established that individual’s career as a lifetime industry achievement.

Outstanding Contribution Award

The Outstanding Contribution Award shall be presented to an individual whose contributions, innovations, or leadership have generated a significant and fundamental improvement to the nature of airline passenger experience.

Best Video Curation

This new APEX Award is to award airlines and/or their vendor partners who curate a great selection of video programming within the budget provided. In other words, it’s not how much content, it’s the careful assortment of content which is noteworthy.

Best Original Audio

This new APEX Award was created to award airlines and/or their vendor partners for creating an outstanding audio station or audio collection.

Best Original Video

This new APEX Award was created to award airlines and/or their vendor partners for creating a new video – inflight safety video, airline promo video, etc.

Best Cabin Innovation

This new APEX Award was created to award airlines and/or their vendor partners’ innovation in creating a thoughtful new cabin environment either in a new delivery or retrofitted aircraft, as well as a new class of service, i.e. economy, business, first.

Best Passenger Comfort Innovation

  This new APEX Award was created to award airlines and/or their vendor partners’ innovation in the world of passenger comfort, including seats, design, lighting, temperature control, air quality and more.

Best Personalization Innovation

This new APEX Award was created to award airlines and/or their vendor partners who have created a personalized passenger experience, including a service application, personalized IFE, catering experience, etc.

Best Inflight Entertainment Innovation

This new APEX Award was created to award airlines and/or their vendor partners who have created a new inflight innovation that is elevating the passenger experience via GUI design, features/applications, streaming, hardware, seat integration, etc.

Best Inflight Connectivity Innovation

This new APEX Award was created to award airlines and/or their vendor partners who have created a new inflight innovation including interactive connectivity onboard, unique WiFi features/offerings, etc.

CEO Lifetime Achievement Award

The APEX CEO Lifetime Achievement Award is an honor bestowed upon an airline CEO that has advanced the passenger experience beyond their own airline with a positive ripple across the industry. The award may only be given to an individual once and is reserved for airline CEOs at the pinnacle of their career with a strong preference for the award to be given before retirement. The CEO Lifetime Achievement Award will be given in person at APEX EXPO each year as the highlight of the awards ceremony. Nomination for the award must come from the APEX CEO followed by consultation with the airline CEO. After such, APEX CEO Lifetime Achievement Awards will be bestowed by an APEX Board of Directors majority vote affirming the honor.

Newcomer of the Year Award

The Newcomer of the Year Award is for a product or service created by a new member company within the last two years. This award is designed to recognize a specific achievement which an airline has successfully used and implemented in the past year.

APEX EXPO Cool Award

The APEX EXPO Cool Award was created to recognize the innovative APEX spirit showcased each year at the APEX EXPO. In short, you and your fellow exhibitors will be watching for cool innovations out on the show floor, and the exhibitor with the most votes will win! Up to 10 votes can be cast from each member company in attendance to select one exhibiting, trend-setting company that deserves the award.