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IATA People Symposium

Premier Conference for Aviation Executives & Human Resource Professionals

Commercial aviation is a service business and a people business  – the unique requirements and challenges merit the attention of an event tailored to fit the industry.  The importance of this area is not just for human resources specialists but extends to every aviation executive where people performance and development are critical to business success. This is the only event in 2014 that focuses on human resource management in aviation.

Speaker Presentations:

Tuesday 4 November
Women in Aviation Leadership (pdf)

Wednesday 5 November
Plenary Sessions (pdf)

Thursday 6 November
Plenary Sessions (pdf) 


Useful Information:



Tuesday 4th November

Panel: Successful Women Leaders of Today:

  • Our lively discussion on Gen Y Women In leadership, can simply be summarized as #Iamawow!  Bringing together three inspirational young women Susie Barrett from Delta, Pamela Pollock from United, and Altaf Ahmed Al-Khattabi from Yemenia, we covered aspirations for the future of women – to be in a world where passion, education and talented women are recognized, developed and supported.   

Panel : Successful Women Leaders of Today:

  • Four very successful women leaders provided the audience with a very inspiring and powerful conversation on how important is to have women leaders in the aviation industry and what did it take them to excel in their domain. They shared the stories of how they have made it to their current positions – a number of the elements were common across the four including their commitment to achieving their goals, their courage to take on new challenges and the need to make some critical tradeoffs between their work and personal life. 
  • They emphasized the importance of building networks – with men as well as women. They also expressed their expectation that the next generation of women leaders will have an easier time of getting to senior positions.

Wednesday 5th November

Featured the opening welcome remarks from Jozef Sinčák, Chairman of the Board of Czech Airlines, the host airline for the People Symposium.  Following an economic and industry outlook presentation from Julie Perovic from the IATA Economics Unit, a panel of four CEOs addressed the critical connection between corporate strategy and people focus in successful organizations. 

  • Dave Barger from JetBlue was with the company from its inception and had the opportunity to start from a clean sheet of paper to ensure the focus on people (with crewmembers instead of employees who were serving customers instead of passengers) 
  • Rob Fyfe formerly CEO of Air New Zealand spoke about the need to communicate the personality of the company – both inside and out – and described the business as “not about planes, but about people” 
  • Both Sebastian Mikosz of LOT Polish Airlines and Josef Sincak stressed the communication  challenges faced in the when radical changes were required in their organization. The day closed with Jim Lynde, formerly SVP HR for Spirit Airlines spoke about the need to balance costs with service.  He outlined the simple ways this could be done - starting with "a smile costs nothing”

Thursday 6th November

  • The day opened with a panel of senior leaders who came to the airline world from other industries who examined the challenges and advantages of having industry outsiders at the top of the organization
  • In Thursday’s session we saw the future, and it’s got the potential to change everything!   Taiger presented their vision of the future using artificial intelligence to help us make quicker smarter decisions by integrating all the information sources within the company to support training and development  
  • Building on the age old art of playing games, Growth Engineering showcased their gamification platform, which apart from being engaging and dare we say it, fun, can help companies have a positive tangible impact on revenue and staff turnover!  
  • Future Visual, then took us to a whole new world, albeit a virtual one. Using virtual reality they showed took us inside a plane – the implications for training are massive. Imagine being able to train somebody on fixing an engine without having to have a physical engine, or how to handle an emergency situation on board….it felt pretty real to us!

Additional information

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