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Panel discussion: The Value of Aviation

Governments and regulators in many countries do not fully appreciate the contribution air transport makes to their economic and business development.  Consequently, they are often quick to introduce new taxation and costly regulation, whilst failing to ensure adequate infrastructure.
This session provided the audience with the arguments and tools required to persuade their governments of the value of aviation.

Moderator: Brian Pearce
Brian Pearce is IATA’s Chief Economist.  The role of his team is to analyse the economic and policy landscape facing the airline industry, to provide credible economic analysis to guide and support IATA’s advocacy work. An economist with almost 30 years of international experience in several industries, he is also a Visiting Professor at Cranfield University’s Department of Air Transport.  He was formerly head of global economic research at the investment bank SBC Warburg in Tokyo and then London, and was Chief Economist at Ernst & Young’s economic forecasting consultancy.

Capt. Aysha Al Hamili, Msc. UAE Permanent Representative ICAO Council
Since 2009, Capt. Al Hamili heads the UAE Permanent Diplomatic Mission to ICAO. In 2011, she was appointed as one of the Council’s VPs. She is also Chairperson of the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Market-Based Measures – a group that has been tasked with one of the most sensitive issues that aviation faces nowadays.  Capt. Al Hamili also serves as coordinator of the Arab Civil Aviation Commission on the Council. She holds a masters degree in Air Transport Management from City University of London, and a Bachelors of Arts and Science from Zayed University.  

Dr Stephen Mbithi Mwikya, Chief Executive Officer, Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya
Dr Stephen Mbithi Mwikya  is the CEO of the Fresh Produce and Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK), an industry organization which brings together 150 companies that grow and export horticulture (fruits, vegetables and flowers) from Kenya (82% to the EU). He graduated from University of Ghent, Belgium with Masters and Ph.D degrees in post harvest technology and standards. He has been an international consultant on trade and standards (SPS) in several organizations, including UNEP, COMESA and several African countries. Currently, he is the coordinating CEO of Horticulture Council of Africa (HCA), which brings together 13 industry associations in 11 African countries.
   

David P Scowsill, President & CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC)
David Scowsill became President & CEO of WTTC in November 2010, after spending six years working on travel and technology deals with private equity. Chairman PrivateFly, and Yuuguu.com; Vice-Chairman World Hotels AG, and NED at Venere.com; Sales/Marketing Director at easyJet. He was CEO Opodo until 2004. Previously, SVP & Board Member at Hilton International, Director Asia/Pacific at British Airways, and MD EMEA American Airlines.

Travis Sullivan, VP, International Strategy and Business Development, Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Travis Sullivan is responsible for developing a global strategy and international partnerships. From 2009 to 2010, he was chief policy advisor to U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. Previous positions include senior policy advisor to U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell for foreign affairs, national security and trade; and international trade specialist at U.S. Department of Commerce. Sullivan has a Ph.D. in international relations theory from The Johns Hopkins University and graduated from the Executive General Management Program at Harvard Business School.


Willie Walsh, Chief Executive Officer, International Airlines Group (IAG)
Willie Walsh was CEO of British Airways from October 2005 to the effective merger date. At British Airways, Willie guided the company to its first-ever 10 per cent operating margin in 2007-2008 and introduced permanent changes across the airline to bring it through the worst recession in aviation history in 2008-2009. He secured the airline’s long-term strategic objective to establish a transatlantic Joint Business with American Airlines and Iberia and set up the merger with Iberia that led to the formation of IAG.

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