Benoît is an international and multicultural leader with a wide blend of skills from strategy development to operational/line responsibility in complex and service-related businesses. He worked for McKinsey & Company in senior business development and service performance management roles from 1999 to 2004. He joined DHL Express Europe in 2004 and DHL Supply Chain EMEA in 2009, where he held the positions of Director of Operations, Managing Director, Senior VP of Operations and CEO Germany, Alps & Nordics. Benoît was appointed CEO of Unilode in September 2017. He has a Master's in International Finance and Economics from the Sorbonne University, a Superior Master’s Degree in International Logistics Management from the University of the Mediterranean and has completed the Executive Development Programme of the Columbia Business School.
Prior to learning to fly, Bill studied Business at Penn State University, specialising in Finance. Upon graduation he entered the Air Force, becoming a First Assignment Instructor Pilot after pilot training. After leaving active duty, he continued to serve in the 111th Fighter Wing of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard and the 78th Air Refuelling Squadron of the Air Force Reserve. He was hired by American Airlines in 1992 and he has flown the B727, B757/767 types, and worked as a B737 X-Type Check Airman. His union work for the Allied Pilots Association has included serving on the Military Affairs Committee, the NY Professional Standards Committee as Chairman and as a member of APA National Professional Standards. As Director of Flight and Chief Pilot, he currently manages over 2,100 pilots for the PHL and DCA domiciles, while flying Airbus 330-200/-300 aircraft.
Catherine is the Academy Manager at Envirotainer. Since starting the role in 2014, Catherine has worked closely with cold chain stakeholders to improve supply chain reliability through the Envirotainer Academy. With more than 13 years’ experience working in training and compliance roles for a diverse range of industries, Catherine understands the integral role that staff competency has in the success of any organisation.
Desiree is a recognised expert in the aviation industry for her work with leadership teams and individuals on leadership and professional development. Prior to her 18 years in aviation, Desiree lived in Argentina, then Germany, before being relocated to the US in 2011. Desiree served as a senior leader in the aviation industry on a global level, leading multicultural customer excellence teams for some of the most recognised airlines, airports and service providers. During that time she witnessed first-hand the importance of leadership development. Desiree currently speaks on the importance of leadership development in an ever-changing aviation environment, with an increased focus on profitability, customer service and safety.
Derya's more than 30 year career has focussed on aviation and human resources and training. A graduate of Marmara University, with a degree in Business Administration, she also has a Master's in Executive Coaching from Ashridge School of Business from Yult Unıversity. She started her career at Turkish Airlines and later joined Trans World Airlines. She then moved to Çelebi Ground Handling as Training Manager. In 2004, she was promoted to Human Resources Director and in 2010, she was made Head of Human Resources and was appointed as an Executive Committee Member of Çelebi Havacılık Holding. Currently she is an executive Board Member of the group, responsible for training and development.
Douglas spent 17 years in the Royal Air Force flying the Tornado GR1 and Hawk as a trainer, culminating in operations as a mission leader in Desert Storm and the subsequent award of a DFC. On becoming a civil aviation pilot, he moved from Monarch to Doha with Qatar Airways and subsequently joined easyJet in 2004. He quickly joined the training team and subsequently the pilot management team in Luton, but returned to Gatwick in the Flight Operations team and is current on the A320 aircraft family. His role at Gatwick has led to a number of different directions that included Chairing the AOC and becoming a founder member of the Industry Resilience Group. Douglas works very closely with key stakeholders at Gatwick to help develop and deliver key projects such as ACDM, improvements in de-icing capacity and throughput, improvements in the consistent delivery of utilisation of the main runway and the development of the concept of operations for the northern runway to be brought into permanent use.
Fabio is a seasoned manager in the air transportation sector, with more than 20 years in the industry. He graduated from the International Relations Institute in Geneva and has an MA in International Relations from the University of Vienna. Prior to this, Fabio undertook a two year apprenticeship as assistant Air Traffic Controller at Geneva airport. He has worked for different companies and trade associations, all related to air transport. He started his career at the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation upon his return to Geneva in the late 1990s and then joined Boeing as a Deputy Director Air Traffic Management in Brussels. He was Deputy SG of the now defunct Association of European Airlines, before leading the European Business Aviation Association for six years, until 2016. He is currently managing two associations in parallel, namely the Airline Catering Association (based in Belgium) and the Airport Services Association in Switzerland.
Helmuth studied Law at Ludwig Maximillian University in Munich. After subsequent positions in international consulting firms and leading positions in the Daimler Benz Group, in 1993 he founded the consulting group Grolman.Result, which focuses on supporting technical innovation and transformation processes of leading international private and public organisations. In 2009, out of a German academy of technical sciences (ACATECH) desire for an efficient co-operation between economy, politics and science, he founded the Deutsches Dialog Institut. In 2011 he bought into the battery development company Kolibri Power Systems which through a management buyout in 2015 was turned into the product and solution provider Colibri Energy. Today he is CEO of the company.
Before coming to DGM in 1997, Herman worked in the Dutch army. He worked for five years as a logistics co-ordinator for Explosives and Fuel distribution and five years as an expert on the international movement of equipment, ordnance and personnel. Herman first joined DGM as a member of the Special Project team at DGM NL. In the years that followed he held senior management positions in DGM Systems and DGM Support, the head office of the international DGM network. Since 2003 he has been Managing Director of DGOffice
After spending 40 years in aviation and in particular the ground handling industry, Jacques decided in 2018 that it was time to offer his knowledge to the world and make ground handling safer and more efficient. Jacques has a spectrum of experience, ranging from working with airlines, ground service providers and airports, as well as cargo, passenger handling, operations, safety and security. Before starting his current company Saferground.aero he worked as Program Manager for the Veiligheidsplatform Schiphol or Safety Council Schiphol for a number of years, establishing exactly the subject of his participation at GHI: Collaboration between all stakeholders in ground services. Without understanding each other's business model, there is limited opportunity for this collaboration. Jacques is currently on a contract with TUI fly Netherlands and Belgium and works for them in ground services and in the Operations Control Centre.
Jani is the Director for Business Support for Swissport Finland at Helsinki airport, looking after long- and short-term planning, safety and quality and continuous improvement with his team. He has 20 years' airport and ground handling management experience and before joining Swissport, he was the Head of Airfield Maintenance at Helsinki airport. Prior to that, he was Development Manager in the ground handling environment. His ambition is to use big data and innovations to improve operations, punctuality and planning.
Jelmer started out in aviation working as a baggage loader at Eindhoven airport whilst studying Industrial Engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology. After writing his thesis on minimising transfer times for cargo at Schiphol Amsterdam airport, he succumbed to the aviation virus. His practical background, combined with theoretical knowledge, has given him an edge in his work at continuously improving airport operations. After working in a variety of functions, he is now part of Viggo's management and leads the innovations team that has developed and implemented many of the smart tools that are currently used to facilitate various improvement goals.
Koen has been working in aviation for more than 26 years, and has held numerous management positions. He started off at FedEx, before moving to DHL, TUI, easyJet and Menzies. He then joined Norwegian, where in 2016 he was appointed Head of Ground Operations. He has responsibility for ramp, cargo and passenger operations worldwide. In addition to that he has been CEO of Red Handling Spain and Red Maintenance Spain since 2015. In the shared services function he represents Norwegian Air Shuttle, Norwegian Air Norway, Norwegian Air International, Norwegian UK and Norwegian Air Argentina.
Leah is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst with over ten years of experience in motivating people to engage in behaviours needed to meet their personal goals as well as those of their organisation. Leah is a Director of UK-based Lux Consulting, specialising in behaviour and culture change, organisational systems analysis and behavioural leadership development.
Matt has over 25 years of asset finance experience across markets in the Americas, Europe and Asia. In his current role at DLL, Matt is responsible for development, implementation and strategic positioning of DLL’s pay-per-use, consumption-based, and as-a-service products supporting its vendor and direct customers. With DLL since 2003, his prior roles at DLL span business development, program management, asset management, business transformation and technology. Matt is a circular economy and sustainability thought leader who has worked with clients across industries to create innovative solutions driving the transition from asset ownership toward usage.
Max joined GHI in 2017 after launching and hosting conference and award events in the UK manufacturing industry. A trained journalist, Max strives to deliver innovative content on stage, online or in print that challenges, educates and entertains. As a non-aviation professional - Max is always eager to don the hi-vis jacket and get out on the apron to experience the everyday challenges facing ground handling businesses and their airline customers. Max graduated as a biochemist from Cardiff University in 2001. He became a NUJ/NCTJ accredited journalist in 2003. Max went on to an award-winning 14 year editorial career including stints at magazines in the UK pub, pharmacy and manufacturing sectors. Outside of work - Max is never far from a book, the fridge or the 5-a-side football pitch.
Michael is the Product Manager for GroundStar RealTime, INFORM's system for optimising ground operation processes. He holds a degree in Aviation Economics and worked for several years at Berlin airports. In 1998 Michael joined INFORM to implement RealTime systems and provide expert consultancy at multiple international airport sites, before taking overall responsibility for the product in 2007.
Mohammed has 29 years’ experience of the ground handling industry, having enjoyed a career at Servisair, where he progressed through the ranks from Senior Operational Management roles to Vice President Business Development Global Cargo, sitting on the Ground Handlers Executive Committee. Mohammed joined dnata UK in 2012 and has been leading its commercial strategy. He has been involved with the dnata City Cargo project, and has contributed to enhancing ground handling at Heathrow, as well as worked on start-ups at Manchester and Gatwick airports.
Nick is a seasoned aviation expert, with extensive experience in software development, operations management, product management and business development for a number of companies predominantly providing aviation IT solutions. At SITA, he currently has responsibility for a team of Solution Specialists who provide product expertise and business development support to SITA’s sales organisation.
Patricia started her career in aviation in Portugal, as a cabin crew member for TAP Airlines and Portugalia. With a Psychology background, after six years working for the NHS, in 2012 she embraced a career in Organisational Psychology. In 2014 she co-founded AviationShake and, as the Head of Training, was responsible for designing and delivering vocational aviation programmes. In 2017 she founded Group Skills4U and launched a Training & Development Institute in Portugal (IFD Portugal) and Empower Skills International Academy in the UK. She is currently working in partnership with the Aviationskills Partnership with the aim of launching an International Aviation Diploma.
With over 24years of aviation experience, working for both airlines and ground handlers, Paul has been with easyJet for just over six years, starting in 2013 in the Ground Operations Outstations region, managing 12 airports spread from the UK to Israel. He joined the Gatwick team four years ago to support the local Ground Operations team in a time of growth and in the last year has taken on the role of Regional Ground Operations Manager. He works closely with the carrier’s partners, teams and airport authority and is leading several projects with GSE partners on delivering future-state best fit of GSE.
Peter is a partner in Clyde & Co's global aviation practice. Based in Hong Kong, Peter has over 27 years’ experience working for the aviation industry, including advising operators, passenger and cargo terminals, ramp operators, MROs, FBOs and logistics providers and their insurers on ground handling operations and contracts, contingency planning, emergency response, compliance, investigations, prosecutions, claims and debt recoveries and acquisitions. He regularly advises on the IATA SGHA and has handled some of the leading court cases on Article 8. Peter has worked for an airline and for law firms in the UK, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Philipp started a co-operative study programme in Business Administration at Hamburg airport in 2016. During this programme, he worked in various departments and divisions such as ground handling, project management and aviation development. In addition, he participated in several aviation and digitisation projects, including the G20 summit, shuttle gates and the introduction of Scrum at Hamburg airport. He completed his course abroad at Turiba University in Riga, Latvia, last year. In addition to his co-operative study programme, Philipp works for HAM Ground Handling as a ramp agent. He is currently writing his thesis about an integrated operations centre for HAM Ground Handling.
Rami is an accomplished expert in translating vision into reality. ICT.AERO specializes in the sourcing and development of scalable, cost-effective technology solutions to support airport operations, and maximize financial returns. Mobility, Real-Time, Collaboration, and Automation are the corner stones of ICT.AERO solution architecture, which enables today’s workforce to meet their sophisticated operational demands with minimum training requirements and provide organizations with agility, service excellence and business intelligence. ICT.aero portfolio of systems includes Lounge Management, OCC, Dispatcher application, Lost Luggage, and more. please visit www.ICT.aero for more info.
Richard is the Chief Operating Officer for the Aviapartner Group and Managing Director of Aviapartner in Italy. He is responsible for 11 airports in Italy and his role as COO is focused on large scale and complex operations across Europe. Previously Richard was the General Manager of Etihad Airport Services Ground Handling Company at Abu Dhabi International airport. During his time there Richard developed and implemented an organisational strategy and plan to modernise the business, increase service levels, increase profitability and build a five year business plan for sustainable growth at Abu Dhabi airport.
Robert is Executive Vice President Cargo for Menzies Aviation, and based in Edinburgh. He re-joined Menzies in October 2017, having spent the previous nine years with Etihad, mostly based in the United Arab Emirates, where he held the position of Head of Cargo Operations, with accountability for hub operations and the global cargo handling network, overseeing significant growth of the airline and its cargo handling business. Prior to the move to Abu Dhabi, Robert’s first tenure with Menzies was a ten year stint in various commercial roles, including global key account management. He learnt the cargo business in his early years with Lufthansa Cargo based at London Heathrow in a number of operational and quality management roles. Robert is a former board member of cargoiQ and a current member of IATA’s Cargo Handling Consultative Council. He holds an Advanced Masters in Airline Operations Management from ENAC University in Toulouse, France.
Ross is a highly experienced leader, engineering manager, Type Airworthiness and Continuing Airworthiness Management specialist. Working at an executive level, Ross helps clients to understand the challenges and developmental needs within their own organisations and is skilled in identifying and delivering the practical solutions required to improve operational, financial and performance benefits. He specialises in the analysis of complex, organisational problems, focusing on people as the most valuable asset and helping to create simple plans that deliver tangible results. He brings expertise in Just Culture, human error, safety risk management and other associated safety performance disciplines.
Ruben started his career in Avianca as the Commercial and Airports Chief at Avianca Services. In 2015 he was promoted to Ground Operations Manager for the Bogota hub. Two years later Ruben assumed the post of Ground Operations Director, taking responsibility for all the below the wing operations (both in house and outsourced) of Avianca's network. Since September 2019 he has been Cargo Operations Director for the Avianca Cargo division. With more than 16 years of experience in the industry, Ruben holds a Business Administration degree, has a Master's in Business Administration and a Master's in Logistics and Operations; he has also accrued extensive training on related matters.
Sarah is a human performance specialist, with a broad experience across the aviation, rail and petrochemical industries, having held posts in Compliance, Safety, Human Factors and HR. Sarah has spent her career working with both civil aviation and military organisations, fixed wing and rotary, providing consulting, coaching and training to operators, regulators, manufacturers, ground service providers and airports around the world, helping companies improve performance through their people. She has a first degree in psychology from the University of Manchester and a PhD from Cranfield University. She is also a Chartered member of the British Psychological Society, the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors and the BPS Special Group in Coaching Psychology, as well as sitting on a number of EASA, Royal Aeronautical Society and industry working groups.
Steven boasts a long career in the world of aviation. For 15 years he held management positions, both operational and commercial, in the airline handling industry at various airports and in a variety of sectors, ranging from catering, cleaning and ramp handling to cargo. In October 2010 he joined The Brussels Airport Company as Cargo Marketing Manager and in February this year, Steven was appointed Head of Cargo at Brussels airport. In this position, he is responsible for the implementation of the strategic plan for Brussels airport’s cargo business unit. He is also in charge of maintaining relationships with the different cargo stakeholders, in close co-operation with the cargo management team.
Airport & Ground Operations Specialist
Steve is an experienced and widely acknowledged aviation professional noted for his work in operational and financial efficiency. His extensive knowledge and understanding of airport operations and ground handling matters span 20 years, having held management positions with low cost carriers including Go Fly, Ryanair and Sterling Airlines, as well as full service carriers Qatar Airways and Brussels Airlines. Steve also spent several years working for Copenhagen airport, which gave him an alternative operational perspective of facilities. Most recently Steve has been extending his assistance to airlines and airports on a consultancy basis through Global Travel Matters, a company he established three years ago. During Steve's unique and varied history he has driven many operational improvements, through process engineering and change management. These programmes have included vital levers such as insourcing and outsourcing of ground handling activities, cost reduction strategies, resource optimisation, performance development and digital and self-service deployment projects.
Tania Boyes is the Director Operations, Cargo at Virgin Atlantic and is responsible for the delivery of world class operations, including safety and security, compliance, business improvement and innovation. Cargo has been an important part of Virgin Atlantic’s business since the airline was founded by Richard Branson in 1984. Carrying over 240 million kilos of cargo annually worldwide, they have a strong commitment to customer service being at the heart of everything they do.
Thomas has extensive experience of the aviation industry in which he has worked for many years, including time spent with Worldwide Flight Services as SVP Group Purchasing and CEO of the French Ground Handling Business unit. Thomas has over ten years' experience in consulting (at KPMG Peat Marwick) and has now set up his own business. He works, amongst other sectors, for many players in the aviation field including airlines, manufacturers, ground handlers, GSE suppliers and private equity firms.
ABIAX AIR AVIATION
Gustavo is the Director of Abiax Air Aviation. Before co-founding Abiax Air in 2008, he was the Director of Strategy at the Latin American Airline Association, but also worked developing aviation projects for Canadian government. Before joining the aviation industry he held senior and CEO positions in the financial and insurance sectors within Latin America. Gustavo holds an MBA in Aviation Management from Concordia University, Montreal, a diploma in Sustainable Tourism and a degree in Business Administration. He teaches Evaluation of Investment Projects and Aviation Economics for Latin American civil aviation authorities. A writer, he has also participated in conferences as a speaker, moderator and chairman, and has attended more than 100 aviation and airport events.
Arafat has a track record spanning 19 years as an aviation professional, with extensive experience of passenger handling and ramp duties. Furthermore, he has held several posts, including time spent in the financial department, GSE Management, Cargo Operations and Director of Handling Operations and Cargo at Lisbon airport . Since 2017 he has been Operations General Director and responsible for running the entire operations of the company, which he is continuing to do so at present. Arafat holds an MBA in Air Transport Management and a Global Senior Management Program (GSMP) from both IE Business School (Madrid) and Chicago Booth School of Business.”