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.
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.
Managing Director LION (Load control International SK)
Vienna International Airport
Wolfgang has been working in ground handling for more than 20 years, during which time he has covered numerous operative and commercial management positions. In 2011 he was appointed Senior Vice President - Ground Handling, with responsibility for ramp, cargo and passenger operations at Vienna International. In addition to that he has been Managing Director of Vienna Passenger Handling Services since 2014 and Managing Director of LION, the centralised load control company of Vienna airport, since 2016.
Diego holds an MSc in Aeronautical Engineering and Airport Engineering from UPM, Madrid University. He has been working in Airbus since 2003, initially preparing the A380 for entry into service in airports worldwide and then taking care of aircraft/airport compatibility issues for all current and future aircraft types. He participates in several standardisation organisations and chairs the SAE AGE3 Aircraft Ground Support Equipment Committee. Diego has worked in several research European projects and continues to champion innovation in the airport ramp.
Didier is currently a Partner at Roland Berger where he is involved in strategy, corporate management, operations and restructuring and commercial development consulting. He leads the Transportation sector in Paris and co-leads the Air Business worldwide competence centre. Didier began his career with various operational responsibilities inside airlines and was Deputy Director of Pilot Staff as well as Quality Manager (with Air Liberté and British Airways).
Ground Operations Quality and Safety Manager
As Ground Operations Quality & Safety Manager, David is responsible for delivering end-to-end compliance oversight in relation to all ground operations areas, and providing specialist support covering all core back of house functions, including setting policy and standards. He is also responsible for owning and delivering development, change initiatives and strategic engagement with handling partners and equipment suppliers to drive key safety, compliance and efficiency improvements. David has over 20 years' experience in the aviation industry, having been previously employed by Continental Airlines, Menzies Aviation and Monarch Airlines in various roles, covering all areas of airport operations.
With 29 years’ aviation experience, Liam has covered a wide variety of operational roles, from Ramp Services to Terminal Duty Manager, Airport Manager, Operations Manager, Senior Manager Airfield Operations and, more recently, Head of Airside. Over the past five years his primary focus has been on the restructuring of operational activities, in order to create a multi-skilled team encompassed within one single operational department, that of AirOps. As designated Safety Manager, his other key responsibilities include the ongoing development and management of the Operational Safety Management System, the Airside Training Programme and Competency Scheme, along with Summer and Winter Operations.
Dieter started his career in aviation in customer services at Belgian airports for Jetairfly (Tui Airlines Belgium) and took multiple responsibilities within ground operations, inflight services and product development and innovation. He was responsible for the integration of the Moroccon subsidiary Jet4you with Jetairfly in 2012 and became the nominated postholder for ground operations for TUI Airlines Belgium, making him the youngest nominated person for a fleet of this size and aircraft types worldwide, a position he still holds. He became Director of Operations of Tui Airlines Belgium in 2016. In his current role, Dieter is the board member responsible for ground operations for Tui fly Benelux and for all ground support activities for Tui airlines Belgium, Tui fly The Netherlands, Tui fly Nordics and TUI Airways UK.
Michael is a corporate coach and author who has dedicated his life to inspirational business workshops, retreats and consultancies. Michael’s professional credentials include nearly six years leading the training and HR development of two spas in Asia. In 2004 he created a partnership with Dr Bill Gould, co-developing his programme of Transformational Thinking. Together, they introduced radical new concepts to the corporate world, including the Free Thinking Zone and the Twenty Attributes of the Human Spirit. In 2008 Michael founded Provolution and in 2010, Michael became the first trainer to write a programme for the Marriott International in Thailand. His Cultural Sensitivity Programme is now delivered annually to expatriate and Thai executives across the company. Michael has two books in print: Provolution - A Guide to Global Change Through Personal Evolution, and Equanimous.
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.
Amr is the Chairman of Link Group and CEO of Link Aero Trading Agency. Before founding LATA in 1992 he was a money market broker. He started his aviation career representing Hapag Lloyd Flug in Egypt, which gave him the vision to create LATA in Egypt and to later expand to Jordan, UAE, Morocco and other countries.
Jon began his aviation career with BOAC (later British Airways) Cargo, before embarking on a 27 year career with Cathay Pacific Airways. Initially working in cargo operations at London Gatwick, he was appointed Airport Manager Manchester in 1989. In 1994 he moved to Hong Kong, where he held a variety of senior management roles, the last being Director & General Manager of Hong Kong Airport Services. In 2008, he joined dnata as Divisional Senior Vice-President UAE Airport Operations and in 2014 he was given additional responsibility for dnata Cargo. Overseeing a workforce of over 18,000 across the UAE, Jon was also a Director of several joint ventures. In March 2017 he was appointed Director General of the Airport Services Association (ASA), the trade body representing the global ground handling industry. He is also Vice-Chair of the IATA Ground Operations Group.
Andy leads ICF/SHE's Airline practice in London as a Principal, and has over 24 years’ experience in the aviation industry, having worked for a number of airlines including British Airways, easyJet and Wizz Air in senior positions. His expertise lies primarily in the areas of airline operations, ground operations and ground handling. During his career, Andy has frequently had direct responsibility for the delivery of continuous operational improvement against a backdrop of rapid growth in challenging environments. He has held and managed roles and projects ranging from the operational transformation of airline and handling operations, the development and delivery of new safety and punctuality processes and procedures, and the procurement of services at ever-reducing unit costs. Having managed airport operations, pilot and cabin crew operations and Operations Control, and consulted for clients in all of these areas, Andy is able to offer deep expertise across all of the main elements of airline and ground handling operations.
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.
Executive Manager Ground Operations
Margit started her professional career working for LTE International Airways in 1989. During the first five years she was involved in administrative tasks related to ground operations, and then gradually introduced to the contracting of ground handling services. She was appointed Ground Operations Manager in 1995, and with the introduction of JAR OPS, was appointed Post-holder Ground Operations in 2002. Margit has also worked at Airberlin as Regional Manager Ground Operations, Safety & Security for Spain and Portugal. Since 2014 she has been in the position of Post-holder Ground Operations at Albastar.
Teltech Projects NK
David graduated from university in London, where he gained a degree in Business & Economics. He commenced a career in wireless telecommunications in 1989, when he joined Hutchison Whampoa in Hong Kong, and was responsible for the roll out of some of the first digital cellular networks in Asia. Joining Motorola in 1994, David assumed responsibility for Motorola’s join venture network operations, and through 2011 delivered wireless network businesses with local partners across Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe. In 2012 David became General Manager for a service company based at London Heathrow, taking responsibility for delivering two way radio and other wireless technology data services to clients, including the major airport authorities, airlines and ground handlers, both at Heathrow and other UK regional airports. In 2015 David led the project to win one of the first telematics contracts to service Heathrow airport, and has subsequently worked on related projects across Europe and Asia to develop the digital monitoring, management and optimisation of ground services equipment at airports.
Shaza has a degree in Arts of Visual Communication from one of the major Universities in Saudi Arabia. She recently joined SGS as a marketing representative for branding. Before joining SGS, Shaza was working in one of the media production agencies specialising in advertisement and brand management. She joined the handler in order to be able to apply her interest in branding to the aviation sector.
As Business Development Manager, Dennis has extensive experience in remote aviation services and the professional services sector, having spent over a year working in load control. Dennis holds a degree in the area of Law, specifically accounting and taxation, which was gained at Mannheim University, to which he later added a Master's qualification.
Mohamed has been assigned to the post of Contracts and Agreements Manager, taking responsibility for all Egyptair's overseas station contracts. He brings to the position a wide experience spanning 17 years in the airline industry. During this period he has held the post of Deputy GM Overseas Stations and the post of Airport Services Manager of Istanbul Ataturk airport.
Simon's career in aviation spans a wide range of roles across most aspects of the operating side of the industry. A graduate in Avionics from Queen Mary College, University of London, he initially worked in technical/engineering roles and developed up to Board level. This included spells with Bristow Helicopters, Racal Avionics (Decca), the UK's CAA, Air UK and British Regional/Manx. He was heavily involved in the Human Factors and early Safety Management work. Latterly, he broadened his career to include the accountability for, and the running of, all of the operational aspects of an airline at board level in the Chief Operating Officer role for British Airways CitiExpress/BA Connect. After the merger of BA Connect with Flybe, Simon created, developed and implemented the Flybe Academy. Simon has held many airline executive board positions and is a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership & Management, as well as Chair of Trustees for the International Federation of Airworthiness.
Maria has been working as an in-house legal counsel for Aeroportos de Portugal, since 1998. She has delivered some public presentations on the Ground Handling Directive and its review issues, as well as on aviation security for a workshop sponsored by the Portuguese Civil Aviation National Institute. In 2002, she published the first book in Portugal on Portuguese ground handling law. Maria is also a contributor to Ground Handling International and to a Portuguese lawyers’ magazine.