The Inflight Workshop provides an open forum on the exhibition floor for lively debates on key topical issues led by expert panels of IFEC industry leaders.

Senior professionals from across major carriers, IFEC manufacturers and suppliers offer their opinion on topical issues affecting the market, discuss the latest product innovations and review recent developments in business strategy.

Previous events have attracted panellists from major and regional Middle Eastern airlines, leading suppliers and innovative start-up entrepreneurs all listening to and debating on topical themes within the IFEC industry. The Workshop is staged within the Inflight Pavilion of the AIME exhibition hall, with a diverse programme spanning two days.

Browse the session themes below for more information on the 2017 programme. The Workshop culminates with the annual Inflight awards ceremony.

Please note – information on the 2018 Workshop schedule will appear here in due course.

2017 Workshop schedule

Day one:  8 February 2017

11.00: Welcome address (Daniel Kerrison, flydubai)

11.15–12.00: Session 1 – The balance of power

13.30–14.15: Session 2 – 4k and beyond

14.30–15.15: Session 3 –  Eye in the sky

15.30–16.15: Session 4 – Touch and go

Day two:  9 February 2017

10.45: Opening address (Joe Leader, APEX)

11.00-11.45: Session 5 – A hybrid connection

12.00-12.45: Session 6 – Interacting up

13.45-14.30: Session 7 – Are we there yet?

14.45: Awards ceremony

 

Refreshments will be available throughout each day during the session breaks.

Session 1: The balance of power

Theme: In-seat power

Wednesday 8 February 2017: 11.15-12.00

Following the consumer electronics market, inductive charging is the latest in-seat power development and is showcased in new concepts such as Panasonic’s Waterfront seat. But, inductive charging isn’t yet as fast as a high-power USB. How much of the new trend is just aesthetics? Will aircraft seats in the future have plugs at all? What are the regulatory issues involved in inductive charging compared with traditional AC/USB outlets?

Craig Foster (Moderator)
Co-Founder and Senior Analyst
Valour Consultancy

Craig Foster is a senior research consultant at Valour Consultancy. He has extensive experience covering a wide variety of technology markets including the Internet of Things, M2M, smart home, smart grid, home energy management, maritime VSAT and in-flight entertainment and connectivity. Foster has been an industry analyst for eight years and is based in Leicester in the United Kingdom.

Prior to his work at Valour Consultancy, he was a principal analyst at ABI Research and a market analyst at IMS Research. At ABI, he launched a new research area devoted to the smart home, before focusing his efforts on expanding the company’s IoT portfolio. At IMS, Foster’s research focused on the power transmission and low voltage products markets after which he moved on to take responsibility for the company’s then-nascent aerospace research group.

Craig is a regular participant in panel discussions and webinars and has been widely quoted in trade journals, magazines, and other forms of online and print media, most notably Forbes and The Sunday Times. He holds a BA in economics from the University of Leicester.

Peter Schetschine
General Manager
KID-Systeme

Peter Schetschine currently serves as General Manager for KID-Systeme. In this role he is responsible for the overall revenue generation and contract fulfilment including marketing, sales, program management and media/event relations.

Peter has more than 20 years of experience in the commercial avionics and in-flight passenger experience industry, having held various positions in engineering, business development and sales at KID-Systeme and Airbus.

Peter received his education in physical science and physiology at the Christian-Albrechts- Universität in Kiel, Germany, where he earned a diploma in applied physics. He is co-author of a patent and throughout his career he has been quoted across business publications, as well as chosen to speak at international conferences and conventions.

Dennis Markert
Director Business Development & Technical Services
Astronics

Dennis has amassed 32 years’ experience in design, development, manufacturing, project management, engineering, marketing and sales of products for airborne applications in the commercial, military and IFE markets. After studying in New York, Dennis spent 17 years at Miltope Corporation, completing various roles in manufacturing, engineering, quality and assurance and sales. Dennis then amassed further experience in sales, customer service and business development in the cabin systems and electronics sectors, representing organisations including IDD Aerospace, General Dynamics and Teledyne Controls. In 2005, Dennis joined Astronics Corporation in Kirkland, WA. For the past 11 years, he has utilised his considerable market expertise serving as Director Business Development, responsible for global sales and marketing in cabin electronics.

Paul Thorpe
VP Global Sales
digEcor

Paul joined digEcor in 2014 and in that time has led the company through its recent growth and market share success. He moved to digEcor from Rockwell Collins where he was Sales Director. Having worked in the industry for 16 years he is highly experienced in aircraft IFE integration and installations, maintenance and customer support. He has a Masters of Business Administration and a degree in engineering.

Phil Brace
IFEC & Airborne Power Solutions
Pascall Electronics

Phil has 30 years’ experience in the electronics industry, within the areas of space satellites, cellular communications and civil aerospace. Combining education with work experience, Phil studied Electronic Engineering is his home town of Portsmouth, UK.
Over several years, a wide experience was gained in design & component engineering which expanded to hi-rel product specification, procurement and quality responsibilities.
Transitioning to sales & business development activities in 1997, Phil has enjoyed direct sales, marketing and product line management roles in power semiconductors and in-cabin power systems.
Phil’s role at Pascall is to develop long term collaborative partnerships, focused in the area of highly reliable airborne power solutions, in both LRU and embedded forms.
As a private pilot, regular traveller and ‘history of flight’ enthusiast, Phil enjoys being around aeroplanes and conversing on the future of IFE, connectivity, seat power and related subjects.

Session 2: 4K and beyond

Theme: Next generation screen technology

Wednesday 8 February 2017: 13.30-14.15

The next generation of video displays will be 4K UHD offering improvements in resolution, a wide colour gamut, high dynamic range, high frame rate, less bandwidth use and other benefits. How prepared is the IFE market to adopt this consumer technology and is it willing to? What are the technical challenges, and when passengers likely to view 4K content?

Alexander Preston (Moderator)
Editor
Inflight

Alexander Preston is editor of Inflight. He oversees the entire Inflight media portfolio which includes a bi-monthly magazine, online news service and active social media presence. Alex also serves on the editorial board for the Inflight Pavilion, Workshop and Awards events. With over 15 years’ experience as a journalist, he is a regular moderator at IFEC-related events. He holds an MA Hons in English and History from Aberdeen University.

David Withers
Chief Executive
digEcor

David founded digEcor’s parent Total Aviation Solutions in 2009 and has over 25 years’ experience in the aviation industry. He is a former President of Boeing Australia and was the Managing Director for Smiths Aerospace (now GE Aviation) after completing his time with Qantas Airways. David has a Masters of Business Administration, an Honors degree in Communications Engineering, trade qualifications in Aircraft Maintenance and is a Commercial Pilot. He is a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Institute of Management.

Gez Draycott
Vice President, Portfolio Management Data Mobility
SES

Gez has the responsibility of managing the diverse range of mobility portfolios and solutions within SES. Combining a mix of operational knowledge and technical design from his previous roles at the SES Operations Centre, Platform Services and as Manager of the Sales Engineering team, Gez works with mobility customers worldwide to ensure that their solutions are commercially successful and technically advanced. His current focus is to expand the aeronautical, maritime and land mobility portfolio suite of products and solutions, harnessing the power of satellite and ground based connectivity, to serve customers globally. Gez has been a member of the SES team since 2000 and he holds a BSc Honors Degree from the Open University.

Craig Foster
Co-Founder and Senior Analyst
Valour Consultancy

Craig Foster is a senior research consultant at Valour Consultancy. He has extensive experience covering a wide variety of technology markets including the Internet of Things, M2M, smart home, smart grid, home energy management, maritime VSAT and in-flight entertainment and connectivity. Foster has been an industry analyst for eight years and is based in Leicester in the United Kingdom.

Prior to his work at Valour Consultancy, he was a principal analyst at ABI Research and a market analyst at IMS Research. At ABI, he launched a new research area devoted to the smart home, before focusing his efforts on expanding the company’s IoT portfolio. At IMS, Foster’s research focused on the power transmission and low voltage products markets after which he moved on to take responsibility for the company’s then-nascent aerospace research group.

Craig is a regular participant in panel discussions and webinars and has been widely quoted in trade journals, magazines, and other forms of online and print media, most notably Forbes and The Sunday Times. He holds a BA in economics from the University of Leicester.

Session 3 - Eye in the sky

Theme: Surveillance

Wednesday 8 February 2017: 14:30-15:15

Airlines and regulatory bodies are committed to deploying up-to-the-minute technology that ensures optimum in-flight safety. Cockpit Door Surveillance Systems (CDSS) allow flight crews to visually survey and monitor situations all throughout an aircraft at stages of the flight without having to leave the secure cockpit environment. What is CDSS technology and what benefits can it offer to airlines, crew and passengers? How adaptive is it to ever-changing risks?

Alexander Preston (Moderator)
Editor
Inflight

Alexander Preston is editor of Inflight. He oversees the entire Inflight media portfolio which includes a bi-monthly magazine, online news service and active social media presence. Alex also serves on the editorial board for the Inflight Pavilion, Workshop & Awards events. With over 15 years’ experience as a journalist, he is a regular moderator at IFEC-related events. He holds an MA Hons in English and History from Aberdeen University.

Peter Schetschine
General Manager
KID-Systeme

Peter Schetschine currently serves as General Manager for KID-Systeme. In this role he is responsible for the overall revenue generation and contract fulfilment including marketing, sales, program management and media/event relations.

Peter has more than 20 years of experience in the commercial avionics and in-flight passenger experience industry, having held various positions in engineering, business development and sales at KID-Systeme and Airbus.

Peter received his education in physical science and physiology at the Christian-Albrechts- Universität in Kiel, Germany, where he earned a diploma in applied physics. He is co-author of a patent and throughout his career he has been quoted across business publications, as well as chosen to speak at international conferences and conventions.

Steffen Spell
VP Sales, Marketing and Business Development
Securaplane Technologies Inc.

Steffen Spell is Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Business Development for Securaplane Technologies Inc., the world leader in aircraft camera security systems. The use of cameras and video technology continues to grow and Meggitt’s Power & Motion business is actively working on new solutions. For example, we are talking to key OEMs about the opportunities for next generation 4K cameras as well as working with our imaging partners to create integration strategies for this technology.
Steffen has a great deal of aerospace industry experience with leading companies such as GE Aviation and Cobham PLC. In addition, he has held a number of Sales & Marketing leadership roles in other industries with companies such as Ingersoll-Rand and GE Healthcare and has significant international experience in his professional career from assignments in Asia and Europe.
Steffen holds a Bachelor of Science degree with emphasis on Aviation Technology from Purdue University and received his MBA from the Marshall School of Business at USC.

Patrick Fretelliere
Head of Sales
Latecoere

Patrick Fretelliere has served as LATECOERE LATvision™ Head of Sales since September 2015.

With more than 25 years experience in the aerospace and defence industry, Patrick is well-accustomed to dealing with breakthrough innovation concepts.

This experience stretches to introducing new products and initiatives to the market throughout his career. Major developments have included the first electrical fuel refuelling serve drive system, seven years warranted low-cost seat actuation systems, and the IFE Seat Centric concept. Patrick has been directly invovled in the first introduction of these products, and more, to the airline market.

Patrick joined the LATECOERE LATvision™ team to develop and promote creative and value-added Airborne Video Systems for the benefit of airlines’ on-board services. A secondary purpose of these systems is to provide assistance during ground operations.

Session 4 - Touch and go

Theme: Contactless payments (NFC)

Wednesday 8 February 2017: 15:30-16:15

Near-field communication (NFC) has the potential to allow airlines to drive ancillary revenues further, but how do aircraft fit into the wider contactless mobile payment landscape?  Can the IFEC system be turned into a business platform? How is NFC being integrated into seating? What are the technical infrastructure issues and how close are we to standardisation?

Alexander Preston (Moderator)
Editor
Inflight

Alexander Preston is editor of Inflight. He oversees the entire Inflight media portfolio which includes a bi-monthly magazine, online news service and active social media presence. Alex also serves on the editorial board for the Inflight Pavilion, Workshop & Awards events. With over 15 years’ experience as a journalist, he is a regular moderator at IFEC-related events. He holds an MA Hons in English and History from Aberdeen University.

Zahir Khoja
Division Head Market Development, Middle East and North Africa
MasterCard

Zahir Khoja is the Division Head, Market Development for Middle East and North Africa at MasterCard. In this capacity, he is responsible for developing strategies that will enable new growth opportunities for stakeholders such as merchants, consumers, government and other partners using innovative payment solutions and enhanced consumer experiences.
Zahir joined MasterCard in 2012 as the Chief Executive Officer for Mobile Payment Solutions (MPS), a joint venture between MasterCard and SMART Hub Inc. where he was responsible for deploying mobile solutions in Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia and Turkey.
Prior to that, Zahir was the Executive Director for Mobile Commerce at Roshan, Afghanistan’s leading total communications provider and President for M-Paisa, Afghanistan’s first commercially-licensed mobile money service, which he project managed in its entirety. This project has earned him global recognition for his contribution to driving financial inclusion in the country. He has also won several awards for his work in Afghanistan including the 2011 GSMA Best Mobile Money for the Unbanked (joint award with Vodafone), and 2011 Telecom Asia’s Best Community Based.  Zahir was also instrumental in setting up the Afghanistan Mobile Money Operators Association (AMMOA) with support from USAID and the Central Bank of Afghanistan.
Zahir has held several additional senior-level positions at Virgin Mobile, TELUS and Pepsi Cola in Canada.
He currently serves as a board advisor for Kudos, an online social recognition platform. He also served on the Board for the Burnaby Hospital Foundation in Canada and has been an active member and supporter for AIESEC and Junior Achievement. He is also a member of the Grameen Foundation Technology Center Advisory Board.
Zahir holds a Bachelor of Commerce Honors Degree in Marketing and Management Information Systems from the University of Ottawa in Canada, in addition to a Sales and Marketing Executive Program from the University of British Columbia.

Noel Connolly
Vice President, Global Head of Sales
CellPoint Mobile

Noel Connolly serves as CellPoint Mobile’s Vice President, Global Head of Sales in the company’s Dubai office. To this new role he brings broad experience and a background in sales, process re-engineering, consulting and account management of strategic, enterprise-level solutions for corporate and public-sector clients. Before joining CellPoint Mobile, Connolly worked more than five years as Sales Director in travel network airline distribution for Sabre Travel Network and as a Solution Partner in Sabre’s airline solutions division. He also worked as Sales/IT Account Manager for Dnata-Mercator, a leading global provider of air and travel services, and in product solutions, sales, and strategy roles for Xerox and Computershare.

David Thomas
Vice President Business Development and Innovation
IFPL

David Thomas serves as the Vice President of Business Development and Innovation at IFPL. IFPL is an innovative award winning company specialising in the design and manufacture of passenger interface solutions to the global In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) industry. David has an extensive knowledge in hardware, software and connectivity in IFEC and also the broader airline industry from his previous high level roles within Rolls Royce (Asset management), Thales (IFEC) and Rockwell Collins (eFlight and Information Management). Now at IFPL,  David leads the company’s broad business development activities across global markets in addition to product innovation and channel development strategies.

Session 5 - A hybrid connection

Theme: Satellite communications

Thursday 9 February 2017: 11.00-11.45

Responding to passenger demand, satellite operators are under more pressure to bring faster connectivity and higher-quality broadband service to aircraft. One of the latest trends is the development of a hybrid antenna which switches from Ka- to Ku-band depending on availability and/or aircraft type/airline type etc. What are the benefits and challenges with this new setup in terms of price, upgrades, maintenance costs, PaxEx etc.?

Craig Foster (Moderator)
Co-Founder and Senior Analyst
Valour Consultancy

Craig Foster is a senior research consultant at Valour Consultancy. He has extensive experience covering a wide variety of technology markets including the Internet of Things, M2M, smart home, smart grid, home energy management, maritime VSAT and in-flight entertainment and connectivity. Foster has been an industry analyst for eight years and is based in Leicester in the United Kingdom.

Prior to his work at Valour Consultancy, he was a principal analyst at ABI Research and a market analyst at IMS Research. At ABI, he launched a new research area devoted to the smart home, before focusing his efforts on expanding the company’s IoT portfolio. At IMS, Foster’s research focused on the power transmission and low voltage products markets after which he moved on to take responsibility for the company’s then-nascent aerospace research group.

Craig is a regular participant in panel discussions and webinars and has been widely quoted in trade journals, magazines, and other forms of online and print media, most notably Forbes and The Sunday Times. He holds a BA in economics from the University of Leicester.

Daniel Kerrison
Vice President - Inflight Product
flydubai

Since joining flydubai’s start-up team, Dan has led the strategic development of the airline’s in-flight experience. His responsibilities include the evolution of the cabin interior and award-winning in-flight entertainment product, and management of in-flight retail and catering operations. Dan has overseen the introduction of the Boeing Sky Interior, Lumexis IFE and most recently Geven’s “COMODA” Business Class seat, in each instance as the launch customer.
Dan joined the Guest Service Systems division at Virgin Blue during the airline’s start-up in 2000, then Emirates Airline’s Service Delivery and Cabin Crew Management team in 2006.
Dan has a Master of Aviation Management degree from Griffith University.

Shahrokh Amiri
Managing Director, MENA
Intelsat

Bio to follow shortly.

Ben Griffin
Regional Director, Aviation
Inmarsat

Ben Griffin joined Inmarsat in 2011 and as Regional Director is responsible for the Aviation business in the MEA region. Based in Dubai, he ensures all of Inmarsat’s services are adequately represented to the aviation community – classic services, SwiftBroadband and GX Aviation. Prior to joining Inmarsat, Ben worked with AeroMobile, the world’s first GSM system operating on a commercial airline. He had broad responsibility from successful programme management of the AeroMobile implementation to commercial responsibility for the MEA region. Previously, he trained and worked in Air Traffic Control in the UK as an aerodrome controller and then took a more commercial role with ARINC, helping to establish the European operation for datalink communications and related ATC services. Ben is a member of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Doug Murri
Vice President Operations
Global Eagle Entertainment

An aviation industry veteran, Doug is responsible for operations and product support for the connectivity division and has been with GEE for six years.

Prior to joining Global Eagle Entertainment through the acquisition of Row 44, Doug was with Southwest Airlines for nearly 16 years. While at Southwest, Doug was instrumental in the selection, implementation and management of key communications and automation initiatives such as ACARS / Flight Data Programs, Electronic Flight Bag, and Airborne Broadband Connectivity.

Doug attended Brigham Young University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration / Management Information Systems.

Gez Draycott
Vice President, Portfolio Management Data Mobility
SES

Gez has the responsibility of managing the diverse range of mobility portfolios and solutions within SES. Combining a mix of operational knowledge and technical design from his previous roles at the SES Operations Centre, Platform Services and as Manager of the Sales Engineering team, Gez works with mobility customers worldwide to ensure that their solutions are commercially successful and technically advanced. His current focus is to expand the aeronautical, maritime and land mobility portfolio suite of products and solutions, harnessing the power of satellite and ground based connectivity, to serve customers globally. Gez has been a member of the SES team since 2000 and he holds a BSc Honors Degree from the Open University.

Mihir Thakkar
Regional Director, Global Airline Business Group
Gogo

Mihir Thakkar is the regional director of programs and partnerships at Gogo. He is responsible for the management of airline partners in the Western U.S. and Latin/South America. He most recently led the launch of Gogo’s 2Ku program on Aeromexico and GOL. Mihir joined Gogo in 2015 after 12 years at United Airlines where he served as the director of strategy and led the industry’s largest investment into a bio-refinery. He held several other key roles at the company in network planning, product development and alliances and joint ventures. Before joining United, he spent several years in KPMG Consulting’s telecom practice with a focus on system implementation, business process optimization and program management.  Mihir received his BA in Economics from Oberlin College and an MBA from Indiana University – Kelley School of Business.

Session 6 - Interacting up

Theme: Interactive content

Thursday 9 February 2017: 12:00-12:45

Airlines are having to come up with new ways to engage passengers, encourage them to spend money and interact with their branding. This is why companies are innovating with interactive content for both embedded and handheld IFE systems. How do you incorporate unique 3D personalised content to keep passengers happy? How do you retain consistency across in-seat solutions and PEDs? What types of content do passengers respond well/not so well to?

Alexander Preston (Moderator)
Editor
Inflight

Alexander Preston is editor of Inflight. He oversees the entire Inflight media portfolio which includes a bi-monthly magazine, online news service and active social media presence. Alex also serves on the editorial board for the Inflight Pavilion, Workshop & Awards events. With over 15 years’ experience as a journalist, he is a regular moderator at IFEC-related events. He holds an MA Hons in English and History from Aberdeen University.

Babar Rahman
Head of Global Sponsorships, CSR and IFEC
Qatar Airways

Babar Rahman is responsible for driving the Global Sponsorships, Community Relations and Inflight Entertainment strategy at Qatar Airways. In his role, Qatar Airways relaunched the in-flight entertainment as Oryx One, enhanced the content selection and introduced content promotion strategies, increased connectivity usage, introduced the region-first on-board Wi-Fi sponsorship and successfully implemented several key in-flight entertainment projects for the award-winning airline’s vast fleet and related systems.

Mr Rahman is keeping Qatar Airways at the forefront of in-flight entertainment through collaboration with several key internal/external stakeholders to introduce innovative technologies/products and to drive maximum value for the airline for future IFE projects

Joe Leader
CEO
APEX

Joe Leader serves as the CEO of APEX, a four-decade old leading nonprofit global organization committed to accelerating airline passenger experience. As passenger experience becomes a growing profit center for airlines, Leader works with senior executives at all of the world’s leading airlines, top industry suppliers, government organizations, and major media groups. A forerunner in aviation and technology, Leader has been a leading executive for more than two decades across technology and aviation companies. Leader holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Emory University, MBA in technology management, and conducted his business Ph.D. research on accelerating technology adoption in aviation.

David Dicko
CEO
Skylights

Passionate about the airline industry, David was first an airline pilot for 10 years on the A320 and B777 for a major European carrier. He then occupied a variety of flight operations related positions before turning to the business side of the airline and ultimately becoming corporate strategy & innovation director for the airline. His career took a turn towards entrepreneurship when he met Florent Bolzinger and they cofounded Skylights together in 2014.

Long-haul flights, particularly in economy, continue to be boring, oppressive and anxiety-inducing to many passengers. At the same time, airlines continue to pay millions for quickly out of date and hardly differentiating inflight entertainment solutions. As a service provider to airlines, Skylights enables passengers to use immersive glasses, the Skylights Theaters, to enjoy the latest Hollywood movies onboard with an experience identical to that of sitting in the middle of a movie theatre.

Duncan Abell
VP, Creative Services
Global Eagle Entertainment

Duncan oversees the creative teams in the GEE global network. He has, and continues to work on, many of the major international airline accounts including Air New Zealand, American Airlines, KLM, Air France, Emirates, Etihad, Qatar, China Airlines and Cathay Pacific, over a fifteen year period.

He engages in seeing the wider opportunities in adding value to the entertainment experience for the airline, and ultimately the passenger. He has delivered, and understands the value of, the differentiation potential of; a GUI, Safety Video, Magazine, Website, Application and IFE Brand – and how these can influence the journey experience, as independent components and within a campaign, which positively affect the passenger decision making process. 

Neale Faulkner
Manager Strategy and Marketing, MEA
SITAONAIR

Neale Faulkner is Manager of Strategy and Marketing operations for Middle East and Africa for all SITAONAIR solutions across the connected e-Aircraft, enabling airlines to utilise innovative technology to achieve strategic goals and differentiate their services from competitors.
As an experienced strategist and consultant within the software and communication industry for the last 15 years, Neale has worked with Telecommunication providers and airlines worldwide to ensure they are utilising their tools and processes to ensure maximum revenue generation and profitability.
Neale joined SITAONAIR in 2015 to support the synergies of cockpit and cabin for the next generation of e-Aircrafts. As part of his core role, Neale consults to airlines within the MEA region on utilising methods around monetization, sponsorship and strategic pricing to maximise the return on investment through on-board connectivity.
Neale Faulkner, a British national, holds a Honours Degree in Leadership and Management, as well as many industry leading certifications. Neale is based at SITAONAIR’s regional office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Cyril Jean
CEO
PXCOM

Having graduated from a French engineering school in Computer Science and Electronics, Cyril created and directed organizations which brought strong added-value to the high-tech sector, particularly in the area of embedded systems and onboard entertainment for both aeronautics, automotive and telecom suppliers.

Then he founded PXCom in order to enhance #PaxEX providing airline passengers with interactive destination guides and services for the IFEC industry, on a revenue-share business model.

Session 7 - Are we there yet?

Theme: Child passengers and families

Thursday 9 February 2017: 13:45-14:30

Children. A growing demographic of future air passengers. How are Middle Eastern airlines catering to young travellers and their families/guardians? What amenities are offered i.e themed amenity kits, meals, specific IFE content? Is there a balance between entertainment and education? Is brand association a growing trend?

Becky Howells (Moderator)
Company Director
HMG Aerospace

Having worked in the aviation industry since the age of 21, Becky brings vast experience from the airport and airline sectors.  She’s seen a lot of changes over the years and seen the industry evolve incredibly. Becky worked for many years managing ACI EUROPES Communiqué Airport Business magazine and was promoted to develop the Conferences and Exhibitions for the association across the European region.  After a slight career break to start her family Becky returned to the industry to co-establish HMG Aerospace at the end of 2009. As a company Director, Becky oversees Events, Finance, Marketing and HR.

Mohamad ElAssaad
Senior Manager Marketing, Inflight Services and Product
Gulf Air

Mohamad ElAssaad, Senior Manager Gulf Air Marketing, Inflight Services and Product, has been the key project director for Global Connectivity Solutions for 12 years.
Mohamad has been in the Airlines’ Cabin Product design that includes the IFE and communications industry for over 18 years, achieving various modern cabin core architecture designs. He has also developed services strategies in in-flight entertainment and communications that led to innovation in cost effective media methodologies as well as developing aircraft hardware and software entertainment systems.
He is currently managing Inflight Communications Software Projects in coordination with Airlines Inflight Communications working group and Advisory board on Global Connected Aircraft.

Babar Rahman
Head of Global Sponsorships, CSR and IFEC
Qatar Airways

Babar Rahman is responsible for driving the Global Sponsorships, Community Relations and Inflight Entertainment strategy at Qatar Airways. In his role, Qatar Airways relaunched the in-flight entertainment as Oryx One, enhanced the content selection and introduced content promotion strategies, increased connectivity usage, introduced the region-first on-board Wi-Fi sponsorship and successfully implemented several key in-flight entertainment projects for the award-winning airline’s vast fleet and related systems.

Mr Rahman is keeping Qatar Airways at the forefront of in-flight entertainment through collaboration with several key internal/external stakeholders to introduce innovative technologies/products and to drive maximum value for the airline for future IFE projects

Joe Leader
CEO
APEX

Joe Leader serves as the CEO of APEX, a four-decade old leading nonprofit global organization committed to accelerating airline passenger experience. As passenger experience becomes a growing profit center for airlines, Leader works with senior executives at all of the world’s leading airlines, top industry suppliers, government organizations, and major media groups. A forerunner in aviation and technology, Leader has been a leading executive for more than two decades across technology and aviation companies. Leader holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Emory University, MBA in technology management, and conducted his business Ph.D. research on accelerating technology adoption in aviation.

Meaghan Murta
Head of Guest Experience Management
Etihad Airways

Meaghan Murta joined Etihad Airways as Head of Guest Experience Management in October 2015. In this capacity, Meaghan’s focus is designing and developing the end to end guest experience strategy for the airline – in the air and on the ground. She is accountable for continuously improving customer satisfaction, optimizing consumer insight and driving innovation across the network.

Meaghan joined Etihad Airways following a successful 16 year career in the hotel industry. Previously Meaghan was Regional Head of Brand Management for Hilton Worldwide based in London. Prior to this, Meaghan held numerous brand management and operation roles with InterContinental Hotels Group and Starwood Hotels & Resorts based in Toronto, London, Brussels and Singapore.

Meaghan was born in Canada and now lives in Abu Dhabi, UAE with her husband and two children. A graduate from Brock University in Ontario, she has a Bachelor of Arts Degree specializing in Business Communications.

Martin Devereux
Director of One Aerospace Lab Operations
Global One Media

Formerly Media Program Management at Panasonic Avionics, Martin has 30 years’ experience in TV, Digital and Film Post Production. Initially starting as a BBC Broadcast Engineer then moving through production, operations and client management with major Hollywood Labs, Vidfilm Digital, CBS, Fox and Technicolor.