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The Inflight Workshop provides an open forum on the exhibition floor for lively debates on key topical issues led by panels of IFEC, cabin technology and aircraft interiors industry experts.

Senior decision makers from across major carriers, manufacturers and suppliers will offer their opinion on the latest developments affecting the market, discuss new product innovations and review their impact on ongoing business strategy.

The workshop will be staged on Wednesday 1 November 2017, taking place within the Inflight Pavilion of the MRO Asia-Pacific exhibition hall. The workshop will follow a diverse programme of five sessions, each featuring a panel of up to five professionals with expertise on the topic in hand, led by an independent moderator.

Browse the session themes below for more information on the 2017 programme. The day culminates with the Inflight Asia-Pacific Awards ceremony.

Workshop schedule

10:30: Welcome address

10:45–11:30: Session 1 – Connectivity: The best fit

11:30–11:45: Coffee break

11:45–12:30: Session 2 – IFE: Seat-back or in the lap?

12:30–13:30: Lunch break

13:30–14:15: Session 3 – Cabin lighting: Lighten the mood

14:15–15:00: Session 4 – Content: Locally sourced

15:00–15:15: Coffee break

15:15–16:00: Session 5 – Supply chain management: Chain reaction

16:15: Inflight Asia-Pacific Awards


Scroll down for more information on session content and participating organisations.

Session 1 – The best fit

Theme: Connectivity

Wednesday 1 November 2017: 10:45–11:30

Helping airlines to make informed decisions on Wi-Fi implementation.

It is estimated that only 3% of the aircraft operating today in the Asia-Pacific region offer Wi-Fi, despite its popularity among passengers. There is a clear opportunity for implementation on both long-haul flights, and short haul, where it is traditionally less prevalent. Do airlines know enough about connectivity to make informed decisions about band selection, service-level agreements, usage behaviour and so on?

This session is a must for airlines looking to deploy Wi-Fi for the first time, or even considering further roll-outs.

Elias Zaccack
Executive Vice President, Global Sales
SES Networks

Elias Zaccack is the Executive Vice President, Global Sales, for SES Networks. SES Networks, the market-facing business unit within SES focused on data networks, is the leading provider of satellite enabled data communication services for Government, Mobility and Enterprise/Telco networks.

Elias joined SES in 2000 and is currently based in Washington, DC. He is responsible for global commercial activities of SES Networks. He leads multiple sales teams focused on individual market segments, including: Maritime, Aeronautical, Energy, Government, Telco, MNO, Enterprise, and Cloud services. Elias is a board member of Ciel, Canada, a joint venture between SES and Borealis, and is an active board member of the Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI).

Prior to his current role, Elias held several executive positions within SES, mostly in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Washington. His previous roles included: SVP, Commercial, Americas; SVP Mobility; VP, Business Development, Asia; VP, Sales, Asia-Pacific; VP International Sales, SES Americom; and Managing Director, Americom Asia-Pacific. He was instrumental in building out SES’s current capabilities and business foundation in Asia-Pacific, the Americas, and in Mobility. Elias is a strong promoter of the satellite industry and has held several board positions including CASBAA, WTA, and APSCC.

Elias has a strong technical and business background in the satellite industry. He led Scientific-Atlanta’s (now Cisco) commercial efforts in Asia, between 1992 and 2000, promoting video, VSAT, and earth station solutions to various broadcasters, programmers and telcos. Prior to that, Elias led Lockheed Martin’s (formerly GE Astro Space) international satellite initiatives in Western Europe and in Mexico.

Elias holds a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, a Master of Science Degree in engineering administration, and an MBA in international finance, from George Washington University, in Washington DC. He is married, with four children.

Paul Ng
APAC Head of Business Development

With 19 years of experience in the aviation industry, Paul has previously held various commercial and operational roles within Singapore Airlines.

Starting as a powerplant engineer, Paul’s final role was heading up the In-Flight Entertainment team. Here Paul played a crucial role in bringing together the worlds of in-flight entertainment and connectivity, driving the implementation of the Companion App, a world-first innovation allowing PEDs to control seat-back IFE via Wi-Fi.

Now a Business Development Manager for SITAONAIR, Paul is still bringing worlds together. His focus is on extending connectivity for cockpit and crew usage – supporting airline digital transformation worldwide.

Laurent Phillippe
Vice President of Customer and Sales
Global Eagle

Laurent Philippe has been in the aviation industry for 20 years, 14 of which in Asia, holding various positions in Engineering and Sales with Airbus, SITAONAIR.

He is now heading Global Eagle in Asia-Pacific India as Vice President of Customers and Sales.

He has been on the forefront of the inflight connectivity arena for close to 10 years and has seen the market change drastically since its early days.

Laurent’s experience in the Asia-Pacific market will provide us with deep insight and expertise on the current market landscape, the future trends in the fast-growing APAC market and Global Eagle’s strategic view of the connected airline, the connected aircraft and the connected passenger.

Panellist TBC

Further information will follow.

Panellist TBC

Further information will follow.

Session 2 – Seat back or in the lap?

Theme: In-flight entertainment (IFE)

Wednesday 1 November 2017: 11:45–12:30

Exploring the rise of BYOD. Is the end of embedded screens upon us?

Has the recent decision by American Airlines to abandon embedded screens for its forthcoming Boeing 737 MAX aircraft signalled the end of seat-back IFE? What does the future of IFE look like in a world dominated by personal electronic devices?

Hear what American Airlines’ decision means for embedded screens across both narrow-body and wide-body aircraft in the region and whether bring-your-own devices are a silver bullet for cost-conscious airlines.

Jon Norris
Senior Director – Corporate Sales & Marketing
Panasonic Avionics

Senior Director, Corporate Sales & Marketing for Panasonic Avionics Corporation, the world’s leading supplier of inflight entertainment and communication systems. Other positions held include: Vice President Sales & Marketing for Lumexis, Executive Director of Trade Media & Events at Ink, Vice President Cabin Design Office with Airbus, A350 XWB Cabin & Cargo Program Manager with Airbus and 728JET Chief Design Engineer with Fairchild Dornier. Jon is a Chartered Engineer with the UK Royal Aeronautical Society, a member of the APEX Technology Committee leadership team and a regular speaker at industry conferences on a wide range of cabin and passenger issues.

Moritz Engler
Founding Partner
Inflight VR

Moritz Engler is founding partner of the VR incubator QBXNet from which Inflight VR originates. He has studied in Germany, US, Switzerland, and Spain and joined Inflight VR in Summer 2015 as full-time co-CEO. Moritz is responsible for Finance, Investor Relations, and Product Development.

Darrel Chua
General Manager
Flightech Systems Pte Ltd

Based in Singapore, Flightech Systems (FTS) is a provider of in-flight wireless streaming and connectivity solutions for airline industry.

Darrel is responsible for marketing in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as overseeing the group’s global expansion strategy. He works closely with product development team to develop next-gen hardware, software as well as ancillary revenue strategies.

Session 3 – Lighten the mood

Theme: Cabin lighting

Wednesday 1 November 2017: 13:30–14:15

How is lighting technology achieving operational and maintenance benefits?

As airlines adopt LEDs and more human-centric lighting on board, how is lighting technology being used to improve cabin ambience while simultaneously achieving operational and maintenance benefits? How has lighting become not just a source of illumination but a generator of loyalty, brand identity, ancillary revenues, safety compliance and so on?

If you’re feeling in the dark on such matters, this session is for you.

Nigel Duncan
STG Aerospace

Since 2013 Nigel Duncan, CEO of STG Aerospace, has been steering STG Aerospace on a trajectory of global growth, with the vision of becoming an Innovator of Light.

Building on, and further developing, the success of the market-leading, photoluminescent saf-Tglo® brand of emergency floor path lighting, Nigel has overseen the introduction of innovative new aviation lighting products, including the fast-growing liTeMood® range of holistic LED cabin lighting solutions.

Under Nigel’s leadership, STG Aerospace has invested substantially in a pioneering engineering development and research centre in Wales, a new manufacturing facility in Miami, and a wholly owned subsidiary company in China.

Over the course of 25+ years, Nigel has held a wide range of engineering, marketing and operational roles within the aerospace industry and secured over $1.5 billion of profitable growth in new markets through encouragement of design innovation, production efficiency and clear focus on meeting customers’ requirements.

Dr Achim Leder
CEO and co-founder

Dr Leder has over eight years’ managerial experience in the aviation industry, alongside 10 terms’ experience in teaching at the University of Applied Science, Meschede. Before co-founding Jetlite – a start-up cabin lighting company negating the effects of jetlag – Achim enjoyed previous roles at ideas-for-aviation and Dortmund Airport.

Sune Kjeldsen
Sales Director, Asia-Paciifc
Leki Aviation

Sune is responsible for growing existing and developing new Airline/MRO accounts in the Asia-Pacific market together with talented sales account teams in Singapore and China. Sune spearheads customer C-level and senior management engagement in Asia for new cost-saving and passenger experience-enhancing projects.

Michael Finkenberger
Senior Vice President Customer Support
Diehl Aerosystems

Further information will follow

Session 4 – Sourced locally

Theme: Content

Wednesday 1 November 2017: 14:15–15:00

How are airlines adopting regional content to provide an authentic local experience?

Airlines are continually enhancing their IFE libraries, offering an ever-greater selection of content. To ensure carriers remain at the leading edge of entertainment and continue to offer passengers an enhanced experience, the breadth of regional content offerings (encompassing local languages, type, production, themes and so on) are increasing on short- and long-haul flights.

Find out how local content is becoming international and bringing a whole new audience to the screen.

Ricky Jardine
Vice President of Operations Asia Pacific
Global Eagle

Further information will follow.

Rachelle Peterson
Global Director – Commercial Services
Turner Inflight Services

Rachelle Peterson is the global commercial distribution director for Turner, where she manages the companies Out of Home and Inflight distribution business, putting into place the CNN Traveller Network strategy she created when she was hired as a business consultant in December 2015.

Prior to her current position, she was sales director, hospitality for Sky Plc, where she had responsibility for the hospitality division of Sky Business. She and her team focused on implementing fundamental changes in content delivery to the Out of Home markets and establishing partnerships with international clients such as Hilton, Marriott, IHG, Accor and Virgin.

She is an adviser for HOSPA, the Hotel Association for Finance, Revenue Management and IT professionals since 2015 and was the sales and business development director for Filmbank Media, a JV between Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures from 2006 till 2013. At Filmbank Rachelle formulated the global Out of Home Sales and Marketing strategy, the new brand vision she devised and implemented secured an award from Hotels Magazine for ‘Outstanding Digital Advertising’ in March 2009.

An effective public speaker, Rachelle is a sought-after presenter at meetings and conferences. She transmits key concepts in business innovation supported by smart adoption of technology with emphasis on revenue opportunities and enhanced guest and passenger experiences.

Rachelle’s presentations engage top management including CEOs, CTOs, business development, sales directors and GMs. From articles in varied industry publications, to her guide ‘An Introduction to DVD Manufacturing’, Rachelle’s expertise in content management is often sought by publishers and event organisers.

Rachelle has lived and worked in three great cities – Amsterdam, New York and now London – and therefore spends most of her free time travelling to spend time with friends and family scattered across the globe.

Panellist TBC
Global ONE Media

Further information will follow.

Session 5 – Chain reaction

Theme: Supply chain management

Wednesday 1 November 2017: 15:15–16:00

Do MRO companies have the capability and agility to adequately support airline operations?

With airlines upgrading their fleets and investing in new aircraft deliveries, does the supply chain help or hinder the operations of a carrier?

Are MRO companies well placed as partners to embrace new technologies? Do they have the skill sets, capabilities and agility to respond to unplanned and scheduled MRO programmes? What role do original equipment manufacturers have to play in the supply chain?

Plugging gaps in the supply chain to reduce downtime and improve efficiencies are just some of the challenges to be discussed in this session.

Cisco Lay
Senior Onsite Manager – Singapore
Air New Zealand

Cisco is currently based in Singapore as the Senior Onsite Manager overseeing Air NZs B777-300ER Cabin Upgrade program. Cisco joined Air NZ in 2012 and was previously the Fleet Manager Interiors responsible for all Cabin Interiors at the airline. He has also held senior Engineering/Program Management positions working on a variety of cabin interiors ranging from VVIP Business Jet completions to full service and low cost airlines.

Alvin Chan
Asia-Pacific Regional Lead
Starburst Accelerator

Further information on Alvin’s expertise and professional background will follow shortly.

DRSV Varma
GM and Head of Operations

Varma has a master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering specialising in Industrial Engineering. He has more than 25 years experience in Manufacturing and the Aftermarket, incluiding 1 year as an Industrial & Vendor Development Engineer with Otis Elevator Company and 14 years with Gas Turbine Research Establishment (GTRE) as a Scientist. Today, he works as General Manager & Head of Operations at Cyient Singapore Private Limited, Singapore.

His key domain areas include Repair Engineering and Manufacturing Engineering. He was instrumental in setting up the state of the art CNC Technology Center at GTRE. He has also published 20 papers in national and international conferences and has guided several bachelor’s and master’s degree projects for educational institutions. His areas of interest are Additive Manufacturing, MEMS, Digital MRO and Quality Systems.

Varma has 25 years of leadership experience covering P&L accountability, customer relationship management, business development, operations management, SCM, commercial affairs, and business finance. At Cyient, he is also responsible for identifying new growth opportunities and extending current service offerings into new markets.

In recognition to Varma’s meritorious services he was awarded the ‘Technology Award’, by the Defence Research & Development Organisation, Ministry of Defence, India for his contributions to ‘Development of Precision Manufacturing Techniques for Gas Turbine Parts Manufacture’.

Apply to be a panellist

Are you an expert in one of the themes above? Do you work directly in or with the Asia-Pacific region? Is the region integral to your company’s strategic development for 2018 and beyond?

If so, we’d love to hear from you.

Please email events director Becky Howells, briefly outlining your skills and experience relevant to the topic(s) of interest.