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 sector. The workshop is staged within the Inflight Pavilion of the AIME exhibition hall, with a diverse programme spanning two days.

We are looking forward to welcoming another cohort of industry experts to discuss the latest trends and challenges facing the IFEC and cabin technology sectors next year. The provisional 2019 Inflight Workshop schedule is available to browse below. Further session details and panellists will be announced in due course. If you are interested in applying to be a panellist for our 2019 event, please email Becky Howells for more information.

Watch our video to find out what to expect from day one of the Workshop:

Day one schedule: 11 February 2019

11.00: Welcome address

11.15–12.00: Session 1 – Satellite communications

A general discussion about ownership and leasing satellite capacity. What are the benefits of each model for service providers, airline customers, and satellite manufacturers?

13.30–14.15: Session 2 – Cyber security

What is being done to ensure connectivity is secure and safe from unwanted access, both external and internal? How real a threat is a cyber attack on an aircraft?

14.30–15.15: Session 3 – IFE: Live TV

The popularity of live TV is increasing as more airlines offer the service. Why is it so popular, what type of content is available, who offers it and what are the key challenges surrounding it?

15.30–16.15: Session 4 – Digitalisation

As airlines embrace digital technology, are they moving towards the ‘software as a service’ model? How are airlines using digital technology such as VR, AR, paperless cockpits, biometrics and so on to move away from conventional business processes.

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


Day two schedule: 12 February 2019

10.45: Welcome address

11.00–11.45: Session 5 – Connectivity

While most talk is on enhancing the passenger experience, what benefits does on-board connectivity give to the crew? How can telemedicine, cabin maintenance and personalisation be utilised to maximum benefit?

12.00–12.45: Session 6 – IFE and sustainability

How are manufacturers responding to a growing environmental consciousness? Is it easy to be green? What happens to IFE hardware once it has been removed from the cabin? Is there a cradle-to-grave ethos built in to all components?

13.30–14.15: Session 7 – Innovation

How are airlines, OEMs and other players in the IFEC and cabin technology space encouraging start-ups and a collaborative approach to developing new products and services? Can operational benefits be achieved as well as enhanced passenger experience?

14.20: Inflight Middle East awards ceremony

Join us as we celebrate achievements from suppliers and airlines across the host region, rewarding best practice and innovations across the cabin technology spectrum.

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

2018 panellists

Take a look at Inflight Workshop participants from the 2018 event below:

Bisrat Dinssa
Line Cabin Maintenance Manager
Ethiopian Airlines

Bisrat Dinssa is a seasoned Aircraft Maintenance professional with over 17 years of broad industry experience.

He is currently the Line Cabin Maintenance Manager at Ethiopian Airlines. In this role, he is responsible for the cabin and IFE maintenance of Ethiopian fleet, overseeing a team of professionals including maintenance team leaders and technicians, a workforce currently in excess of 150. He has worked at Base Maintenance of Ethiopian MRO as Cabin Maintenance, Appearance Control and Aircraft Paint Manager, responsible for several cabin retrofit and aircraft redelivery projects. In previous roles, he has also worked at ASKY Airlines in West Africa, as a station Foreman for maintenance of fleets across several West and Central African countries.

Bisrat holds a Diploma in Basic Aircraft maintenance, after studying Applied Physics at Addis Ababa University. In addition, Bisrat is a member of the Customer Service Council at Ethiopian Airlines, a committee which oversees and ensures all-rounded, utmost customer satisfaction across the airline.

Peter Azzouni
Head of Guest Experience - Cabin Interiors
Etihad Airways

Peter joined Etihad Airways in April 2013 and is now responsible for supervising the Cabin Interiors department to successfully champion the airline’s world class brand experience.

Peter leads strategic decisions through P&L justification to balance customer performance and
innovation with profitability, as well as handling contract negotiations for product development and high budget sponsors. He embraces agile business methodologies and promotes team development to ensure achievements and objectives are met through motivation and reinforcement to maximise performance.

Prior to joining Etihad, Peter worked as an aircraft cabin designer for Gore Design Completions.

Daniel Kerrison
Vice President - Inflight Product

Celebrating his tenth year at flydubai, Daniel Kerrison is responsible for leading the airline’s in-flight passenger experience offerings. Daniel is passionate about providing customers with as many choices as possible, stressing that despite their low-fare reputation, the ‘no frills’ approach simply does not apply to flydubai.

Having gained a Masters degree in Aviation Management in 2004 from Griffith University in Australia, Daniel started his current career at Virgin Australia as Cabin Crew Development Leader where he stayed for just under 6 years. Daniel then moved on to work for the world renowned Emirates as their Cabin Crew Manager.

Having worked in the Middle East for so long, Daniel has amassed considerable expertise on the region and all things IFEC. He is a widely respected industry figure and spends a lot of time attending and speaking at key industry events throughout the year.

Asif Khan
Senior Manager Guest Experience - IFE
Etihad Airways

Asif has amassed 22 years’ experience working in a wide range of visual media including in-flight entertainment and connectivity, satellite and terrestrial TV, video production, programming and scheduling for television, print, advertising, media sales and event management.

Asif has worked in diverse markets across South-East Asia, Europe, USA and the Middle East and successfully implemented challenging projects including setting up overseas operations and new departments.

Asif has been with Etihad Airways for six years, previously working with IFE provider OnBoard International.

Cassidy Shield
Vice President Marketing

Cassidy Shield leads global marketing for Gogo, responsible for expanding Gogo‘s brand globally as the leading inflight internet company. Cassidy joined Gogo in early 2017 and leads a talented team across brand management, product marketing, customer marketing, digital marketing, market insights, and end-user experience.

Prior to Gogo, Cassidy held marketing leadership roles at Netcracker, a subsidiary of NEC Corporation and Alcatel-Lucent. While at Alcatel-Lucent, Cassidy led Bell Labs Consulting and held various general management and business strategy roles with a focus on Broadband, IPTV and Mobile Services.

Before Alcatel-Lucent, Cassidy worked as a management consultant at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young with a focus on building expertise in Corporate Strategy, Supply Chain Design and large-scale IT deployments.

Cassidy holds a MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, a MEM from Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and a BS from the University of Iowa.

Cassidy lives in Wheaton, IL with his wife Amanda, daughter Noelle, and son’s Nathan and Zachary.

Neale Faulkner
Director - Market Development (MEASA)

Neale has extensive experience in the Middle Eastern aviation market. He recently joined Inmarsat in September 2017 as Director of Market Development in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia regions. Neale previously spent three years with SITAONAIR, responsible for strategy and market operations.

Through his work with airline executives, Neale has found they are investing in the passenger experience to increase loyalty, revenues, and margins; however, many are limiting their opportunities to monetise the in-flight segment. Neale is passionate about increasing airline revenues, enhancing margins and driving customer loyalty.

Jon Norris
Senior Director - Corporate Sales and 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.

Kimberly Creaven
VP Strategic Alliances, Advertising & Partner Marketing
Global Eagle

Kimberly is responsible for managing all aspects of Global Eagle’s global advertising and sponsorship team, media operations and marketing specialising in aviation media including in-flight entertainment, digital media, on-line, connectivity and print.

Kimberly manages all partner (airline, maritime and travel media companies) relationships and develops innovative media and new business opportunities to generate travel-related media ancillary revenue. Furthermore, Kimberly is responsible for overseeing and developing media infrastructure, IT support, media campaign inventory tools and new CMS platforms for media sales.

Prior to joining Global Eagle, Kimberly worked for Delta Air Lines. She is also chair of the APEX Airline/Advertising/Ancillary Revenue Committee

Tina Ghataore
Head of Department

Tina is a seasoned executive with over 15 years of experience in strategy, business development, product management and marketing. Tina has worked in and served clients in various sectors including In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity (IFEC), Commercial Aviation, Aerospace, Mobile Satellite Communications, Internet Content, Media/Advertising and Mobile/Web Applications markets. Tina has advised early stage start-ups, mid-sized companies and large global OEMs (Panasonic, Thales, Airbus, GEE, Voyant, Skycap, etc. ) through product/service strategies and execution as required.

Mike Pigott
Vice President Connectivity Products and Solutions
Global Eagle

Based in California, Mike has been with Global Eagle for almost five years, previously as Vice President, Legal Affairs and Secretary before his current role of Vice President Commercial Operations.

Mike will be discussing Global Eagle’s goal of connecting millions to Wi-Fi and content anywhere, anytime. Global Eagle boast the most installed Ku-Band-enabled planes in the world, and are currently advancing their connectivity services even further with Ku-HTS.

Craig Foster
Valour Consultancy

Craig is co-founder and senior research consultant at Valour Consultancy, global leaders in IFEC market intelligence.

Craig 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 as well as 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.

Foster is a regular participant at Inflight events and a regular contributor to Inflight magazine.

Alexander Preston

Alexander is editor of the Inflight media portfolio.

Inflight’s bi-monthly magazine and comprehensive digital news services provide the premier independent coverage of the in-flight entertainment, connectivity and cabin technology sectors.

Alexander is a respected writer and keynote speaker, regularly participating in industry events around the globe. He brings extensive knowledge and expertise of the latest developments affecting IFEC and passenger experience.



Paul Thorpe
VP Global Sales

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.

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

Michael Finkenberger
SVP Customer Support
Diehl Aerosystems

Based in Frankfurt, Germany, Michael Finkenberger is Senior Vice President at Diehl Aerosystems, overseeing all customer support and service activities across their Aircraft Systems and Cabin Interiors portfolios. Diehl Aerosystems is one of five corporate divisions in the Diehl Group, a German family-run enterprise with business fields in several industries and a workforce of more than 13,000 employees worldwide. Diehl Aerosystems is a first-tier supplier for avionics and cabin integration, and is an important partner for the international aviation industry. Michael has considerable experience in cabin lighting applications and recently participated in the Inflight Asia-Pacific 2017 event in Singapore.

Rachelle Peterson
CNN International Commercial
Turner Inflight Services

Rachelle Peterson is the Global Commercial Distribution Director for Turner, where she manages the company’s B2B distribution business, ensuring linear and digital delivery of CNN International and Turner feature programming to hotels and live streaming and VOD content to airlines. She also manages alliance and partnership building with the maritime, cruise, transport and other commercial sectors and her team has a special remit to develop new and exciting ideas that reflect the way that travellers of today consume content on the go.

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

Rachelle’s presentations engage top management including CEO’s, CTO’s, Business Development, Sales Directors and GM’s. 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.

David Brown
Business Development Director
Bluebox Aviation

David started his professional career in satellite communication systems with Cable and Wireless and Ford Aerospace in the early 80’s.  This was followed by 5 years with SD Scicon working on a variety of communication software systems. David then moved to National Power running the IT and telecoms Proect Management team during the UK electricity industry privatisation period.

David then joined a small management consulting practice and was a Partner during a period of rapid growth and was responsible for the creation and growth of the aviation business.

In 2004 David led a management buyout of the Scottish business to create AviIT Ltd with a focus on developing innovative products for the aviation sector.  He also led the creation and development of the Bluebox Avionics joint venture company, producing the very successful Bluebox portable and wireless inflight entertainment systems.

In January 2017, AviIT Ltd. and Bluebox Avionics Ltd. were combined under a new company – Bluebox Aviation Systems Ltd. to enable further growth in the inflight entertainment systems market with David as Business Development Director, leading the strategic development of the new company.

David holds a BSc in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Strathclyde in Scotland and is a Chartered Engineer (IET).

Robin Hopper
SVP, Product and Marketing

Robin is a serial entrepreneur and senior executive with years of experience in social media, marketing automation, cloud, mobile apps, and content management. Robin’s skills span all operational areas, with core focus in strategic planning, business reinvention, product strategy, sales, marketing and business development.

Mark Simpson
Global Head of In Flight & On Board MPoS
ECR Retail Systems

Mark has worked in the Retail Technology sector for over twenty years. At ECR Retail Systems, Mark started as a National Sales Manager, and was recently appointed as the Global Head of In Flight and On Board MPoS, Business Development, primarily working within the Airline Sector. Mark has worked with several flagship retailers across sector, from luxury fashion to large grocery retailers, and most recently worked for a leading Retail IT services consultancy. Mark provides his customers with an in-depth knowledge and insight of how retailers and airline sector businesses can best interact with their customers, using the most advanced In Flight and On Board payment technologies available in the market today.

David Coiley
Vice President

David Coiley joined Inmarsat Aviation in 2008 and currently serves as Vice President. He has over 25 years’ experience in the aviation satellite communications industry. Prior to Inmarsat, he worked at AeroMobile, Arinc, Sita and British Telecom. This is David’s second stint at Inmarsat, having worked at Inmarsat between 1997-1999 as Aeronautical Marketing Manager.
David holds a BSc (Honours) in Management Sciences from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.

Philippe Combe
Product Manager

Philippe Combe is SITAONAIR’s expert of inflight passenger connectivity, heading the Mobile ONAIR product portfolio. As such, he plays a vital role in defining the future inflight connectivity product and establishing partnership with mobile operators.

With over 10 years of international experience in Telecoms and IT, specializing in roaming, M2M and Internet of Thing service, he has held a variety of posts spanning wholesale business management, partnership management, to product portfolio strategy and product development.

Philippe strongly believes that the great potential of the inflight connectivity is yet to be maximized by the industry, particularly in providing personalised offering to passenger and in establishing the right partnership with third parties. He feels that in empowering airlines to analyse and interpret, passenger data, they can truly understand, pre-empt, and better serve their customers’ needs, bringing real benefits to both.

Philippe Combe, a French national, holds a master degree in Telecommunication Engineering and a master in European Business from ESCP Europe.

He is based at SITAONAIR’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

John White
Inflight Dublin

John is ensuring that clients benefit from direct and rapid decision-making that has the support of our shareholders. He has detailed knowledge of the IFE market, and is highly experienced in developing and implementing successful IFE and Ancillary Revenue strategies on behalf of airlines. He spent 10 years as a Management Consultant working with world-leading blue-chip companies prior to which he was an Account Director working with leading consumer brands.

Cyril Jean

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 aeronautics and automotive suppliers.

Then he co-founded PXCom dedicated to enhancing the passenger experience to digital era, by both creating new media spaces that rely on PXCom’s cutting edge technology, and monetization opportunities for airlines. As of this end of year, PXCom’s solutions have been selected by 18+ airlines, from full service carriers such as Air Canada, to low cost such as Eurowings or Cebu Pacific.

David Withers
Managing Director

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 Honours 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.

David Fairand
Adaptive Channel

David Fairand co-founded Adaptive in 2011 to address a growing need for on board Entertainment with Press, movie, games… and to provide leading edge cloud infrastructure to power new consumer experiences and interactive advertising.

As of 2014, Adaptive has become a significant player with strong references like Air France, TAP portugal, SAS, … and more recently Singapore Airlines and Qatar.

Prior to Adaptive, David spent as two decades working at the crossing between performance apps, embedded software, software development and customer experience in space sector (Egnos, Galileo, Cospas Sarsat) and aeronautical sector (A380, A400M).

Adrian Milne
Global Product Manager - Civil Air Cable Products
W L Gore

Adrian is an experienced leader with broad and proven experience in Product Management, Marketing, Technical Development and Global Operations. He has accumulated global experience in many industries, having both lived and worked in multiple continents leading international teams.

Adrian joined WL Gore in 2006 and for the past 6 years has held the role of Product Manager – Global Civil Air Products. This involves global responsibility for aviation cable products including fiber optic, copper high speed digital, coax and microwave and power cables. Adrian has primarily worked in the IFEC market and aircraft data systems, leading civil air market business development growth with responsibility for ensuring technical fitness for use, analysing market data and product pricing.

Peter Schetschine
General Manager

Peter Schetschine started his career in the aircraft industry more than 25 years ago after graduating in physical science und physiology. Since then he held a variety of senior management positions in engineering, business development and sales at KID-Systeme and Airbus. Peter Schetschine has been part of KID-Systeme GbmH since its formation in 1999 and challenged the growing international business of KID as Vice President of Customer Affairs. As leader of sales, marketing and communications he has a strong record managing many sales and marketing campaigns, international exhibitions and building global sales networks.

Dennis Markert
Director of Business Development and Technical Services

Dennis is an experienced Director of Business Development with a demonstrated history of working in the aviation and aerospace industry. Areas of expertise include Avionics, Engineering Management, Earned Value Management, Airworthiness, and Aerospace.

Dennis was a previous panellist at Inflight Middle East 2017 as is once again looking forward to sharing his insight gained from technical services support at Astronics with the panel and audience in Dubai next January.

David Thomas
VP Business Development

David Thomas joined IFPL in 2015 and serves as the Vice President of Business Development. David brings his extensive knowledge and experience of the IFEC market and airline industry to IFPL from his previous high level roles with industry specialist Thales, Rockwell Collins and Rolls Royce Data Systems and Solutions . In this role, David leads the company’s broad business development activities across global markets in addition to product innovation and channel development strategies. David graduated with honours from Brunel University London – a world-class university whose mission has always been to combine academic rigour with the practical, entrepreneurial and imaginative approach pioneered by the Universities namesake Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

Katy Rosseland
Program Coordinator
Open Doors Organisation

Katy has worked in the disability services sector for over ten years, most recently joining ODO as the Program Coordinator in 2015. With much of her focus on accessible air travel, Katy works closely with US and international airlines and airports to enhance their services for travellers with disabilities through employee training and consultation on accessible design and regulatory compliance. Since joining ODO, Katy has taken lead on multiple airport accessibility research projects and the coordination of industry events including ODO’s Universal Access in Airports conference and disability-related symposia for air carriers and service companies providing assistance in airports.