On June 23, the Institute for Peace and Diplomacy (IPD) will host ‘Global Aviation Post-COVID-19: Institutional Considerations, Political Risks and the New Competitive Landscape’ in collaboration with InterVISTAS. The virtual panel will be held from 9:00 am ET – 10:30 AM ET and can be watched live on Zoom. Registration is required through this page.
Global aviation has been historically vulnerable to external shocks such as economic crises, geopolitical realignments, oil prices, terrorism, and most recently weather events and pandemics. At the same time, aviation remains an essential engine of economic and social prosperity for countries around the world and an important tool of international peace and diplomacy. The COVID-19 pandemic has come to challenge many of the assumptions that have sustained the aviation ecosystem for years and there is much uncertainty going forward as to how global institutions, national governments, the industry and a set of new interests and groups will work to rebuild a sustainable and prosperous sector in the years ahead.
This webinar brings together influential and distinguished observers from around the world to discuss the challenges ahead based on lessons learned from the pandemic in their own regions. We will explore the current and future role of aviation institutions and regional organizations, the foreseeable changes to the regulatory landscape that governs aviation, as well as some of the political risks that may result from a fragmented world: unilateral actions outside the framework provided by the Chicago Convention, the use of aviation as a diplomatic weapon, and the emergence of regional iron walls.
Date: June 23, 2021
Time: 9:00 AM Toronto / 3:00 PM Brussels / 4:00 PM Beirut / 11:00 PM Sydney
Thomas Reynaert, Managing Director, Airlines for Europe (A4E)
Thomas Reynaert is Managing Director of Airlines for Europe (A4E), Europe’s largest EU airline association, since March 2016. A4E was founded in January 2016 by Air France-KLM, easyJet, International Airlines Group (IAG), Lufthansa Group and Ryanair. Prior to joining A4E, Thomas was President of United Technologies (UTC) International Operations (Europe), where he led their European government relations activities between 2008–2015. During this time, he provided counsel to the corporation and its business units on EU rulemaking and policy and served as a corporate liaison for key decision-makers in the EU institutions and national governments. Prior to joining UTC, Thomas led the government relations and regulatory affairs team for Nortel Networks in EMEA, in 2000. Previously, he was director of EU public affairs for Lucent Technologies (today: ‘Alcatel-Lucent’). Thomas was a member of the Supervisory Board of the UTC Company OTIS Management GmbH (Germany) from 2008-2014. From 2011-2015 he was Chair of AmCham EU’s Security and Defense Committee, and in 2015 was appointed a Member of the Executive Committee of the European Centre for Public Affairs (ECPA).
Abdul Wahab Teffaha, Secretary General, Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO)
After his post-graduate studies in Socio – Economic Development & Political Sociology, Mr. Teffaha joined AACO in 1980 as an assistant tariff analyst and rose in the ranks until becoming Assistant Secretary General in 1992. He was elected Secretary General of the Association in June 1996 and still serves in this capacity. Mr. Teffaha played a key role in developing a new strategy for AACO based on delivering specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound results to AACO member airlines. Joint projects between AACO members were quickly launched and include, to date, projects that deal with distribution agreements, ground handling, fuel, training, and MRO cooperation. Mr. Teffaha also leads AACO on all industry related issues.
George Petsikas, Chair, Industry Affairs Advisory Council (IATA), Senior Director, Government & Industry Affairs (Air Transat)
George Petsikas obtained his Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) from the Université de Sherbrooke in 1987 and, subsequently, his Master of Laws (LL.M.) in air and space law from McGill University. He has been a member of the Quebec Bar since 1988. Since 1990, George has been employed by Transat A.T., Canada’s largest integrated holiday travel company and leisure airline in the form of its subsidiary Air Transat based in Montreal. He is a member of senior management and currently holds the position of Senior Director, Government and Industry Affairs responsible for corporate government relations in the 35 countries worldwide where the company operates, as well as for issues relating to aviation law, policy and regulations, bilateral / multilateral air transport negotiations, market access, immigration / border entry management, user fees / charges, airports policy / governance, climate change and global airline industry relations. In 2008, George became the founding president of the National Airlines Council of Canada, the trade organization representing Canada’s largest commercial airlines including Air Canada, Air Transat, Jazz and Westjet, and he remains a senior member of its executive committee. In June 2019, he was appointed as a member, and subsequently elected as the first chairman of IATA’s new Industry Affairs Advisory Council (IAAC – formerly the Industry Affairs Committee), which advises and provides support to IATA’s executive and senior management in addressing and managing global airline industry issues and challenges. He is the first Canadian to undertake this role in IATA’s history and is a regular lecturer at McGill’s management and law faculties.
Gonzalo Yelpo, Legal Director, Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA)
Gonzalo holds a Juris Doctor from the Uruguay Law School and an MBA from IAE Business School in Argentina. Prior to joining ALTA in January 2007, Gonzalo worked in the Legal Department of Pluna, the Uruguayan flag carrier with his last position being Legal Director, a position he held for over 8 years. He was also President of the Uruguayan Chamber of Aeronautical Commerce from 2002 to 2005. His aviation experience ranges from aeropolitical and regulatory affairs to commercial, labor, asset finance, environmental and other fields in the aviation industry.
Subhas Menon, Director General, Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA)
Subhas Menon joined the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines in March 2020. Subhas has over 35 years’ experience in international aviation with the Singapore Airlines Group, having served in a wide spectrum of roles including international & government relations, marketing, product development, logistics, country & regional management. In his various roles in the airline industry over the past three decades, he has developed a solid skill set that includes successfully building and managing relationships with different stakeholders, strong communications and public speaking skills as well as commercial acumen honed across different regions. As Regional Vice President for an Asian airline in various regions around the world, and having also served as Chief Executive of SilkAir, Subhas is familiar with the Asian airline environment, its market dynamics and the region’s diverse political landscape. Building on his early experience in international relations, he has well-developed lobbying and negotiation skills as well as dealing with government affairs, which makes him well-placed to undertake the kind of advocacy and lobbying activities AAPA conducts as a trade association on behalf of its member airlines.
Marcelo Garcia, Senior Director, InterVISTAS Consulting
Currently Senior Director at InterVISTAS Consulting Inc., Marcelo has broad experience in policy and global advocacy matters in regulated industries. On the aviation front, he has worked with Canada’s Department of Transport – based in Ottawa, Canada – and with Qatar Airways’ aeropolitical and regulatory affairs – based in Doha, Qatar. He has advised airlines and industry associations on a wide array of legal and regulatory issues such as regional airspace disputes, international public air law, state subsidies, passenger rights, airline partnership agreements and air service agreements. He has also advised the Canadian government on airline joint ventures and competition law. Marcelo’s integrated approach to global advocacy has led him to coordinate and deploy market access efforts in Australia, India, Japan, Canada, Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Kenya and Namibia, among others. He has also designed governance frameworks for airline programs such as new stations, airport incentives, and the management of foreign air operator permits. He holds a Master of Laws from McGill’s Institute of Air and Space Law in Montreal. He has also earned common law and civil law degrees from McGill University.