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IATA Global Airport and Passenger Symposium


  • Athenaeum Intercontinental Athens Athens Greece (map)

Shaping the future travel experience

* Inflight track full day 2 curated by XXL Solutions *

The Global Airport and Passenger Symposium (GAPS) is the platform to discuss the impact of existing processes in the passenger journey and explore how future needs, trends and solutions will shape the way we travel. The Symposium will bring together industry experts, senior airline and airport executives, government authorities and solution providers to explore current opportunities, challenges and recommend solutions to shape the future travel experience.

Find a detailed program here. For registrations just click here.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the trade association for the world’s airlines, representing some 290 airlines or 82% of total air traffic. IATA supports many areas of aviation activity and helps formulate industry policy on critical aviation issues.

The inflight track on 3rd October 2018 is curated by XXL Solutions. Ursula Silling, Founder & . CEO at XXL Solutions will also moderate the whole day. We believe that the future of inflight is to get beyond inflight and look at the whole customer journey. The program for this track is as follows:

“THE FUTURE OF THE INFLIGHT EXPERIENCE”, 3/10/2018

Session I  Shaping a vision for the future of the inflight customer experience -  (9.00 - 10.30)

What could the future of inflight look like? What do customers want? What What role do data play? What opportunities does digital provide? - In this session we will look at the factors that influence the inflight customer experience, creating a vision for future scenarios. We will discuss innovative approaches and opportunities in terms of ancillary services and personalisation. We will look at the dependencies, how inflight relates to the total customer journey and how changing customer expectations and the digital landscape shape the transformation of what we have known as the inflight experience so far. 

Nawal Taneja, Associate Professor at Ohio State University

Nicolas Jourdan, Product & Services Strategy Manager at Airbus  - talking about the future vision of the smart cabin


Session ii Quo vadis inflight entertainment & connectivity (11.00 - 12.30)

Is investment in inflight connectivity and the provision of entertainment a must for any airline  in the current decade? This session will get you up to speed with latest entertainment trends and hot topics and case studies around connectivity and inflight entertainment experience. Apart from questions such as whether the connected aircraft is not a choice any more, what customer expectations look like, whether there are regional differences or if factors of length of flight and other criteria play a major role. 

What does the performance of inflight connectivity really look like? What about return on investment. Are there any viable business models or is connectivity just another item on the airline bill in a world of declining yields? What about entertainment out of the box? We will discuss the role of Virtual Reality and trends such as BYOD (Bring your own Device), and whether BYOE “Bring your own entertainment” is an option, which role streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime play, or whether connectivity will be moved to the pre- and post flight experience with new models such as downloading entertainment at the gate before the flight. 

  • Andrew Mohr, Head of Innovation at Panasonic

  • Don Buchman, VP and GM, Commercial Aviation at Viasat

  • Philip Micallef, former CEO at Air Malta, start up advisor, Non-Executive Board Member

  • Martin Cunnison, Founder & Managing Director AeroFi 

  • Aegean Airlines, speaker to be confirmed 

  • Oliver Ranson, Inflight VR  

Session iii -  Beyond the inflight experience: developing a holistic approach along the customer journey (14.00 - 15.30)

This session focuses on the whole customer journey and what different type of travellers are really looking for. We explore what propositions are already out there by airports, airlines and other travel stakeholders along the journey, and what embracing them into a new seamless experience can lead to in terms of customer experience, loyalty, customer insight and revenue.  

Questions such as who owns the customer - do they, and how can individual customer needs best be met with different parties involved will be tackled as well as what does this mean for the inflight experience today and tomorrow. We will discuss  current use cases as well as future opportunities.

14.00 - 14.25 Airports try to catch up with airlines and engage customers to drive revenue. But are both airlines and airports missing a trick? Mignon Buckingham, Corporate Strategy Officer at Collinson Group


14.25 - 15.30 Panel discussion: Aspects of a holistic customer experience and what it means for airports and airlines

  • Mignon Buckingham, Collinson Group, Corporate Strategy Officer,

  • Mark Bergsrud, CEO at Grtab

  • Inaki Uriz Millan, CEO at caravelo

  • Nektarios Psycharis, Athens Airport, Team Leader IT&T Business Analysis & Project Management, IT&T Business Transformation & Support Department

  • Emi Spanakis, Director Customer Experience at Oneworld Management Company

  • Jochen Schnadt, CCO at flybmi 

Session iv  State of the art retail practices and customer insights. (16.00 - 17.30)

Will we all be Amazon of the air, or simply digital companies? What step does it take from an ancillary strategy to a retail model? What can aviation learn from retailers? In this session we want to talk about how an understanding of customer behaviour and expectations lead to best in class retail, learnings from best practices and innovative approaches, disruptors and ground breaking products.

We will ensure that we do not only cover the current problems of realising the vision, but showcase what is already possible even today in order to act like a true retailer in a dynamic market environment. Join the exciting discussion and find out about solutions and groundbreaking innovations that can already make a big difference to enhance the overall customer experience and wow passengers.


16.00 - 16.15 Latest trends and use studies from the retail world, Alex Avery, Managing Director, Head of Airports, Planning, Pragma Consulting


16:15 - 16:30 Creating a seamless customer experience through cross-selling of ancillariesMauro Oretti, VP Sales and Marketing at Skyteam


16.30 - 17.30 Panel discussion: which problems does the industry face, and which solutions are already out there to solve them 


  • Alex Avery, Managing Director, Head of Airports, Planning, Pragma Consulting 

  • Mauro Oretti, VP Sales and Marketing at Skyteam - 

  • Alexander von Bernstorff, Director Airline Solutions at InteRes.

  • Jouni Oksanen, SVP eCommerce, Sales and Marketing at Air Baltic (previously Finnair VP eCommerce and Digital as well as entertainment, Nokia, Head of enjoyment services at Elisa - Sauna) 

  • Nicolas Jourdan, Product & Services Strategy Manager at Airbus