Airports as Brands and Businesses

28th ACI EUROPE/World General Assembly, Congress & Exhibition, Brussels, 18-20 June 2018

The 28th ACI EUROPE/World General Assembly, Congress & Exhibition, hosted by Brussels Airport, took place on 18-20 June 2018. The theme of this year’s event was Airports as Brands and Businesses. The event attracted over 750 delegates from airports, airlines and ANSPs, as well as other aviation partners and the European Commission.

The Annual Congress also saw the announcement of the ACI EUROPE Best Airport Awards.

The 29th ACI EUROPE General Assembly, Congress & Exhibition will be hosted by Hermes Airports in Cyprus on 25-27 June 2019.

Arnaud Feist, CEO Brussels Airport Company, delivered the Welcome Address from the Host.

Didier Reynders, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs, gave a Welcome Address.

Bongani Maseko, CEO Airports Company South Africa, delivered a Welcome Address in his capacity as Chair of ACI World.

ACI EUROPE Director General Olivier Jankovec addressed the state of the airport industry with a focus on air traffic developments, economic and financial performance, challenges to airports’ business model, and changing connectivity patterns, as revealed in the ACI EUROPE Airport Industry Connectivity Report 2018.

Dr Michael Kerkloh, CEO Munich Airport, was elected for a second term as ACI EUROPE President. “This is an interesting time in our industry and the wider air transport sector. Robust growth and yet, significant and fast-emerging risks. I’m not just talking about the usual cyclical nature of air transport, but also the volatile geopolitical situation, the disruption happening to the retail & other non-aeronautical revenues in our business and regulatory risk from the aggressive campaigning by airlines on the aero-revenue side.”

Carsten Spohr, CEO Lufthansa, delivered at keynote address on ‘Airports and airlines – a new partnership as a recipe for joint success’.

Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos gave a keynote interview, which was facilitated by Victoria Moores, European Editor/Bureau Chief, Air Transport World.

The Airport Leaders’ Symposium was moderated by David Feldman, Managing Partner, Exambela Consulting, with panellists including Martin Eurnekian, Executive Director, Corporacion America and President, ACI-LAC & Vice Chair, ACI World; Arnaud Feist, CEO Brussels Airport Company; Fred Lam, CEO Hong Kong International Airport and Second Vice President, ACI Asia-Pacific Regional Board; Joseph Lopano, CEO Tampa International Airport; Bongani Maseko, CEO Airports Company South Africa and Chair, ACI World; Dr Michael Kerkloh, CEO Munich Airport and President, ACI EUROPE; and Thomas Woldbye, CEO Copenhagen Airports.

Eamonn Brennan, Director General, EUROCONTROL, gave a special briefing on ‘The Challenges of Growth’. He explained that, by 2040, 16.2 million flights are expected – an increase of +53% compared with today. By 2040, 1.5 million flights will not be accommodated, with 16 very congested airports (versus 6 in summer 2016).

The Airline Leaders’ Symposium was moderated by Andrew Charlton, Managing Director, Aviation Advocacy, with panellists including Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO Ethiopian Airlines; Krešimir Kučko, CEO Gulf Air; and Jochen Schnadt, CCO BMI.

Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World, launched the new ACI ASQ Commercial Survey, providing insights on commercial performance and how to best optimise non-aeronautical revenues.

Hugh Aitken, Senior Director, Skyscanner, gave a special briefing: “In an era when a consumer might ‘ask Alexa’ where they should be going on holiday, how can an airport stand out as a brand? (And what top 10 travel trends should airports be thinking about?)”

The Third Working Session focused on ‘Creating Fertile Grounds for Investment’. Moderated by Mike Tretheway, Executive Vice-President and Chief Economist, InterVISTAS, the panellists included Nicolas Notebaert, CEO VINCI Concessions and President, VINCI Airports; Holger Linkweiler, Managing Director, AviAlliance; Andrew Carlisle, Airports Business Planning Director, Ferrovial Airports; Stephen O’Driscoll, Head of Division: Air, Maritime & Innovative Transport, European Investment Bank; Sidharath Kapur, President (Finance and Business Development) of Airport Sector, GMR Group; and Henrik Hololei, Director General for Mobility and Transport, European Commission.

In a special Airport Carbon Accreditation presentation, ACI EUROPE Director General Olivier Jankovec presented certificates to five airports that have achieved Level 3+ Neutrality: Budapest, London Stansted, Brussels, Geneva, and Helsinki.

The Fourth Working Session focused on ‘Sustainability and CSR values’ was moderated by Mike Boonen, Partner, KPMG Belgium, with panellists including Andrew O’Brian, President & CEO, Corporacion Quiport; André Schneider, CEO Geneva Airport; and Yiannis Paraschis, CEO Athens International Airport.

The official handover to 2019 ACI EUROPE General Assembly, Congress & Exhibition host, Hermes Airports, was performed by Arnaud Feist, CEO Brussels Airport Company and Eleni Kaloyirou, CEO Hermes Airports.

Federico Bonaudi, Manager: Facilitation, Parliamentary Affairs and Regional Airports, ACI EUROPE, presented the second edition of the ACI EUROPE Guidelines for Passenger Service.

The Fifth Working Session focused on the ‘Airport brand and digital transformation: Where does the passenger journey begin and end?’ Moderated by Anne-Marie Pellerin, Managing Partner, Lam-Lha, the WBP contributions came from Jim Peters, Chief Technology Officer, SITA; Iyad Hindiyeh, Global Head of Strategy, Amadeus IT Group; Jørgen Ravn, Network Manager, Airmagine; and Gillian Ormiston, Solution Expert, Traveller Processing and Border Control, IDEMIA.

Dr Zheng Lei, President, Institute for Aviation Research, gave a special briefing on ‘Chinese aviation market developments’.

A special briefing on the 2018 EU-China Tourism Year was delivered by István Ujhelyi, Member of the European Parliament, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Transport and Tourism, Member of the Delegation for relations with the People’s Republic of China.

The conference closed with an industry insights interview with Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World, and Alexandre de Juniac, Director General, IATA, facilitated by Oliver Clark, Senior Reporter, FlightGlobal.

The gala dinner featured the 14th ACI EUROPE Best Airport Awards. The winners were Tallinn Airport (under 5 million passengers), Bristol Airport and Sevilla Airport (5-10 million passengers), Hamburg Airport (10-25 million passengers), Rome Fiumicino Airport (over 25 million passengers), Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (Eco-Innovation Award), Pafos International Airport (Accessible Airport Award), Lene Beier-Simonsen Holling, Copenhagen Airport (HR Excellence Award), and Oxera Consulting LLP (WBP Recognition Award).

The two-day exhibition featured a diverse mix of airport suppliers, covering areas including automated valet parking, bag tag and bag drop solutions, baggage handling systems, currency exchange, digital advertising, IT solutions, lighting, retail, seating, and security.

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