We will be welcoming the following speakers to Airlines 2024

CEO
Virgin Atlantic

Shai Weiss is Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Atlantic and an Executive Director of its Board. With the belief that everyone can take on the world, Virgin Atlantic leads from the front in pursuit of its vision to become the most loved travel company. In service of its people, customers, and the communities from which it operates.

With an unrelenting commitment to business as a force for good, Virgin Atlantic has been pioneering sustainability leadership for more than 15 years, with a commitment to achieving 10% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) by 2030 and Net Zero by 2050.

Shai was named Virgin Atlantic CEO in January 2019 and led the Company during Covid-19, emerging from the pandemic a transformed airline, in the process evolving from being a challenger brand to being recognized as a flag carrier. Shai joined Virgin Atlantic in 2014 as Chief Financial Officer later assuming the role of Chief Commercial Officer.

During Shai’s tenure Virgin Atlantic has been recognized as a leader in safety, customer and employee satisfaction and has been awarded the Global Five Star Award by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) for seven years running and the only British carrier to achieve this. In 2022, the airline was ranked as the number one most loved workplace in the UK by Newsweek and 1st in the UK and 7th globally in World’s Best Airlines 2023 by airlinesratings.com

Shai serves as a non-Executive Director of Check Point Software Technologies (NASDQ: CHKP), a leading provider of cyber security solutions. In 2022 Shai served on the Prime Minister’s Business Council.

In 2006 he was a Founding Partner of Virgin Green Fund and an Investment Partner with the Virgin Group from 2012. Before joining Virgin, he held several senior management positions at ntl:Telewest (now Virgin Media), the UK and Europe’s largest cable operator. Shai was part of the turn-around of ntl with roles including Managing Director of Consumer Products, Director of Operations, and Director of Financial Planning for the Consumer division and was behind the merger between Virgin Mobile UK and ntl:Telewest and the subsequent re-brand to Virgin Media. Prior to ntl, Shai established the European office of early-stage technology venture fund JVP and was a Senior Associate with Morgan Stanley Technology Group in London.

Shai holds an MBA from Columbia University in New York and a BBA from City University of New York, Baruch College.

He resides in London, has two children in university, attends Arsenal games whenever he can, loves The New Yorker and attempts to play basketball on weekends.

CEO
MAG’s Group

Ken is currently MAG’s Group CEO, having taken over the role in October 2023. He joined MAG in 2012 and has held senior executive roles across the company including Chief Commercial Officer, Chief Executive of London Stansted Airport, Chief Executive of Manchester Airport and Deputy CEO of the MAG Group. Ken spent six years before joining MAG with Ryanair Holdings plc, initially as Head of Revenue Management and then as Director of New Route Development. He has previously worked in the retail and investment banking sectors.

SVP Sustainability & Chief Economist
IATA

Marie joined IATA in 2022 as Chief Economist. In January 2023 Marie added responsibility for IATA’s Environment and Sustainability activities to her role. Marie joined IATA from Lombard Odier where she was Head of Global Trends and Sustainability. Her 30-year professional life includes roles for both investment banks and private bank, including HSBC in London, Merrill Lynch in Paris, and Indosuez in Geneva. Outside of the financial sector Marie worked for IKEA, and she also founded and manged her own company in the equine industry. Marie holds an MBA from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, and a PhD in International Economics from the Graduate Institute in Geneva, Switzerland. She speaks Swedish, English and French fluently.

CEO
Heathrow

Thomas Woldbye took up the role as Heathrow CEO in October 2023. As CEO, Thomas is focussed on driving innovation in passenger service, sustainability and growth at the UK’s hub airport. He is also overseeing the airport’s multi billion pound investment plans to upgrade existing facilities and provide an even better service for passengers, including the next generation security programme and new baggage system for Terminal 2. Thomas is a member of His Majesty’s Sustainable Markets Initiative, the BritishAmerican Business Advisory Board and the Jet Zero Council.

Thomas was previously CEO of Copenhagen Airport from May 2011 – September 2023. Under Thomas’s stewardship, Copenhagen Airport was consistently rated as one of the world’s top airports, both in terms of customer and retail experience as well as efficiency and profitability. He worked in partnership with the trade unions in Denmark and put customers at the front of mind for all colleagues at the airport.

Previously, Thomas worked for A.P. Møller-Maersk for 27 years. He started his career as a management trainee in 1983, and over the next 20 years, held several management positions in Indonesia, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Denmark. During this period, he was primarily involved in the management of Maersk Line, the company’s worldwide container business. In 2004, Thomas took over as Group CEO of Norfolkline Group with headquarters in The Hague.

Thomas has an HD in Financing from Copenhagen Business School and professional qualifications from the London Business School and the IMD in Switzerland.

Mohammad Taher, widely known as 'The Airport Guy,' is an aerospace engineering graduate, turned content creator and educator. While both excelling in his engineering career, becoming the aerodrome systems specialist for the biggest and most complex aerodrome in the UK, he has also built a thriving online community of over half a million people to empower individuals, particularly from underrepresented backgrounds, to explore careers in aviation. The impact he has had on the aviation sector has been recognised by the UK government who recently announced him as an Aviation Ambassador for the Department for Transport, as well as being named one of the top 50 most influential Muslims in Europe.

Further speakers to be announced soon.