Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, is one of the most recognisable
figures in the global aviation industry. His vision and commitment enabled the ground-breaking
development of Qatar Airways from a small regional carrier in to one of the world’s leading global
airlines in a span of just 20 years. Today, Qatar Airways flies more than 200 state-of-the-art aircraft to
more than 150 destinations across six continents.
Under his leadership, Qatar Airways has become one of the world’s most highly-respected airlines,
competing on a scale very few airlines achieve. As a result, passengers have recognised the airline’s
commitment to the values of safety, security, innovation and quality of service by awarding it the
Skytrax Airline of the Year 2017, the fourth time Qatar Airways has received this award in just seven
Widely known for his ambition and passion for innovation, His Excellency Mr. Al Baker introduced the
award-winning Qsuite in March 2017. Featuring the industry’s first-ever double bed available in Business
Class, with privacy panels that stow away, the unique and patented design allows passengers in
adjoining seats to create their own private suites. He also ensures Qatar Airways leads the way in
showcasing the best possible product with the airline being the proud launch customer of the A350-900
in 2014 and A350-1000 in 2018 as well as being the regional launch customer for Boeing Dreamliner 787
in 2015. Mr. Al Baker placed a ground breaking order with Boeing in 2016 for $2.16bn USD.
In August 2017, H.E. Mr. Akbar Al Baker, was announced as the Chairman of the Board of Governors
(BoG) of the prestigious global aviation industry body International Air Transport Association (IATA),
coming in to effect June 2018. In November 2017 he was proudly named ‘Aviation Executive of the Year’
by the CAPA Centre for Aviation in recognition of his global influence and visionary approach to the
H.E. Mr. Al Baker is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Arab Air Carriers Organisation
(AACO) and is a non-executive Director of Heathrow Airport Holdings (HAH) - the company responsible
for the running and development of the UK’s largest airport. In June 2015 the President of the Republic
of France, Francois Hollande, presented H.E. Mr. Akbar Al Baker with the Legion of Honour in
recognition of his leadership in the aviation industry.
A highly motivated individual, Mr. Al Baker is a successful businessman in Doha and beyond, holds a
private pilot license, and is also CEO of several divisions of Qatar’s national airline – these being Qatar
Executive, Hamad International Airport, Qatar Aviation Services, Qatar Aircraft Catering Company, Qatar
Distribution Company, Qatar Duty Free and Internal Media Services, to name a few.
Born in Doha, he is a graduate in Economics and Commerce and worked at various levels in the Civil
Aviation Directorate before being tasked with creating the world’s best airline in 1997.
A committed Tourism & Development practitioner, Anita Mendiratta is the Founder and President of ANITA MENDIRATTA & Associates (first launched as CACHET CONSULTING), a London-based international consulting firm created in 2002 that she has championed over the past 17 years. Working closely with leaders in governments, businesses, and international organisations across the Tourism, Aviation and Development sectors, Anita is globally trusted and respected as a strategic advisor and six-time published author.
Anita began her professional career along a blue chip corporate path, working in a number of Fortune 500 companies (IBM, Unilever and The Coca-Cola Company), before advancing to a leadership positions within one of WPP’s global consulting firms (The Added Value Group). Today, with over two decades of global professional working and living experience, Anita’s hands-on, cross-cultural, cross-industry experience in both public and private sectors has created an innate ability to feel the ‘heartbeat’ of societies – the economic, social, political, cultural and environmental dynamics impacting and inspiring nations facing change, including confronting challenge.
Importantly, with proven agility and acumen in mobilising impact across diplomatic, governmental and business spheres, her exceptional skills in assisting clients in defining and mobilising critical principles and practices vital to individual and collective impact has earned her the trust needed to work directly with leadership teams to unlock higher levels of performance.
For this reason, Anita is highly sought after as both a strategist & advisor in the areas of national growth, development, and often, recovery.
Increasingly, Anita is called upon to be the bridge between government and business, assisting leaders to address conflict and find common ground to enable advancement of common agendas, breaking through areas of contrast and/or conflict to realise shared aspirations.
Dale Keller was appointed Chief Executive of The Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR UK) in November 2012, following more than 25 years experience in the aviation, travel and tourism sector.
He was one of the start up team at Ansett New Zealand and since moving to the UK in 1990, the New Zealand born professional has held several travel retail roles, including London Flight Centres. A return to airline management commenced with China Airlines, followed by eight years with Air Malta, where as UK General Manager he was instrumental in restructuring the airline's UK operations for entry into the EU.
Following a period at Air Mauritius as Regional Manager UK, in 2007 he joined a management buyout of specialist aviation and travel consultancy, KTA Public Relations, where he remains a consultant.
Other notable roles include holding the chairmanship of APRO (Airline Public Relations Organisation) and a previous board position with BAR UK.
Dale holds a diploma in Marketing from the London College of Communication.
Dawn Wilson was appointed Managing Director of TUI Airways in January 2019 and leads TUI’s Northern Region Airlines – TUI Airways in the UK and TUI fly Nordic, working in conjunction with the UK and Nordic markets. Dawn is also responsible, within her active role as Director of Airline Operations on the TUI Aviation Board, for aircraft operations of all five TUI Group airlines in Europe – co-ordinating operational alignment and delivery of efficiency initiatives.
Dawn’s career began as cabin crew in 1988 after graduating from the University of Nottingham with a degree in Modern European Studies – later holding a number of key leadership roles in the organisation, including General Manager of Cabin Crew and Director of Ground Operations.
Max Kingsley-Jones is executive director content at FlightGlobal. He was appointed as editor of Flight Airline Business in December 2010, having spent 14 years with Flight International, where he ultimately became deputy editor. Kingsley-Jones previously spent a decade working at Airclaims and also had a short spell with Aviation Week magazine.
Michael Gill is executive director of the Air Transport Action Group
(ATAG), the only global association that represents all sectors of the air
transport industry. Its mission is to promote aviation’s sustainable growth
for the benefit of global society.
He was appointed as Director, Aviation Environment of the International
Air Transport Association (IATA) in November 2013, with responsibility
for developing and implementing IATA’s work in the environment field,
particularly in the areas of climate change, noise, biofuel
commercialisation and the IATA environmental assessment programme.
Prior to that, he spent six years as senior legal counsel in IATA, supporting
IATA’s external affairs portfolio. In that role, he led IATA’s delegation to
three ICAO diplomatic conferences on airline regulatory and security
Before joining IATA in May 2007, Michael was an aviation lawyer in
private practice at the Paris Bar, acting for airlines and their insurers.
He holds law degrees from both King’s College, London and the Sorbonne
University in Paris, as well as a masters degree from the University of
Edinburgh. He is admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of England
and Wales and an avocat in France.
Richard was appointed as Chief Executive Officer in May 2018 having previously joined the CAA Board in January 2016 as Group Director of Consumers and Markets and Deputy Chief Executive. In that role he was responsible for airline licensing, the ATOL scheme, the economic regulation of airports and air navigation providers, our competition powers, and our consumer redress and enforcement activities. Before joining the CAA Richard was the CEO of the Legal Services Board, which oversees the regulation of the legal profession in England and Wales. Richard has also held senior public and private sector roles in a number of regulated sectors including water, energy, aviation, postal communications, and social housing. Richard is a non-executive director of The Social Housing Regulator.
Simon McNamara is IATA’s Area Manager for the United Kingdom & Ireland leading its local regional activities and supporting the wider IATA team in its work to represent, lead and serve the airline industry. Previous to his current role he was Director of Communications at Flybe and formerly Director General of the European Regions Airline Association.
A graduate of City University, London, in Aeronautical Engineering, McNamara also holds an MSc from Cranfield University in the UK in Air Transport Management.
Alex was appointed Chairman and CEO of British Airways in 2016. He also sits on the management committee of parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG).
Alex began his career at American Airlines before becoming a partner at Arthur D Little. He then set up his own aviation consulting firm and later joined Accenture as its head of aviation.
In 2006, Alex founded Clickair, a Barcelona-based airline, merging it with Vueling Airlines and becoming Vueling’s Chairman and CEO. Vueling was acquired by IAG in 2013.
Alex is also an Associate Professor at the IESE Business School. He is married with four children.