CAPA Qatar Aviation Aeropolitical and Regulatory Summit

Doha, Qatar
5-6 Feb 2019

Since June 2017 Qatar Airways has had to operate under the imposition of an air space blockade by neighbouring countries, forcing the airline to operate longer routes and to seek new markets to replace highly profitable established markets in the blockading countries. We ask GCEO, HE Akbar Al Baker, how Qatar Airways is dealing with these challenges, his plan for returning the airline back to profitability in particular in the face of rising fuel prices and the potential for the blockade to continue into the long term

IATA, Director General & CEO, Mr. Alexandre de Juniac

European Commission, Director General Mobility and Transport, Mr. Henrik Hololei 

The EU has played a vital leadership role in aviation in Europe and the North Atlantic and, increasingly, globally. In recent years the face of the airline industry has changed rapidly, with new entrants, new airline types and new aircraft all contributing to a very different environment compared with 20 years ago. The panel will review the extent and relevance of these developments and discuss where the industry – and its regulation – might be heading.

  • The evolution of European Union Comprehensive Air Transport Agreements and Europe’s parallel/multilateral agreements
  • Parallel Regulations: revising Regulation 868/2004
  • Ambitions, challenges and milestones
  • Ownership and control limitations – encouraging investment into airlines and infrastructure
  • Economic benefits (Passenger and Cargo) of liberalisation and deregulation
  • EU-Middle East relations: open markets or limited flights?

Moderator: LVP Law/University of Gent, Attorney at Law/Professor Aviation Law, Mia Wouters 

  • AACO, Secretary General, Abdul Wahab Teffaha
  • European Commission, Director General Mobility and Transport, Henrik Hololei
  • International Institute of Air and Space Law, Director, Pablo Mendes de Leon
  • Keystone Law, Solicitor, Philippe Ruttley
  • Qatar Airways, Group CEO, H.E. Akbar Al Baker
  • CAPA – Centre for Aviation, Executive Chairman, Mr. Peter Harbison
  • European Commission, Director General Mobility and Transport, Mr. Henrik Hololei
  • IATA, Director General & CEO, Mr. Alexandre de Juniac

Britain’s decision to exit the EU came as a surprise to most, including those who supported it. As reality strikes, there remain many complex bilateral and multilateral arrangements to unravel and to remake. How the scenario unfolds will depend on the renewed intentions of all those involved. The aviation world will be watching, as ancient norms are reviewed in the light of the 21st century’s evolving global marketplace.

  • How will open skies in the EU-UK market and across the trans-Atlantic evolve as Brexit comes into effect?
  • Are the region’s airlines, including new entrant disruptors who have been able to flourish due to advanced aircraft technology and the pre-Brexit liberalised environment, at risk of operating under more restrictive norms?
  • Could Brexit provide a catalyst to reform the entire bilateral system that underpins aviation governance?

Moderator: Croon Callaghan Aviation Consulting, Partner, Jim Callaghan [Download Presentation]


  • Aviation Strategy & Concepts, Managing Director, Ulrich Schulte-Strathaus
  • Holland & Knight, Solicitor, Robert Ricketts
  • Odi-sé Avocats, Partner, Matthieu de Varax

It is no secret that the airline industry is confronted by a crisis of infrastructure. As passenger traffic has bloomed, well above long term growth rates in recent years, the level of congestion at many of the world’s major airports has seemingly reached tipping point. Governments are rarely prepared to fund new expansion, even where environmental pressures allow it. So, seeking private funding appears to be the solution. But striking a balance between attracting private financing and achieving national economic goals has become a seemingly intractable problem.

  • Positive/negative impacts of airport privatisation
  • Often natural monopolies, will airports always be regarded as a desirable asset?
  • What form should regulation take, in order to strike a balance between national and private interests?
  • What are the alternative ownership models to privatisation?
  • What do governments need to consider when deciding whether airports should be privatised?
  • Taxation: raising revenue for infrastructure vs encouraging connectivity and trade

Moderator: Croon Callaghan, Partner Jochem Croon

  • Broekema Aviation Advisory Services, Owner and Principal Consultant, Gerben Broekema
  • Egis, Middle East & South Asia Aviation Director, Jacques Khoriaty
  • IATA, Director General & CEO, Alexandre de Juniac

As the originator of the swathe of open skies agreements in the 1990s and the early part of the 21st century, the US is a vital part of the modern liberal bilateral system. Now Brexit prompts a vital review of the North Atlantic multilateral agreement, while the US is seemingly wavering in its commitment to the principles of a li laissez-faire international marketplace. Meanwhile Canada remains committed to its (dark) Blue Skies protectionist policy. In the wake of the US Big 3’s recent onslaught on the Gulf carriers, there is still a lack of clarity over the US position on liberal market access, a question made more poignant by the Trump administration’s attacks on free trade generally. However, some comfort can be drawn from Washington’s apparent reluctance to intervene in a protective way.

  • How does the industry navigate the crossroad between trade and travel?
  • Does the US Big Three vs ME3 white paper still have a role to play in the future of the region?
  • Ownership and control limitations – encouraging investment into airlines and infrastructure
  • Should antitrust immunity be expanded or contracted?

Moderator: CAPA – Centre for Aviation, Executive Chairman, Peter Harbison


  • FedEx Express, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Rush O’Keefe
  • Holland & Knight, Partner, Anita Mosner
  • JetBlue Airways, Senior Vice President Government Affairs & Associate General Counsel, Robert Land

As the fastest growing international market in the world, southeast Asia has spawned ground-breaking international LCCs, cross border JV models and even LCC alliances. An essentially liberal bilateral approach by governments in the region has permitted this market driven proliferation, partially aided by the application of ASEAN open skies principles. This has also given the opportunity for discussions at multilateral level with the EU and the potential for a significant dialogue, with common goals. There is however residual resistance to full liberalisation as the framers of the ASEAN multilateral proposed.

  • The future of the bloc – will ASEAN governments pursue an EU-like approach to aviation?
  • Will the bloc extend to include Asia Pacific?
  • Will cross-border JVs become redundant as the skies liberalise in Southeast Asia, allowing regional international connectivity?
  • To what extent is the cross border JV a commercial vs a regulatory model?
  • How are airlines lobbying governments to open as many markets as they can in order to reduce their risk of being exposed to only a few key markets?
  • Is competition too fierce in ASEAN domestic markets? Is further expansion from foreign entities via cross border JVs rational?

Moderator: National University of Singapore, Professor of Aviation Law, Alan Tan 


  • AirAsia, Group Head, International Policies & Institutions, Shasha Ridzam
  • Cambodia State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, Director of Air Transport, Chanty Vann
  • Chinese University of Hong Kong, Assistant Professor, Jae Woon (June) Lee
  • Institute of Malaysian and International Studies, Director, Dr. Sufian Jusoh
  • Malaysian Aviation Commission, Director Aviation Development, Germal Singh Khera

Air cargo is viewed by many passenger carriers as a “stepchild,” but changes in the global supply chain have given cargo greater prominence. The surge in growth of “e-commerce” has transformed consumer behaviour and has driven major increases in demand. Moreover, for countries such as the State of Qatar, having unfettered access to air cargo markets is a critical matter of national security.

  • What forces are shaping the global cargo market? Does the regulatory framework support or hinder the growth of the industry
  • What are the challenges to cargo growth?
  • Safety and security issues

Moderator: TIACA, Secretary General, Vladimir Zubkov


  • Amerijet International Airlines, President & CEO, Vicken Karjian
  • FedEx Express, Regional President, MEISA, James Muhs
  • Liege Airport, CEO, Luc Partoune

Airport slots undoubtedly have a “value”, especially at congested facilities. It is sometimes argued that unlocking that value can lead to more commercial outcomes than are achieved in most cases today. Yet there is no commonality in the way airports and governments treat slot “ownership”.

  • With a doubling in passenger figures predicted, and a significant lack of airport capacity to meet these projections, how does the air transport industry continue to support economic growth?
  • The slot process is the backbone to the airline’s operating at the world’s most congested airports, binging certainty and transparency to ensure schedules can be planned, connectivity built and future investment made. But is the process really able to support an industry facing a capacity crises – airport saturation.
  • Airports, airlines, slot coordinators and governments are all stakeholders when ensuring scarce airport capacity is used efficiently. Is it realistic to think these stakeholders can have common objectives that translate in to global policy? If not, what future is there for managing airport capacity that cannot meet demand, to prevent chaos and one that limits growth.
  • Airport slots are an outcome from a lack of capacity to meet demand, does the process for allocating slots ensure aviation can grow?
  • Policy objectives for growth, connectivity and consumer benefits are key, but is this feasible without large-scale airport expansion?
  • How should slot policy be regulated and developed?
  • Will radical changes to the slot process really cause widespread disruption?
  • Is this a classic case where the practical realities of the industry do not meld well with economic theory?

Moderator: Pittsburgh International Airport, CEO, Christina Cassotis

  • COHOR, Managing Director, Eric Herbane
  • Heathrow Airport, Chief Strategy Officer, Andrew Macmillan
  • IATA, Manager, Worldwide Airport Slots, Philip Ireland

Just as airlines begin to savour the prospect of financial sustainability, the threat of failing to meet sustainability goals can quickly replace that challenge. In the area of climate change, of course, national and EU emissions targets provide clear goals for airlines (and airports) to plan for. But the rapid growth of the industry intensifies the need to act quickly and effectively. And sustainability relates to more than simply our approach to climate change.

  • Why does industry need to earn its licence to grow?
  • What external pressures are we seeing to challenge aviation’s sustainability record?
  • Status of EU ETS/CORSIA and overlap of national emission schemes with CORSIA
  • Noise regulation as a challenge to growth
  • The impact of illegal wildlife trafficking and industry’s efforts to save iconic species
  • How to drive the commercial deployment of sustainable aviation fuels as a pillar of industry’s climate action strategy

Moderator: ATAG, Executive Director, Michael Gill [Download Presentation]


  • Neste Suisse, Head of Aviation Solutions, Paul Paoletta
  • Studio Pierallini/LUISS University of Rome, Partner/Professor Aviation Law, Laura Pierallini
  • The Royal Foundation, Programme Manager, United for Wildlife, Rob Campbell

Moderator: CAPA – Centre for Aviation, Executive Chairman, Peter Harbison


  • African Airlines Association, Secretary General, Abderahmane Berthé
  • Croon Callaghan Aviation Consulting, Partner, Jim Callaghan
  • European Commission, Director General Mobility and Transport, Henrik Hololei
  • International Institute of Air and Space Law, Director, Pablo Mendes de Leon
  • National University of Singapore, Professor of Aviation Law, Alan Tan
  • Qatar Airways, Group CEO, H.E Akbar Al Baker
  • RwandAir, CEO, Yvonne Manzi Makolo
  • TIACA, Secretary General, Vladimir Zubkov

Qatar Airways’ CEO, Akbar Al Baker, is never one to hold back his words. On the sidelines of the inaugural CAPA Qatar Aviation Aeropolitical & Regulatory Summit he spoke to CAPA TV about on the ongoing blockade that has restricted the airline’s regional flying, how it has responded and how it intends to continue to innovate both with its onboard product and service and with its flight operations as new aircraft like the Boeing 777X and Airbus A321neoLR arrive during the next decade.

RwandAir has emerged as one of East Africa’s prominent air carriers with a network that now extends outside of the region. Its CEO Yvonne Manzi Makolo reveals fleet and network plans for 2019 that will see the arrival of additional Airbus A330s and the airline’s first Boeing 737MAXs to support growth in Africa and into China and the United States of America (USA). She discusses the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) and how it would support RwandAir’s own development and how the airline is working to support its future operations through training and MRO initiatives.

Aviation is a global industry and this year it will safely meet the transport needs of 4.6 billion travellers. IATA’s director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac defines aviation as the Business of Freedom, but this performance could not be achieved without commonly understood and implemented rules of the game. “Regulation is vitally important to aviation,” he explains, but this should be in the form of smarter regulation, a concept he describes as more “common sense than it is rocket science”.

All eyes are on Africa as it works to deliver a long-promised liberalisation to enhance air connectivity within the Continent, now under the guise of the African Union backed Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM). Abderahmane Berthe, secretary general of the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) provides an update on the latest progress with SAATM.

An agreement in principle has been reached between Qatar and the European Union on a new wide-ranging air service agreement, which after initialling will go through the legal process to reach a position it can presented to Europe’s member states for final signing. Henrik Hololei, director general mobility and transport at the European Commission says new aviation agreements deliver a holistic approach and “are more than just about traffic rights”. Fresh from announcing the terms of agreement he spoke to CAPA TV on the sidelines of the CAPA Qatar Aviation Aeropolitical & Regulatory Summit about the talks and the European Union’s hopes for future agreements.