Skift Aviation Forum

November 17, 2021

Our Forum

Join us on November 17 for our second annual Skift Aviation Forum, taking place as an online, one-day conference packed with fast-paced, deep-dive conversations into the business of aviation. As the industry looks optimistically to a recovery in the years ahead, this event will provide an essential dive into the industry’s future through the predictions and strategies of some of aviation’s most dynamic leaders. 

As always, discussions will bring together Skift’s sharp editorial viewpoint on the broader travel industry with the depth and authority of Airline Weekly — the highly influential global business newsletter consumed by CEOs and senior executives every week across the airline industry.

This year’s conversations will center around our 2021 forum theme:  Aviation at an Inflection Point, addressing the big questions facing the industry:

  • When airlines emerge from the crisis, what will the market look like?
  • How long will vaccine inequity and travel restrictions impact the rebound of International?
  • Will lucrative business travel ever be back to what it was in 2019?
  • Can airlines even out service and scheduling challenges as we enter the holiday season?
  • How are airlines rebuilding trust and loyalty among customers as travel returns?


Wednesday, November 17th

10:05 AM

Aviation at an Inflection Point

Doug Parker

American Airlines
Chairman & CEO


Madhu Unnikrishnan – Editor, Skift Airline Weekly
10:35 AM

Remaining Agile In The Face of Change

11:00 AM

Futureproofing the Industry for the Decade Ahead

Steven Udvar-Házy

Air Lease Corporation
Executive Chairman of the Board


Madhu Unnikrishnan – Editor, Skift Airline Weekly
11:25 AM

Is the International Recovery Imminent?

11:45 AM

How Travel Fintech Can Increase Spend Beyond Bookings

Dakota Smith

Chief Strategy Officer


Wouter Geerts – Senior Research Analyst, Skift
12:25 PM

The Growing Demand for Puerto Rico: Air Access Opportunities

Brad Dean

Discover Puerto Rico


Carolyn Kremins – President, Skift
12:35 PM

Sustainability’s Renewed Importance

1:00 PM

What Consumers Want and How to Rebuild Trust

1:30 PM


2:00 PM

Reimagining Global Connectivity

Scott Kirby

United Airlines


Brian Sumers – Editor at Large, Skift
2:30 PM

Skift Research Presentation on Traveler Trends

2:40 PM

Easing Air Travel Disruptions With Cutting-Edge Mobile Technology

Mike Appleton

TA Connections


Dan Marcec – Research Editor, SkiftX
2:50 PM

Jobs, Technology and the Changing Face of Aviation Labor

3:15 PM

As Business Travel Returns, How Will Service Shift as Expectations Rise?

3:40 PM

What Will an Airline Be in a Decade?

Tony Douglas

Etihad Aviation Group
Group Chief Executive Officer


Edward Russell – Airlines Reporter, Skift
4:00 PM

The Future of Revenue Management for the Transportation Industry

Alex Mans

Founder & CEO


Dan Marcec – Research Editor, SkiftX
4:10 PM

Balancing Climate and Europe’s Recovery Goals

Pieter Elbers

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM)


Edward Russell – Airlines Reporter, Skift
4:35 PM

What Portugal’s Tourism Rise Means for Its National Airline

Christine Ourmières-Widener

TAP Air Portugal


Madhu Unnikrishnan – Editor, Skift Airline Weekly
5:00 PM

Event Ends

Host sponsor

airline sponsor



Aviation at an Inflection Point: Has the industry fundamentally changed and how will airlines adapt to the sluggish return of business travel and international routes? We will discuss what might happen next for aviation overall during this event and how leaders are managing this year of change.

How Will Business Travel Bounce Back?: Is American’s network fundamentally changed forever or just a blip? Is the single meeting trip over? We’ll hear from leaders in corporate travel to discuss what is next and how travel at big companies is shifting. 

Is the International Recovery Imminent?: As borders are likely to open increasingly and vaccines take hold, will we see a cross-border holiday travel period setting the stage for broader recovery in 2022? 

Evolving Domestic Networks: Leisure’s prominence has shifted business routes and as airlines look keep planes in the air, what has changed and what will last? With demand patterns still uncertain, flexibility is key, but how are network planners thinking ahead? 

Airports Remain Agile: As global connectors, airports have been at the center of the pandemic and have had to radically adapt their organizations, safety, innovation, and strategies to stay ahead of both fiscal needs and also passenger travel. What comes next? 

Cargo’s Big Seat at the Table: With supply chains and maritime a mess, freighter proliferation has taken hold for some airlines and for others it’s become a front and center revenue stream. 

Sustainability’s Renewed Importance: Most major carriers have commitments to go carbon neutral by the middle of the century with an emphasis placed on a wide range of initiatives from sustainable aviation fuels to carbon storage technologies and electric aircraft. How are airlines focused on new technology and sustainability initiatives, and will we see true electric aircraft innovation in this decade? 

Overcoming Labor Headwinds: Airlines, like almost all business across the U.S. are facing similar hiring challenges. With people and resources constraining growth and recovery as travelers return, how will airlines and airports balance and push through these challenges? How long might it affect the industry in the years to come?

Why You Should Participate

Skift Live events are transformative to businesses and brands.


Learn from the experiences and strategies of the most creative leaders at major travel brands.


Our agendas are jam-packed with opportunities to learn from experts, gain tactical knowledge, and understand the latest trends in travel.


Attendees will hear insights on how tech is disrupting the industry and adapting to consumer demand.

2020 Highlight

In this clip from Skift Aviation Forum 2020, Southwest Airlines Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly shares his predictions for post-Covid industry recovery in 2021.

Learn more

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