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21 March

Welcome Reception
Sponsored by APG 
Harbour Room
22 March 
Welcome Address
Ralph Kaiser, President & CEO, UATP

The Distribution Chain

Distribution in the Asia/Pacific realm faces unique challenges. Panelists will discuss the challenges of managing an effective distribution strategy in such a fragmented and complex environment.

This panel will set the stage for the event, discussing how the distribution channel is being disrupted by new entrants, technology, regulation and much more. The industry is seeing dramatic changes in how business is done, creating a new norm.

Moderated by Tom Ballantyne, Chief Correspondent, Orient Aviation.  He will lead a discussion including industry experts representing the following channels: airline, GDS, travel agency, technology, and payments.

Opening Keynote

11.00-11.30 Networking Break 

The World of the Travel Agent

Traditionally travel distribution was dominated by the expert travel agents, being the force behind the successful trip, making sure that travelers got where they needed to be to make that deal and propel company success through meetings. However, the world of the agent was revolutionized with OTAs and direct distribution through websites. Technology disrupted the agents’ world, and continues to be a force of change. New booking channels have made it so customers are served 24/7 and expect to have the experience enriched and made easier via technology.

The panel will discuss some of the disrupting factors, such as:

• The rise of Airbnb, One Fine Stay and Uber
• Direct booking technologies
• How Payments have changed and what the agent has access to book
• What future technologies mean to the agent




GDS Panel

The rise and fall of the GDS has been an industry topic, well, as long as the GDS has been around. The need for airline distribution remains, but running the status quo won’t. As stated by Tim Clark, Emirates CEO at the recent Aviation Festival in London, “there are too many parasites” taking value from the airline in order to support their own business models. Clark believes there will be what he calls a “digital disruption group” in the future that will redesign the current platforms that handle distribution and digital services – an overhaul that will “streamline by up to 50% of what we do”. The panel will discuss the current state of the GDS and how the digital world is disrupting business as usual.



Tech trends are already changing customers’ behaviors and expectations; the next decade is going to see the further pronouncement of these effects. Each channel of the distribution chain has seen technology change how they have to do business, meld what a traveler expects, and build new business lines while others struggle to remain relevant. The panel will look at the technologies that have been leading the charge for change and discuss expectations for the future.
Networking Break

Merchandising – Ancillary Revenues

Airlines have shifted business models, moving to those reliant on ancillary revenues. Airline strategy models have moved to “unbundling” and a reliable delivery of ancillaries is a must. The pressure is on airline executives to quickly deliver on creative, compelling, and effective merchandising strategies. Dynamically delivering personalization, trip customization, and intelligent offers is the DNA behind this maturing market, as each airline strives to differentiate its brand, win traveler loyalty, and optimize revenue per passenger.

16.30-16.45 Close of Day One
Harbour Room


Ralph Kaiser, President & CEO, UATP


The LCCs v Legacy Challenge

Asia/Pacific is now facing the LCC v Legacy challenge that much of the world has already seen. LCCs have grown massively in Asia/Pacific with over fifty in existence as of 2016. LCCs have successively become the norm across the globe – Southwest Airlines, Ryanair, easyJet, AirAsia and many more. How has this affected the legacy carriers? What will the new norm be? The panel will discuss the many dynamics affecting carriers and how airline competitiveness has been a boon for the flyer.

Moderated by: Tom Ballantyne, Chief Correspondent, Orient Aviation


Keynote Address
Timothy O’Neill-Dunne, Head of Product, Air Black Box

Air Black Box solution, is a software vehicle that allows diverse airlines to connect and cooperate. The platform is credited with making Asia’s Value Alliance possible. Hear Mr. O’Neill-Dunne discuss Air Black Box and the future of airline connections.  

Networking Break

Payments Panel

Payments continue to evolve with the growth of non-traditional forms of payments, regulatory issues and ancillary revenue. Panelists will discuss the many different disruptions in the payment world, how technology is changing the way we pay and how ‘alternative forms of payment’ aren’t so alternative anymore.


Closing Statements

12.15-13.45 Lunch