On Thursday 6 December 2018 Craig Kreeger bid farewell to the UK aviation industry at the Aviation Club UK’s Club luncheon. During what was his last official engagement as CEO of Virgin Atlantic, he spoke fondly of his time at Virgin and experiences in the UK. Addressing addressing a gathering of over 200 members and guests, which included his successor, Shei Weiss and a number of representatives from Airbus, Boeing and Delta.
Kreeger called for government help for the future development of sustainable aviation fuels, which he believes to be operationally viable, creating job and improving the environment. He also urged for a revision to UK air passenger duty, which is currently the highest in the world and holds back business.
When asked whether he had achieved all of his aims and objectives he said he hoped so – through stabilising the financial position of the company and preserving the magic of the brand. His most important future decision would be deciding where and how to spend his retirement.
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airBaltic CEO, Martin Gauss will join the Aviation Club UK as guest speaker at their next lunch event on 8 November 2018 in London.
Projected growth is high on the agenda for airBaltic, the Latvian based airline who celebrated their 23rd anniversary at the beginning of October. Having announced carrying 18% more passengers during the first nine months of 2018 than the same period last year to a network spanning Europe, Scandinavia, Russia CIS and the Middle East and with a projection of continued passenger growth toward the end of 2018, CEO Martin Gauss is confident in reaching the target 4 million passengers by the end of the year.
Gauss joined airBaltic in November 2011 and has since executed a robust turnaround programme leading the airline back to profitability. With plans for a harmonized fleet of up to 80 Airbus A220-300 aircraft and boosted traffic revenues by 2025, its clear he means business.
‘We are really looking forward to hearing from Martin Gauss at our next Club lunch at the IoD on 8 November’ said Aviation Club UK Chairman Karl Brünjes, ‘there is no doubt that airBaltic are well on the way to achieving target and we are all excited to hear what the future holds for them’
Steve Udvar-Hazy Executive Chairman of Air Lease Corporation, pictured above with Club Chairman Karl Brunjes, spoke at the Aviation Club UK’s lunch meeting on 13 September 2018 at the Institute of Directors, London, addressing some 180 members and guests.
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Some fifty young aviation professionals were hosted by Ince & Co on 13 September 2018 on the 15th floor of their stunning city offices in London at the Aviation Club’s quarterly YAP Reception. The group enjoyed the panoramic skyline views as they came together for the second networking event this year.
Ince & Co Associate James Foley, Trainee Legal Executive Rachel Richards and Partner Anna Anatolitou gave an informative insight to a career in Aviation Law and stimulated further discussion amongst guests well into the evening.
World land speed record holder Richard Noble is the guest of honour at the Aviation Club UK Annual Reception at the House of Commons on Wednesday 11 July 2018.
Noble is Project Director of BLOODHOUND SSC, the world’s most advanced straight-line racing car, driven for the first time at Cornwall Airport, UK in 2017 and gearing up to run again in the second quarter of 2019 on a specially created race track at Hakskeen Pan, South Africa. Hoping to reach a target speed of 500mph – a key milestone on the journey to setting a new World Land Speed Record, Noble and his team aim to create a vehicle that will reach 1,000mph.
Noble himself reached speeds of over 633mph in Thrust2 when driving in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. In 2010 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Technology by the University of the West of England.
Karl Brunjes, Chairman of Aviation Club UK said “I am delighted that Richard is our guest and will speak at this very special occasion at the House of Commons. Richard tells a remarkable story of one man’s quest for speed and is an inspirational speaker.”
The Aviation Club UK Annual Reception is supported by MAPLES, Chorus Aviation Capital and PA Consulting.
The Aviation Club UK’s Annual Reception will take place on Wednesday 11 July 2018 from 7:00 – 9:00pm. Our venue is the Terrace Pavilion in the House of Commons, Westminster where we will be joined by special guest speaker Richard Noble OBE.
Richard is a Scottish entrepreneur best known for his desire for speed, leading the Thrust2 programme which bought the World Land Speed Record back to Britain in 1983 and subsequently the ThrustSSC project: a supersonic vehicle and current holder of the Outright World Land Speed Record. His other projects include the ARV Super2 light aircraft, the Atlantic Sprinter Blue Riband contendor and Farnborough Aircraft, which is creating the first point to point taxi aircraft.
As with all Club events, Members are welcome to bring guests. Early booking is advisable as tickets are limited and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
The evening is supported by MAPLES, Chorus Aviation Capital and PA Consulting
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flybe CEO Christine Ourmieres-Widener joined members and guests at the Aviation Club UK’s Club luncheon on Thursday 7 June. After just 18 months in post she updated the Club on flybe’s progress, the airline’s future and her plans to help address the lack of female representation in senior airline positions.
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The newly appointed Chairman of The Aviation Club of the UK Karl Brünjes, told members and guests at the iconic Institute of Directors, ‘We are the UK’s Aviation Club yet with an international reputation and membership, and one we seek to expand..”
His statement came before lunch where he briefly outlined the opportunities and challenges for the Club going forward and also paid tribute to outgoing Chairman Jane Johnston, saying she had dealt with a ‘boatload of challenges in a difficult environment’.
flybe CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener was the speaker at the lunch and immediately flagged she would talk about gender and Brexit as well as outlining the current strategies for the UK’s regional carrier.
She dismissed reported comments from Qatar Airline’s CEO Akbar Al Baker made at the recent IATA meeting in Sydney that ‘a woman couldn’t run an airline’ and said she had been asked many times how she got the job. “Would the same question be asked of a man?” she added.
Ms Ourmières-Widener, who amongst other senior appointments was a former head of Air France/KLM in the USA and CEO of Cityjet, went on to say she wanted to create a culture where women could do well because they are the best for the job stating “we have a need for change.” On Brexit, said there was a sense of Brexit “fatigue” and that it was time to simply get on with it!
Impossible is only an opinion. That was one of many takeaway moments from yesterday’s speaker at the UK Aviation Club.
For those of us who were there to hear Skuli Mogensen’s story of WOW! – WOW did we have a treat! For those of you who weren’t there – you should have been. You missed a really special event.
Skuli spoke without notes about he set up WOW! How they arrived at the name, and what having a name like that means for the decisions that need to follow, and the expectations it sets. He talked about how one day he can realistically see airlines paying customers to travel with them, because of the value their data unlocks in providing ancillary services.
He talked about WOW!’s future plans – and provided plenty of headlines for the media guests present.
He will most certainly go down as one of the most inspirational speakers we’ve ever had – and I was really lucky that it happened at my last lunch as Chairman so I got to host him at lunch, where the Top Table had a really animated cross-table conversation that everyone enjoyed.
Thank you for the opportunity to chair the Club which has been an unforgettable experience. Karl Brunjes now takes over and will be a brilliant Chairman. He has a great Committee – and yesterday we had three very key and capable members re-elected in Donna Ager, Vicky Hartley and Jeremy Green, as well as winning Tony Whitty back after a year away. Two new Committee members – Arnaud Fiscel and James McCarthy – complete a really strong line-up and it’s great to have the Club in such good hands.
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On Tuesday 27 March the Aviation Club was joined by Alan Joyce, Group CEO of Qantas, and team. Marking the launch of the new non-stop Perth/London route. Joyce spoke to a full house about this ground breaking move by Qantas and future plans, which include ‘Project Sunrise’.
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