Club News

Robert Sinclair’s ‘Airport for London’

The Aviation Club UK

The Club’s 2019 lunch programme launched yesterday, Thursday 8 February 2019, with an address from Robert Sinclair, CEO of London City Airport.  Members and their guests enjoyed an informative presentation from Sinclair as he outlined the future plans for London City Airport, the importance of the Aviation industry to the UK economy, the sustainability challenge and touched on airport anti-drone technology systems.

Sinclair admits he is ‘concerned’ as the clock ticks toward 29 March.  ‘Our industry is high profile and should not be used as a political football’, he said, adding ‘any threat to the aviation industry is a threat to the overall economy of the UK’.

He went on to talk about the massive expansion and refurb plans for London City Airport, which include an external terminal building, enabling it to serve two million more passengers a year by 2025 and a new digital air traffic control system.

London City is the first UK airport to replace its air traffic control tower with a remotely operated digital system.  Instead of sitting in a tower overlooking the runway, controllers will be 120 miles away, watching live footage from high-definition cameras.  The new system will now be tested for a year before becoming fully operational in 2019.

He concluded, ‘We are planning an airport which celebrates modern 21st century London.  Passenger split between business and leisure is now 50/50 and with new airline partners, multiple daily connections are growing and driving inbound tourism to the capital and beyond.’

CLICK HERE for article from BT News

Willie Walsh Back On Home Turf for Aviation Club UK’s Dublin Dinner

The Aviation Club UK


On Sunday 20 January 2019 the Aviation Club UK held their first international event at the St Stephen’s Green Hibernium Club in Dublin.  The Dinner, supported by Bank of China and Airline Economics, hosted a capacity audience drawn from senior representatives from the civil aviation industry, many of whom were in Dublin to attend the Airline Economics Growth Frontiers Conference.

After dinner Committee Member John Strickland informally interviewed Guest of honour, Willie Walsh, CEO IAG.  And to the delight of the room, Walsh delivered both entertaining and informative answers. To hear the full engagement CLICK HERE.  Video coverage from the Dinner was reported by Travel Extra.

Media coverage from this event can be viewed at the following links:

CLICK HERE for second link from Travel Extra

CLICK HERE for third link from Travel Extra

CLICK HERE to see article from The Independent, Ireland

CLICK HERE to see article from The Irish Times

CLICK HERE to see article from The Irish Times

CLICK HERE to see article from RTE


Fellowship Award 2018 – Tom Williams CBE

The Aviation Club UK

The Aviation Club UK annual Fellowship Award was presented to Tom Williams by Chairman Karl Brunjes at the Club luncheon on 6 December 2018.  The fellowship of the Aviation Club is granted annually in recognition of an outstanding, long-term contribution by an individual to the Civil aviation industry in the UK.

Tom Williams completed an apprenticeship with Rolls-Royce Aero Engines in 1972 and went on to carry out a number of senior roles in UK manufacturing companies.  Tom joined British Aerospace in 1997 as Site Director and General Manager at the Prestwick site of the company’s Aerostructures division.  In 2000 he was recruited by Airbus UK as Managing Director and General Manager, a position he held until 2004.  Over the past 11 years he has progressed through Airbus and in January 2015 was appointed as Chief Operating Officer of Airbus Commercial Aircraft.  With responsibility for overall operations including engineering, procurement and Supply Chain Management, Tom is a member of both the executive management team of Airbus and the Airbus Commercial Aircraft Executive Committee as well as being the most senior Brit in the organisation.  

Tom will be retiring from Airbus soon and its no secret that his colleagues and friends at Airbus will sorely miss him.

In January 2011 Tom Williams received a CBE. 

Previous recipients of the Fellowship include Lord Glendonbrook (Sir Michael Bishop) in 2016, Sir Ralph Robins, Ken Smart, Mike Ambrose, Danny Bernstein and Roger Wiltshire.


Aviation Club UK Looks to 2019

The Aviation Club UK


 Aviation Club UK members and guests enjoyed a farewell address from Craig Kreeger, CEO Virgin Atlantic at their Christmas lunch on Thursday 6 December 2018.  But Kreeger is not the only one looking to the future and new challenges. 

The Aviation Club UK has confirmed its speaker programme for 2019 which includes Robert Sinclair, CEO  London City Airport (07 February); Johan Lundgren, CEO easyJet (20 March); Robin Hayes, CEO jetBlue (11 April); Paulo Mirpuri, CEO Hi Fly (June); Paul Griffiths, CEO Dubai Airports (19 September); Oscar Munoz, CEO United Airlines (7 November) and Warren East, CEO Rolls-Royce (5 December). 

The Club will host their first international dinner in January 2019 in Dublin where Willie Walsh, CEO International Airlines Group will be the Club’s guest of honour.  During the evening Walsh will be addressing the room and taking questions from the floor.  As the Club broadens its international footprint, future events are also planned for New York, Johannesburg and Hong Kong. 

The recently launched quarterly programme of YAP Receptions – focused specifically for young aviation professionals, will continue with a fourth networking event in March 2019.  Aimed toward the 24-35 year age bracket, these events are proving very successful. 

Karl Brünjes, Chairman of the Aviation Club UK is focused upon delivering a varied programme of events that will offer something of interest to all members of the Club.  “I am looking forward to 2019. We are launching our international programme, broadening our membership, and increasing the number and type of events the Club hosts, busy and exciting times indeed.”

Kreeger wraps it up for Christmas…

The Aviation Club UK

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.

CLICK HERE for full Bloomberg article

CLICK HERE for gettyimages

CLICK HERE for BTNews article



CEO Of ‘Worlds Most Punctual Airline’ Makes Timely Appearance At Aviation Club UK

The Aviation Club UK

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’


Looking Forward, The Future Is Bright With Hazy Interludes

The Aviation Club UK

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.

Click HERE for report from FlightGlobal

Click HERE for Airfinance journal report at Leehamnews

Click HERE for report from BTNews

click HERE for link to Gettyimages

Room With A View for Young Aviation Professionals’ Reception

The Aviation Club UK

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.



The Aviation Club UK

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.


Speed into Westminster on Wednesday 11 July For The Annual Reception With Richard Noble OBE

The Aviation Club UK

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

To view a review article from BTN click here