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Leaders & Builders

They are a breed apart. Unique as individuals, yet united by uncommon ideals that see them consistently achieving growth and success through innovation.

In our industry, they are those leaders best prepared and better equipped for today’s challenges as well as the many ahead.

Possessing the vision and conviction to not only see but also create the bigger picture. Emboldened by opportunity. Open to possibilities. Undeterred by adversity. To such visionaries the future will belong. And on them, the future depends.

Portrait of Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet

Network Builder

Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet

Today, as a key partner in India’s Regional Connectivity Scheme, Ajay Singh and SpiceJet are leading protagonists in a plan to ultimately link more than 400 airports and communities across the country. Bringing affordable air travel to citizens nationwide is a network-building task of some magnitude, but as Ajay Singh sees it, one that has the potential to change life in India for everyone, forever.

Introduction

Portrait of Calin Rovinescu, President & CEO, Air Canada

World Leader

Calin Rovinescu, President & CEO, Air Canada

Disarmingly approachable and quick-witted, Calin Rovinescu, the award-winning head of Air Canada, has climbed to great heights. Literally. Mount Kilimanjaro, among others. As to scaling summits in the corporate world, his brand of smart leadership involves listening to and empowering those around him so that they become great leaders in their turn. He often describes his role as not only being the CEO, but often “Chief Cheerleading Officer.” Cheers to that.

Introduction

Portrait of Jaime Bautista, President & COO, Philippine Airlines

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Jaime Bautista, President & COO, Philippine Airlines

Jaime “Jimmy” Bautista never thinks twice about putting family before business. But, as he points out, his Philippine Airlines is his family. The “Heart of the Filipino” carrier is home to both second- and third-generation company pilots, as well as many whose parents and grandparents worked there or still do. This all fits well with the leader’s mantra of “investing in time,” which is reflected in his airline’s surging on-time performance, an impressive watch collection, and most importantly, quality time with his wife and family.

Introduction

Portrait of Piya Yodmani, CEO, Nok Air

Network Builder

Piya Yodmani, CEO, Nok Air

Sharing more than just a nickname with the airline he leads, Piya Yodmani, or “Nok” (“Bird” in English) to his family, friends and colleagues, is masterminding Nok Air’s flight into a new era as Thailand’s true lifestyle carrier. Familiar with every aspect of his business, from its “Thai-ness” to technology, he pushes for team openness and the exploration of ideas, and embraces both as the catalyst for more unified efforts and rapid results. As the airline’s colourful livery confirms, the future is smiling on Nok Air.

Introduction

Portrait of Rickard Gustafson, CEO, Scandinavian Airlines

World Leader

Rickard Gustafson, CEO, Scandinavian Airlines

If asked about his heroes, Rickard Gustafson would likely cite the SAS crews that pioneered commercial aviation’s first polar routes in the ’50s. These men and women were armed and trained for the “unlikely event” of a polar bear encounter. Possessing that same adventurous spirit that’s so much a part of every Scandinavian’s DNA, he’s pushing SAS to new heights in both service and efficiency as an innovative explorer of exciting possibilities and new frontiers.

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Portrait of Robert Deluce, President & CEO, Porter Airlines

Network Builder

Robert Deluce, President & CEO, Porter Airlines

Build a better service, and watch customers and recognition come. More than a formula for success, it’s a code by which Porter CEO and Canada’s Aviation Hall of Famer, Robert Deluce, has lived, led and grown throughout an impressively fruitful career. Today’s leader of this thriving regional carrier, having ranked among Condé Nast Traveler’s “Best Airlines in the World,” knows that you only get there with bold ideas, firm resolve, and the right people to make it all work.

Introduction

Portrait of Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO, Ethiopian Airlines

Network Builder

Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO, Ethiopian Airlines

More than just creating an exemplary business model, Tewolde GebreMariam is also helping to transform a nation, and possibly an entire continent. His ambitious vision for both Ethiopian Airlines and Africa is supported by the people’s can-do mindset. In this new and more self-sufficient world, higher education is empowering a generation. Young men and women are becoming pilots, technicians and mechanics. Communities are connecting with one another and with the world. And Africans everywhere are invited and inspired—to unite, endeavour and achieve.

Introduction

Portrait of Wu Longjiang, President, China Express Airlines

World Leader

Wu Longjiang, President, China Express Airlines

President Wu Longjiang admits that he is as much a big brother or teacher to his China Express “students” as he is a management leader, and with good reason. As China’s first private regional airline, their learning curve and the airline’s innovative regional business model are showing the way for aviation growth nationwide. With the Chinese people’s passion for travel and their rapidly rising purchasing power, Wu sees the true magnitude of the opportunity. And his impassioned “student body” of employees shares that vision.

Introduction