From 07 to 09 June 2022, Future Travel Experience (FTE) hosted FTE EMEA, FTE Ancillary, and FTE World Airport Summit in Dublin, Ireland, with all three events co-located at the renowned Royal Dublin Society (RDS). If ever there was an occasion for epic networking by Chris Foster, our epically intrepid Business Growth Manager – UK & Europe, this was it!
Future Travel Experience (FTE) supports the innovation efforts of air transport and travel space stakeholders, working with airports, airlines, and other industry stakeholders to enhance end-to-end passenger experience and business performance. This June’s FTE mega event, combining three conferences all under the same roof, looked holistically at air transport and travel space innovation through the thematic lens of scaling innovation. The jam-packed programme for the trio of shows combined conference sessions, interactive workshops, pitch sessions, exhibitions, networking opportunities, and social activities. Phew!
Now back in the office at Zafire’s global HQ in Banbury, UK, Chris has been full of enthusiasm for all three FTE conferences despite having missed out on the FTE EMEA/Ancillary/World Airport Retail Closing Party at the Guinness Storehouse Gravity Bar owing to an early flight home! In addition to the epic networking which took place, Chris tells us that three keynote sessions stood out for him in particular:
- Tonje Wikstrøm Frislid, CEO, Flyr, spoke at the Opening Keynote for all participants (Wednesday, 08 June 2022, 10:30 – 11:00) on how start-up airline, Flyr, has future-proofed itself from the start, and how its approach to technology, commercial, operations, employees, and customer journeys makes it different to other airlines. Tonje is pioneering in more ways than one: she’s not just the first-ever female CEO of an airline in Norway, she’s also a CEO who is fully prepared to embrace and leverage the very latest technology to get 16 aircraft in service within three years. Impressive!
- Keenan Hamza, Vice President Technology Futures & Innovation, Emirates Group, spoke at the FTE EMEA “Digital & Innovation” Opening Keynote sessions (Wednesday, 08 June 2022, 11:00 – 12:00) about how Emirates is going to scale its digital efforts in areas such as NFT, Metaverse, and Web 3.0 to develop products and services using advanced technologies that will deliver on revenue, brand experience, and business efficiencies. Keenan is a fantastic advocate for scaling innovation, with a formidable awareness of when and how to do it. Here at Zafire, we already know that our friends at Emirates excel at deploying innovative technology and building the industry of the future. It’s no wonder, then, that Keenan’s pioneering new approaches at Emirates earned him a spot on the FTE Airline Transformation Power List EMEA 2022 and an ‘Outstanding Achievement’ trophy. Congratulations!
- Dómhnal Slattery, CEO, Avolon, gave the first keynote during the session, Creating a winning eVTOL customer experience to provide a real alternative to the mobility choices of today (Thursday, 09 June 2022, 11:30 – 13:00), focusing on how aircraft leasing giant, Avolon, has placed the largest ever eVTOL aircraft order with Vertical Aerospace for up to 500 electric aircraft and is working with GOL, Virgin Atlantic, Japan Airlines, and AirAsia on establishing ride-sharing platforms in their home markets. Dómhnal shared what Avolon and Vertical Aerospace have learned so far from their efforts in the eVTOL realm and how they think a winning customer proposition should be forged. In Chris’s own words, this session was ‘mind-blowing and utterly brilliant’ with the market for flying vehicles that are fully electric, hold 4 passengers plus a pilot, and travel at 220mph with a range of 120 miles on full charge expected to be worth a trillion dollars by the end of 2035, with vehicles in circulation as soon as the end of this decade. Wow!
Attending FTE EMEA/Ancillary/World Airport Retail as a delegate was undoubtedly a worthwhile experience for our industrious Business Growth Manager – UK & Europe and, judging from the plethora of leads and prospects he’s since been hotly pursuing, Chris’s whistlestop tour of all three conferences was time well spent indeed. To be sure, the craic was great!