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Stormy skies panel at WIT set to whip up a storm

Airlines have to contend with changes that are coming at them from everywhere

Discussion to take place against backdrop of challenging times facing aviation and new global survey to be released by Sabre.

Not only are airlines facing their toughest times in history with record drops in traffic demand and changing fundamentals that challenge the very foundation of their business models, they are also having to contend with changes that are coming at them from everywhere – from new consumer behaviour influenced by new technology and social concerns to intense competition from new players and models.

It’s against this scenario that airline experts gathered for the WIT-Web In Travel conference on October 20-23, happening alongside ITB Asia, will discuss their business challenges and opportunities in front of the more than 300 delegates expected for the annual conference on travel distribution, marketing and technology.

In what has been called The Year of the Deal and the Year of Online, players like Malaysia Airlines have stood out and managed to transform its business. Low cost airlines like AirAsia and Jetstar Asia have grabbed the opportunities of a value-seeking consumer to convert them to a new way of flying. Boutique airlines like Bangkok Airways have found that their strong base in leisure travel has helped them through these tough times when business travel has been hit hardest.

And in two of Asia’s biggest markets – China and India, Air China and Jet Airways will provide contrasting stories of how they are managing the current “Stormy Skies” in the aviation sector.

All these different airlines with different stories will gather for the “Stormy Skies” panel at WIT which will be moderated by Gordon Locke, Vice President, Airline Marketing & Strategy of Sabre Airline Solutions & Sabre Travel Network.

The Dallas-based Locke, who works with one of the world’s leading GDS and airline solutions providers, will share a sneak preview of a survey of global airline trends conducted by Sabre. “We had 190 responses from airlines around the world,” he said. “For the panel session, I’ll juxtapose these very different types of airlines, and very different brands, against some of the top trends. That is, the top things that airlines are being challenged with.”

Speaking on a podcast, available on, Locke said that he would be using these survey results to draw out the panellists.

“The top 4 or 5 challenges are quite intriguing and surprising and are very different from what I think many people expect them to be. The context for each of the airline on the panel will be different; and I’ll ask some of them what their viewpoints are on those and how they are applying solutions or new ideas around those challenges. Or what they might expect to see in the year, two or three years ahead in tackling those challenges.”

He said the survey results raised questions such as “is it all about revenue, all about cost, or all about the customer, or can an airline really focus on all three?”

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Tatiana is the news co-ordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (, and Her role includes to monitor the hundrends of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skim the most important according to our strategy. She holds a Bachelor degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.