World’s leading aviation executives to debate state of industry and future recovery during flagship online broadcast


CEOs of Qatar Airways, AirAsia, United Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, and IATA to be interviewed by BBC’s Aaron Heslehurst for FlightPlan: C-Suite Week, hosted by Inmarsat and APEX

Popular virtual event attracted over 10,000 viewers with its first two editions and returns with a reimagined format this month; register for free now at

Following two hugely successful broadcasts in 2020, the much-anticipated third edition of FlightPlan will return with a reimagined format in 2021. FlightPlan: C-Suite Week is a new series of virtual one-hour sessions that will air across five consecutive days from 19 to 23 July, with five of the world’s biggest aviation names being interviewed by leading BBC World News reporter Aaron Heslehurst.

FlightPlan: C-Suite Week, developed by Inmarsat Aviation in collaboration with APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association), will feature exclusive interviews with renowned aviation leaders, including:

  • Akbar Al Baker, Group CEO, Qatar Airways
  • Tony Fernandes, CEO and Founder, AirAsia Group
  • Scott Kirby, CEO, United Airlines and APEX/IFSA Board of Governors Chair
  • Christine Ourmières-Widener, CEO, TAP Air Portugal
  • Willie Walsh, Director General, IATA (and former CEO of IAG)

The upcoming event will explore the most immediate and pressing issues facing air travel in 2021, from regaining passenger confidence and accelerating the industry’s long-term recovery to addressing sustainability challenges and fast-tracking digital transformation. Each executive will share leadership lessons gained from steering their global businesses through unprecedented market turbulence over the past 18 months, providing unique and valuable insights for the industry at large.

A panel of aviation experts and thought leaders will then debate and reflect on the views shared each day, to provide more thought-provoking perspectives. The panel discussions will be hosted by APEX CEO Dr. Joe Leader from a London television studio, with participants including leading aviation commentators and journalists, as well as senior executives from Inmarsat.

Philip Balaam, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “As a global connectivity business, Inmarsat is proud once again to connect the aviation industry by giving those shaping its recovery a platform to share their thoughts. As the pandemic continues to impact how we work and serve our customers, there remains a need for cross-industry collaboration. FlightPlan: C-Suite Week will deliver just that, bringing together some of the world’s leading aviation decision-makers to share views, insights and future predictions.”

Dr. Joe Leader, CEO of APEX, said: “FlightPlan was developed for the aviation industry by the aviation industry. In just over a year, it has developed into the biggest aviation virtual broadcast event. The new C-Suite Week format introduces an exciting twist to a tried-and-tested approach. It is sure to unearth insightful learnings from those navigating leadership in the most challenging of circumstances.”

FlightPlan – conceived at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic - was established to bring the industry together in a time of uncertainty, convening aviation leaders, analysts and expert commentators to share insight and direction. In April 2020, FlightPlan: Charting a Course into the Future saw more than 50 voices exchange views on the present and future of aviation. Six months later, as aviation remained in the depths of crisis, global aviation leaders returned to the digital stage once again at FlightPlan: Strategies for Recovery. More than 10,000 viewers from more than 100 countries have watched FlightPlan to date, hearing from an all-star line-up through 14 hours of interviews, panels and debates.

To register for FlightPlan: C-Suite Week, visit:

FlightPlan 3 banner

Further information

About Inmarsat

Inmarsat is the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications. It owns and operates the world’s most diverse global portfolio of mobile telecommunications satellite networks, and holds a multi-layered, global spectrum portfolio, covering L-band, Ka-band and S-band, enabling unparalleled breadth and diversity in the solutions it provides. Inmarsat’s long-established global distribution network includes not only the world’s leading channel partners but also its own strong direct retail capabilities, enabling end to end customer service assurance.

The company has an unrivalled track record of operating the world’s most reliable global mobile satellite telecommunications networks, sustaining business and mission critical safety & operational applications for more than 40 years. It is also a major driving force behind technological innovation in mobile satellite communications, sustaining its leadership through a substantial investment and a powerful network of technology and manufacturing partners.

Inmarsat operates across a diversified portfolio of sectors with the financial resources to fund its business strategy and holds leading positions in the Maritime, Government, Aviation and Enterprise satcoms markets, operating consistently as a trusted, responsive and high-quality partner to its customers across the globe.

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Media contacts

Jonathan Sinnatt/Matthew Knowles
Corporate Communications
Tel: +44 (0)20 7728 1518/1355
[email protected]                                       

Robeel Haq
Head of Communications, Inmarsat Aviation
Tel: +44 (0)20 7728 1352
[email protected]

About the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX)

As a global non-profit and one of the world’s largest international airline associations, APEX advances passenger experience with the backing of nearly every major airline and valued supplier over the past 42 years. In conjunction with both the International Flight Services Association (IFSA) and Future Travel Experience (FTE), APEX serves the full spectrum of the end-to-end travel experience. APEX reinvests all of its resources to serving its members, strengthening the worldwide airline industry, advancing thought-leadership, fostering business opportunities via events, developing global initiatives, setting key airline standards, and highlighting well-deserved recognition across our industry. For more information, please visit


Robin Applebaum
Director of Marketing & Communications, APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association)
Tel: +1 678-303-2980
[email protected]