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Airline Heavyweights at World Travel Market "Head to Head" with Virgin Atlantic and BAA

Airline Heavyweights at World Travel Market "Head to Head" with Virgin Atlantic and BAA ( The airline sector will be taking centre stage at this year’s World Travel Market with two ‘head to head’ interviews as Steve Ridgway, Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic Airways and Mike Forster, BAA Strategy Director are interviewed on the WTM Conference Set on Monday 12 November by air transport consultant John Strickland from 13.00hrs.

Steve Ridgway joined Virgin Atlantic in 1989 when he was appointed Managing Director of Virgin Freeway launching the UK’s first automated frequent flyer programme. Since then he has played a major role in Virgin Atlantic Airways becoming the second longest longhaul airline in the UK and the third largest European carrier over the North Atlantic. The airline’s route network has grown rapidly to include destinations in the US, Caribbean, Far East, India and Africa.

Mike Forster, BAA Strategy Director is responsible for determining how Heathrow airport’s business should develop into the future. He has played a key role in developing the vision for Terminal 5 and will be providing key insights into the new terminal’s development.

On Tuesday 13 November John Strickland will also be chairing an ‘Airlines 2008’ panel discussion with seven leading seasoned executives from the sector: Jonathon Counsell, Head of British Airways, Terminal 5 project; Christine Ourmiers, General Manager UK and Ireland, Air France/KLM; Paul Charles, Communications Director, Virgin Atlantic; Glyn Jones CEO London Luton Airport; Marvin Tan, General Manager UK&Ireland Singapore Airlines, Kevin Bruce, Director Western Europe Marketing, Boeing and Colin Stuart, Vice President Marketing, Airbus.

Taking in a wide range of topical issues including emerging markets, new generation of aircrafts, customer loyalty, security and low cost carriers, the hour long discussion is bound to provide challenging debate and discussion. It takes place from 14.00hrs in North Gallery, Rooms 6/7 level 2.

Commenting on the airline programme Fiona Jeffery, World Travel Market Chairman said: “Over the past two years we have listened to both exhibitors and visitors who have wanted the airline sector to have a greater presence at the event. This year we are delighted to welcome such a strong line up of industry heavyweights from both leading airlines and airports. I have no doubt that the these events will provide fascinating insights into the future of a sector which plays such a vital role in the tourism industry.”

Steve Ridgway, Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic Airways who will participate in a ‘head to head’ interview at WTM on Monday 12 November
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For information about World Travel Market please go to

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading organiser of exhibitions and conferences. Reed brings together over 90,000 suppliers and more than 5.5 million buyers from around the world every year generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held in 38 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, and organised by 33 fully staffed offices.

Reed’s portfolio of over 460 events serves 52 industry sectors, including:
aerospace and defense, building and construction, design, electronics, energy, oil and gas, entertainment, food and hospitality, gifts, healthcare, IT/telecoms, jewellery, manufacturing, marketing and business services, pharmaceuticals, property, publishing, sport and recreation, transport and logistics and travel.

Working closely with professional bodies, trade associations and government departments Reed ensures that each and every event is targeted and relevant to industry needs. As a result, many Reed events are market leaders in their field.

Reed Exhibitions is part of Reed Elsevier, a FTSE 100 company and world-leading publisher and information provider, with revenues in excess of £4.8 billion (US$ 8.4 billion) (2004).

Reed Travel Exhibitions organise 17 events worldwide, including World Travel Market, Arabian Travel Market, C.I.S. Travel Market, EIBTM, British Travel Trade Fair, Asia Pacific Incentives&Meetings Expo (AIME), International Golf Travel Market, Top Resa, Mediterranean Travel Fair, ICCA Exhibition, in association with the ICCA Congress, International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), La Cumbre, City Break, China Incentive, Business Travel&Meetings Exhibition (CIBTM), Latin American&Caribbean Incentive&Meetings Exhibition (LACIME), Gulf Incentive Business Travel&Meetings (GIBTM) and Asia Luxury Travel Market (ALTM).

For further press information, please visit the Reed Travel Exhibitions’ website on

For further information contact Simon Greenbury on tel: +44 (0) 208 441 3773 or email

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