Robert J. Kokonis
President & Managing Director
AirTrav Inc. co-founder Robert Kokonis has 26 years of corporate-entrepreneurial leadership experience acquired with three airlines including Air Canada, global travel management firm Carlson Wagonlit Travel®, global distribution system ("GDS") and e-Commerce leader Worldspan®, and through over 100 aviation, transport and travel projects with AirTrav.
Robert led planning and investment search for a start-up airline, was recruited as CEO to build and finance CharterHub Inc., a travel technology firm, and helped exit business intelligence firm BMB Fuel to GE Aviation®. His work has taken him across North America, Europe, Russia, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Mideast.
His background has included airport forecasting, aircraft financing, air navigation and airport charges, airspace flight procedures, business planning, collective bargaining, commercial strategy, distribution channel strategies, due diligence and expert witness/report support for law firms, e-Commerce, finance, fuel management, government and regulatory relations, KPIs and best practices, loyalty programs, operational benchmarking, procurement, product distribution, restructuring, risk management/hedging, sales, start-up investment, and tour operations.
Under Robert's guidance, AirTrav is well equipped to address strategic and tactical issues in today's fiercely competitive environment. AirTrav helps customers position themselves effectively in an environment that continues to experience rapid transformation and restructuring.
Extensive Industry Network
Senior contacts are important, and Mr. Kokonis maintains A-list aviation, travel industry and government relationships worldwide. In the public sector, he has been retained by the Canadian Transportation Agency, Canada's Competition Bureau and Transport Canada on various legislative, policy and regulatory matters.
Internationally, he has worked with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the pan-European air traffic control agency Eurocontrol that is situated in Belgium, and with various Civil Aviation Authorities.
Significant associations have retained Mr. Kokonis including the National Airlines Council of Canada and the Air Canada Pilots Association. Of particular importance, he is a frequent commercial and financial consultant for the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Frequent Demand Commentator, Lecturer and Speaker
Robert is one of Canada's most quoted experts on aviation, aerospace and travel topics by TV, radio, print and newswire media outlets. He is a frequent on-air commentator for Canada's 24-hour Business News Network (BNN). Recent media quotes are here.
Robert speaks annually on risk management, hedging and corporate governance strategies to the prestigious North American Air Finance Conference in Miami and to the New York School of Aviation Finance. He has addressed other conferences such as Aircraft Commerce Flight Ops, Association of Corporate Travel Executives, Canadian Airline Investment, and National Business Travel Association. He conducts university lectures periodically, including a biannual talk to the Master of Laws Programme at Canada's prestigious Osgoode Hall Law School on airline regulatory theory. Other lectures have included an airline direct-connect legal dispute at Ryerson University in Toronto, a variety of airline topics to Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki, Finland, and a full risk management seminar in Singapore.
Robert Kokonis holds an International MBA degree from the Helsinki School of Economics in Helsinki, Finland and a BA from The University of Western Ontario in London, Canada.