Robert J. Kokonis
President & Managing Director
AirTrav Inc. co-founder Robert Kokonis has 27 years of corporate-entrepreneurial experience acquired with major airlines including Air Canada, global travel management company Carlson Wagonlit Travel®, global distribution system ("GDS") and e-Commerce/travel technology leader Worldspan®, and through over 80 private and public sector projects with AirTrav and affiliated consultancies.
Robert provides wide-ranging guidance, including business planning, commercial strategy, corporate governance, distribution, financial, fleet, fuel management (operational efficiency, procurement, supply chain, and hedging), investment, labour negotiations, media, network, policy, regulatory, revenue management, risk management, route profitability, traffic forecasting, and travel technology.
He also performs due diligence for investment houses, banks, bankruptcy trustees, and law firms on airline investments, restructurings, bankruptcies, regulatory hearings, lawsuits, and other matters. Robert has participated in the investment search process with several carriers, including advisory support he has given to foreign governments regarding airline recapitalization and privatization plans.
Robert's work has touched every continent in nearly 40 countries, and every airline type such as major network, low cost, charter, regional and cargo. He works at a senior executive level, guiding Managing Directors, CXO's, Treasurers and Board Audit Committees, and sits on several Advisory Boards.
A hallmark of Robert's career has been his corporate-entrepreneurial mix. He launched AirTrav in support of an airline start-up plan and co-founded a firm that introduced western business leaders to India and the People's Republic of China. In late 2009 he helped support the exit an Ottawa-based aviation business intelligence company to GE Aviation®, which went on to become that firm's Fuel & Carbon Solutions division.
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 and Expert Global Speaker
Senior contacts are important, and Robert maintains A-list aviation, travel industry and government relationships. In the public sector, he has been retained by industry associations, crown corporations, government agencies and departments on legislative, policy and regulatory matters.
Robert is a frequent on-air commentator for internationally recognized media outlets such as Bloomberg Television, CNBC and The Wall Street Journal, along with top domestic outlets such as Business News Network (BNN), Financial Post and The Globe and Mail. Recent quotes are here.
Robert speaks annually on oil prices and related hedging strategies at the New York School of Aviation Finance, the North America Air Finance Conference (New York and Miami), and at the Global Air Finance Conference in Dublin, Ireland. He has also spoken at the Canadian Airline Investment Conference and Aircraft Commerce FlyOps. Robert occasionally delivers lectures, including airline deregulation in the Regulatory Theory course, Master of Laws programme, at Canada's Osgoode Hall Law School, and on risk management in Singapore.
Robert holds an International MBA degree from the Helsinki School of Economics in Helsinki, Finland and a BA from Western University in London, Canada.