Tony Storck reports: ACI-NA JumpStart Air Service Development Conference hosted by Nashville Airport
Report by Tony Storck, anna.aero’s Americas Editor. Between June 3 -5, 2019 the ACI-NA JumpStart Conference took place at the JW Marriott Hotel in Nashville, TN. The conference is always one of the highlights for air service professionals and this year was no different. Over the course of the three days, representatives from more than 200 airports were able to meet with 28 airlines and attend more than 1,200 one-on-one meetings. anna.aero was there as well, producing one of its famous show daily magazines for the fifth consecutive year – click here to take a look – featuring the latest news and developments from various airports attending the conference, including the host, Nashville Airport.
Nashville International Airport (BNA) saw nearly 16 million passengers in 2018, an increase of an amazing 13.2% compared to 2017. BNA has now set passengers records for six consecutive years, welcoming its first nonstop service to Europe in more than 20 years when British Airways began services to London Heathrow Airport in May of 2018.
Alex Heiter, Director of Airline Network & Fleet Planning for Boeing, discussed the global outlook for aircraft manufacturing for the years ahead. This was followed by a presentation from Amy Martin, Delta Air Lines Managing Director of Network Planning who updated the attendees about changes at the carrier, including newly designated hubs and focus cities. The first panel session of the day focused on workforce shortage in the aviation industry with Kirk Lovell Director of Air Service & Business Development, Myrtle Beach International Airport moderating a panel which included Gary Hoyle, Director of Campus Operations, Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics. Alongside the two present was Crystal Maguire, Executive Director, Aviation Technician Education Council who discussed the challenges and opportunities of training the next generation of aircraft mechanics.
Andrea Lusso, Director, Route Planning, JetBlue Airways was introduced by Bradley Rubinstein, Manager, Industry & Regulatory Relations, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Andrea updated the attendees on recent events at JetBlue, including the recent news that JetBlue is planning to start services to London in 2021. The last panel session of the day was the Airline Plane Talk Panel which was introduced by Scott Marohn, Vice President, Aviation Marketing, Winnipeg Airports Authority. The panel featured Noelle Fredrickson, Manager, Network Planning, Alaska Airlines; Jack Massey, Manager, Route Planning, JetBlue Airways; Jane McCurdy, Manager, Network Planning, WestJet; and Kristen Schilling-Gonzales, Managing Director, Planning, Allegiant Air.