L        Events / AASA AGA 2021 / Speaker Profiles

Where: Online via Zoom 
Meeting ID: 852 9640 6528 
When: 28 October 2021
Time: 12:00 - 15:00 (SAST)/
Time: 10:00 - 13:00 (UTC)

__Press & Media
__Speaker Profiles
__Presentation Downloads
__2020/21 Annual Report

CEO Address

Aaron Munetsi  AASA CEO

Aaron Munetsi currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer at AASA. Prior to joining AASA, he held several commercial management positions at South African Airways, including Regional Manager for Africa and the Middle East and as its Acting Chief Commercial Officer. 

For 10 years, he served on the board of Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Business, and after leaving SAA in 2018 he joined the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) for a stint as its Director: Government, Legal and Industry Affairs. For the past year Aaron has been working as an aeropolitical and business strategy advisor to airlines.  

Aaron holds diplomas and certificates in marketing, strategic management and leadership from the University of Zimbabwe, University of Witwatersrand Graduate Business School and the Gordon Institute for Business Studies.   

Chairperson Welcome Address & AASA Governance

Elmar Conradie  AASA Chairperson / SAFAIR CEO

Elmar Conradie serves as the CEO of Safair Operations. He has been with the company since 2005, when he started as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), before taking over the reins as CEO in 2015. ​

Before joining Safair, Elmar’s experience includes serving as Group CFO at Aergo Capital Limited; as the Aviation Division Group CFO at Imperial Group; and as an analyst at Macquarie.​

Elmar graduated with a B.Compt Honours (Cum Laude) from the University of the Free State (UFS). He is a Certified Information Systems Audtor (ISACA); and a chartered accountant registered with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA).

Regional Recovery and Sustainability 

Industry Recovery 


Kamil Alawadhi  International Air Transport Association (IATA) Regional Vice President AME

Kamil Alawadhi serves as IATA's Regional Vice-President for Africa and Middle East (AME), one of the most dynamic and fastest growing regions in aviation. Kamil represents IATA in 68 countries, serving 57 airlines across AME. He leads the execution of IATA’s global strategic priorities at the regional level and advocates on behalf of industry to maintain global safety levels, enhance connectivity particularly across Africa, to reduce costs for airlines and to ensure the sustainability of air transport in the region.

He works hand in hand with regional partners such as AACO, ACAO, AFCAC, AFRAA, and ICAO regional offices towards the advancement of air transport as a social and economic enabler and driver in the region.

Prior to joining IATA, Kamil was the CEO of Kuwait Airways and held various key positions at the airline in the areas of safety, security, quality management and enterprise resource planning over his 31 year career in the aviation industry.

A national of Kuwait, Al Awadhi holds an MBA in Aerospace Management from the Toulouse Business School and an Engineering degree in Aircraft Maintenance Management from Air Service Training (AST) in the UK.

Regional Recovery and Sustainability 

C-suite Perspectives on Regional Industry Recovery 


Angeline Simana African Civil Aviation Origanization (AFCAC) Director Air Transport

Angeline Simana is the Director of Air Transport with the African Civil Aviation Organization (AFCAC). She holds an M. Phil (Transport and Logistics) with the University of Stellenbosch, Western Cape Province, in the Republic of South Africa and an Undergraduate Bachelor’s Degree; with majors in Economics and Management Science with the University of Namibia.

She is a single mother of three and started her professional career with the Ministry of Works and Transport as a Transport Economist in 2000 and was subsequently promoted to Deputy Director Transportation Policy in 2006 and Director Transportation Policy and Regulation in 2007. Her appointment as the Director of Civil Aviation concurrently with that of the Director of Transportation Policy, marked one of the most significant opportunities for her professional growth, awareness of self and self- knowledge of her God-given propensity to influence her private and public life and workspace for the common good of society.

Angeline is confident that her management experience and academic training as a Transport Economist will be an invaluable asset to contribute to the execution of AFCAC’s mandate as the Executing Agency of the Yamousskrou Decision across Africa with AU States joining the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM). She has seized opportunities in her former capacities in the public sphere to advocate for educational as well as career development of academically gifted Namibians to pursue their training as aviation professionals and hope for opportunities to influence the same at continental level.

She looks forward to, with aviation stakeholders, in her capacity as Director Air Transport at AFCAC, work towards the elimination of all man-made physical barriers that hamper the implementation of the Yamousskrou Decision (YD). This, she believes, would wherever possible enable AU States to invest in citizens capabilities to provide for themselves in rapidly and continually changing circumstances and to flourish socially and economically.

Regional Recovery and Sustainability 

C-suite Perspectives on Regional Industry Recovery

Thomas Kgokolo  South African Airways (SAA) Interim CEO

Thomas Kgokolo CA (SA), assumed the position of Interim Chief Executive Officer from 13 April 2021. He has 15 years of public sector experience and more than 10 years’ experience at a Non-Executive Director level. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the Gordons Institute of Business Science (GIBS), where he is also a lecturer in Corporate Finance.

Thomas is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including, attaining the Top MBA student in Leadership and Accountability Award in 2017 and more noteworthy he was honoured with the Emerging Leader Award by the University of South Africa’s School of Business Leadership in 2018.

He was appointed the interim CEO of SAA, to amongst others, oversee the national carrier’s transition from business rescue (December 2019 – April 2021) to market re-entry. The brief of re-entry into the market was realized when SAA took to the skies domestically on 23rd September and regionally from 27th September 2021. He brings fresh and insightful perspectives on how to deliver value for the airline and especially to provide leadership and strategic direction to the employees and overall stakeholders of SAA. 

Thomas has demonstrated throughout his career the ability to work successfully in different environments, leading strategies which resulted in impressive value creation.

Regional Recovery and Sustainability 

C-suite Perspectives on Regional Industry Recovery

Bradley Gordon  Investec Bank Ltd Head: Aviation Finance

Bradley Gordon has worked within the Aviation Finance team in Investec’s Corporate and Institutional Banking division since 2014. In this time, he has been involved in all aspects of aircraft finance transactions across commercial aviation, business aviation and helicopters ranging from senior and mezzanine debt financings, pre-delivery payment financings, export credit supported financings and operating leases of aircraft.

Bradley heads up the team that focuses on the Africa region and forms part of the ExCo for the wider global Investec Aviation Franchise. He has strong relationships with various African airlines as well as across the global manufacturer, banking and institution, corporate jet operator and leasing communities.

Bradley is a Chartered Accountant (South Africa) having joined Investec in 2013 and has worked in Investec’s South African and London offices. He holds a Bachelor of Accounting Science (Honours) degree from the University of Witwatersrand.

Regional Recovery and Sustainability 

C-suite Perspectives on Regional Industry Recovery

James Bosse  De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited Africa Sales Director

James Bosse is the Sales Director, Africa for the De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Limited, a position he has held since October 2019.

A highly accomplished aviation and finance professional, James has extensive global experience in aviation finance, leasing and banking.

James previously worked with GECAS – the aircraft finance and leasing subsidiary of GE Capital, a role he held from 2011 – 2019. During this time, he led the Company’s Sales and Marketing efforts across sub–Saharan Africa, working with various commercial airlines to structure innovative aircraft financing and leasing solutions.

James has also held various roles of increasing responsibility in banking with Standard Chartered Bank that saw him work in Africa, the United States and the Middle East.

Regional Recovery and Sustainability 

C-suite Perspectives on Regional Industry Recovery

Poppy Khoza  South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) Director Civil Aviation

Poppy Khoza is the Director of Civil Aviation at SACAA. She has 20 years’ experience in the civil aviation industry and 18 years’ experience in senior management positions. Ms Khoza was reappointed for a second five-year term as Director of Civil Aviation (CEO) at the SACAA, effective from 01 December 2018. She is the first woman to have occupied this position since the inception of the SACAA.

Poppy served for two years consecutively as the first woman Chairperson of the UN Agency’s International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Aviation Security Panel. Prior to becoming the Chairperson, she had served for 2 years as Deputy Chairperson.

Poppy is a recipient of many accolades including the Aviation Sector and Regional Leader Award, Best Chief Executive Officer Awards, Top Empowered Business Leader, Public Service Leader of the year, Winner as South Africa’s Most Influential Woman in Business and Government in the Agencies and Regulatory Authorities category. She was also recognised internationally for her contribution to Aviation Safety and Security by the Centre for Economic and Leadership Development. Recently she received recognition by the African Civil Aviation Commission for her contribution to the development of civil aviation in Africa.

Under Poppy’s stewardship, the SACAA scooped the Best Performing Institution in Transport Award on four (4) occasions, making the SACAA the only entity to have received this prestigious accolade. The SACAA has achieved seven clean audits over eight financial years and also received six awards from the Auditor-General of South Africa for clean audit outcomes. The entity was also bestowed with the Top Performing Public Service Award and was declared a Winner in the category of Investing in People at the National Business Awards. Furthermore, the SACAA is the recipient of an award as a Transformation Champion at the Oliver Top Empowerment Awards.  

Under Poppy’s leadership, the SACAA continues to make strides in improving aviation safety and security in South Africa.

Poppy has championed the transformation of the SACAA, and it now boasts 50% capable women Executives, 50% female employees and 86% Black employees in the organisation. Ms Khoza was also instrumental in the initiative to host the first-ever Global Aviation Gender Summit that was hosted in August 2018 in South Africa, in collaboration with ICAO, UNESCO and UN Women.

Poppy is very passionate about meaningful change and aspires to provide good leadership in the aviation sector.

Regional Recovery and Sustainability 

C-suite Perspectives on Regional Industry Recovery

Dumisani Sangweni  Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) Interim CEO

Dumisani Sangweni is the Interim CEO of ATNS. He has worked in the airline industry transport sector and broader corporate and public sectors as a business analyst, consulting at executive management levels, for over 15 years.

Dumisani was appointed Managing Director and CEO of Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) in 2004, a joint venture company between South African Airways (SAA) and the Government of Tanzania. Prior to this, he worked in various commercial executive roles at SAA.

Dumisani graduated from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in the USA with an undergraduate BSc in Aviation Technology, and completed postgraduate diplomas in Transport Economics and Business Administration (PBL) from the University of Johannesburg and the University of South Africa (UNISA) respectively. 

Regional Recovery and Sustainability 

C-suite Perspectives on Regional Industry Recovery

João Carlos Pó Jorge  AASA Executive Committee / LAM Director General  

João Carlos Pó Jorge currently serves as an AASA Executive Committee member, and is the General Director of Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique (LAM), SA.

João's professional career began in 1985 at LAM, where he joined the staff as a mechanical engineer. He served as Head of the Engineering Department in 1987, and was later appointed to co-ordinate the connection between LAM and the manufacturers, as LAM's Resident Representative at Boeing (USA), from 1990 to 1993. After completing this stage, he returned to LAM'S HQ in Maputo, where he was promoted to Chief of Engineering and Quality, serving from 1993 to 1995, a period in which he streamlined aircraft planning and engineering, flight operation engineering, accident investigation, design, implementation and certification of aircraft modification programs, among other activities.

With the experience João gained and maximizing his contacts with outside entities, he accepted the challenge of joining the team of Pratt & Whitney, a USA firm that manufactures aircraft engines, as Customer Support Manager in Africa, serving from 1995 to 2013. During this time, he worked in the USA, Zimbabwe, Senegal, and Ethiopia, demonstrating his gifts for setting up offices in remote locations; the co-ordination of top management improvement actions for airlines in Africa in the operational, commercial and financial areas; the negotiation of acquisition contracts, including aircraft leasing, as well as engines; the intermediation of commercial contracts between airlines; the detailed accident investigation; design and implementation of recommendations; and the introduction of airline management tools in Africa. 

He participated in the restructuring of airlines both to correct irregular situations and to expand, as are the cases of Air Zimbabwe, TACV, TAAG, Air Afrique, Air Senegal, AeroZambia and Ethiopian Airlines. He encourages and supports behavior management initiatives to improve work performance. 

In 2013 João was invited to join the Board of Directors of LAM, having been Technical Operational Administrator until 2016. Later he was appointed as the Advisor to the Financial Administrator, a role he held until his appointment to the position of General Director of LAM in July 2018.

Regional Recovery and Sustainability 

C-suite Soundbites on Environmental Sustainability: Pipedream or New Reality? 


Dr Ian Cruickshank  AASA Environment and Wildlife Specialist

Dr Ian Cruickshank has been involved in aviation for over 25 years with more than a decade spent in the aviation sustainability space. Ian was responsible for the only sustainable aviation fuelled flights in Africa and has worked extensively with IATA and industry experts on a host of environmental sustainability projects and issues. Ian currently works as the transport taskforce manager for United for Wildlife, an initiative of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, consults for airlines on sustainability, trains on behalf of IATA on sustainability and is the AASA environmental specialist.

Regional Recovery and Sustainability 

C-suite Soundbites on Environmental Sustainability: Pipedream or New Reality?

Gad Wavomba  Embraer Sales Director

Gad Wavomba is Director Sales at Embraer, the World's largest aircraft manufacturer under 150 seats, covering the Africa & Indian Ocean regions. He is a global thought leader and specialist in the spheres of Commercial, Network Strategy, Fleet Planning and Revenue Management.

Gad's unique combination of global airline proficiency (living and working in Dubai, New York, London, Lagos, Dallas, and Johannesburg) coupled with leading industry experience (many years at America’s largest domestic carrier, Southwest Airlines). Home for him is Sunny San Diego, California. He helped lead the international expansion of Southwest Airlines bringing low fares and legendary customer service to Latin America, Caribbean, and Mexico. 

Later his transition to Management Consulting with Sabre provided the opportunity to make more of a global impact in the industry.

Today, he is in the OEM world with Embraer Commercial Aviation and serves on the Wonders of Aviation Executive Board and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University’s College of Business Industry Advisory Board.

Regional Recovery and Sustainability 

C-suite Soundbites on Environmental Sustainability: Pipedream or New Reality?

Jason Sutcliffe  Rolls-Royce Regional Marketing Executive EMEA

Jason Sutcliffe joined Rolls-Royce in 2006 as a Fleet Planner in the newly formed Operations Centre in Derby, UK. After three years and following a one year secondment with Singapore Airlines, Jason undertook a position in East Hartford USA as the Customer Fleet Director with International Aero Engines (IAE), Jason was responsible for the day-to-day management of the V2500 engine fleet in the Middle East.

In 2012 Jason returned to the UK to take up the position of Marketing Director for Rolls-Royce, playing a customer relationship role in both the Target and Sales phases. In 2017 Jason moved to the UAE as the Regional Marketing Director for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Central Asia (EMEA).

Prior to joining Rolls-Royce, Jason spent 19 years in the British Royal Air Force as an Aircraft Engineer.

Regional Recovery and Sustainability 

C-suite Soundbites on Environmental Sustainability: Pipedream or New Reality?

Mohamed Al Ghailani  Boeing Regional Lead, Sustainability Policy and Partnerships, META

Mohamed Al Ghailani serves as the regional lead for Boeing’s Global Sustainability Policy and Partnerships, in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa (META) regions. His role focuses on scaling of sustainable aviation fuels and forming the right partnerships with stakeholders in the region to achieve industry wide aviation sustainability goals. He is based in Dubai, UAE.

Mohamed joined Boeing in 2017 where he was part of the Environmental strategy team and the sales and marketing team in Seattle.

After completing his Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi, Mohamed Al Ghailani was determined to follow his field of interest and pursue a career focused on sustainability. Merging his fascination for travel and aviation with his skills in chemical engineering and his passion for sustainability he completed his M.Sc. in chemical and environmental engineering in sustainable aviation fuel production from Masdar Institute.

One of his most memorable experiences is working with the Dalai Lama Center in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology on an energy poverty workshop in Ladakh, India. He also started his company during the pandemic in 2020 to support the completion of solar energy projects in the Sultanate of Oman. As part of his philanthropic work, Mohamed served as a board member for Beacon of Hope which is a non-profit focused on light and literacy in refugee camps around the world.

Having lived in seven countries and visited more than fifty, Mohamed enjoys learning about cultures, geopolitics and trying different cuisines.  

Regional Recovery and Sustainability 

C-suite Soundbites on Environmental Sustainability: Pipedream or New Reality?

Andrew Armitstead  Airbus Head of Airline Marketing - Africa and Middle East

Andrew Armitstead is responsible for the team marketing Airbus products and services to all the region’s airlines, partnering with them to enable robust fleet solutions.

Andrew joined Airbus in Toulouse in 2006 as A350 XWB Marketing Director, responsible for the A350’s market positioning from its launch and development through to first flight in 2013. He has also held positions in Airbus North America and in Airbus Market Intelligence & Consulting.

With almost 30 years’ experience in the aviation industry, in diverse technical, commercial and consultancy roles, Andrew has had the pleasure of engaging with most of the world’s major airlines over the course of his career, developing deep expertise in aircraft and airline economics.

Andrew was born in the UK, studied Engineering at Durham University and now lives with his family in Dubai.

AASA Governance

Auditor's Report, Financial Statements, 2021/2022 Budget and Annual Subscriptions for Airline and Associate Members 

Vivendra Lochan  AASA COO

Vivendra (Vees) Lochan serves as the Chief Operating Officer at AASA. He has gained extensive knowledge and experience in the aviation industry over the past 40 years.

Vees spent a considerable amount of time at South African Airways (SAA) where he held positions in Sales and Marketing, Africa Route Management Division; and headed SAA offices in the Middle East and Gulf, as well as the Indian Sub-continent. In August 2010, Vees joined AASA as Chief Operating Officer. AASA is the SADC airline representative Association dealing with strategic, aeropolitical, regulatory, policy, financial and operational issues affecting its members. He represents AASA and its membership on regulatory committees and industry forums. 

Vees, is an Alternate Director, Chairperson of the Risk Committee and Audit Committee member of Aviation Coordination Services Limited, a company responsible for several airport services managed on behalf of all airlines operating in South Africa.  

Ms. Dipuo Peters, then South African Minister of Transport, appointed Vees in January 2015 to serve as a member of the Transport Sector Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Charter Council representing the Domestic Aviation sub-sector. 

Vees represents AASA on a number of government committees and is a member of the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) Regulations Committee (CARCom) that advises the Minister of Transport. He also serves as Treasurer and Director of the Wonders of Aviation NPC, a non-profit initiative established to promote aviation awareness and careers to the previously disadvantaged youth of South Africa. 

Vees holds a BCom in Business Economics and Economics from the University of Durban-Westville, and an MBA from the same University.