Toronto-based AirTrav Inc. serves the aviation and broader transport industries, with clients coming from the airline, airport, defence, government, investment, legal, logistics, maritime, regulatory, surface transport, and travel management sectors.
AirTrav was founded in 2001 by Robert Kokonis, an industry veteran with management experience from the airline, travel management, travel distribution and travel technology sectors.In addition to fulfilling nearly 100 client projects since founding AirTrav, Robert is a top quoted media analyst through his comments on aerospace, aviation and travel sector topics.
Robert J. Kokonis - President & Managing Director of AirTrav Inc., Airline and Travel Management Consultants
Robert J. KokonisPresident & Managing DirectorAirTrav Inc. co-founder Robert Kokonis has 26 years of corporate-entrepreneurial leadership experience acquired with three airlines including Air Canada, global travel management firmCarlson 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.
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.
AC labour deals may remove drive for low cost carrier | CUPE | Air Canada Component
But Robert Kokonis, president of airline consulting firm AirTrav, said collective agreements that lower pension costs and change work rules may allow Air Canada to avoid the complexity of establishing another carrier altogether.
While Air Canada's operating costs are higher than rivals such as WestJet Airlines (TSX:WJA), the spread between revenues per seat mile and non-fuel costs per seat mile are very similar, said Kokonis.
That means creating a low-cost carrier is less about costs and more about pensions and work rules, he said.
An arbitrator's ruling creating a hybrid pension system for new customer service hires will likely help and be adopted by other employees, he said.
WestJet plans new fees, despite record profit | Punjabi Touch
But Robert Kokonis, president of airline consulting firm AirTrav Inc., said the temptation will ultimately be too great not to chase extra revenues.
The experience of past introduction of fees has shown that any passenger backlash is short-lived.
"After a month or so they begrudgingly accept it, so WestJet's just keeping with the trend of unbundling," he said in an interview.
In the meantime, WestJet shouldn't waste a lot of time fretting about yield or revenue per available seat mile (RASM), said airline consultant Robert Kokonis.
"I think it's better to fill a few of the seats at a price that's still above break-even and buttress their top line and be worried about RASM and yield once things recover," said Kokonis, president and managing director of Toronto-based AirTrav Inc.
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