Andrew Cowen | Chief Executive Officer
U-FLY Alliance

Andrew Cowen, Chief Executive Officer, U-FLY Alliance

Andrew Cowen is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the U-FLY Alliance, the world’s first airline alliance of independent Low Cost Carriers (LCCs) formed by five founding member airlines: HK Express, Lucky Air, Urumqi Air, West Air and Eastar Jet. 

In addition to Andrew’s responsibilities at U-Fly Alliance, Andrew is also appointed the Vice Chairman of Uriel Aviation Holdings Ltd, the parent company of U-Fly Alliance. His role is to drive the development and expansion of Uriel Aviation Holdings.
Besides leading the development and expansion of the U-FLY Alliance since 2016, Andrew led HK Express as the airline’s CEO from 2013 to 2017 where he drove its business transformation into an LCC and oversaw its rapid fleet and network growth.  

Andrew has over 25 years of global experience in the aviation industry, including management roles at LCCs in the UK, Middle East, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Japan. 

He guided the establishment of Japanese LCC Peach, an Osaka-based JV between Japanese and Hong Kong interests. Between 2005 and 2009, he was CEO of Saudi Arabian airline Sama Airlines, guiding the start-up through initial concept development to funding, licence acquisition and launch. In 2009 Andrew acted as the CEO of Jazeera Airlines, based in Kuwait.  

Andrew started his aviation career in 1989 with British Airways (BA). He eventually went on to manage the airline’s financial affairs for its American business unit, before being promoted to Head of Strategy for BA’s LCC, Go. Andrew graduated from City University, London and is a qualified Chartered Management Accountant.


Day One @ 12:00

Panel: Alliances, partnerships & JVs: Opportunities and challenges of cooperation

To attract every passenger in highly competitive markets, FSCs and LCCs are having to learn how to cooperate with each other across many new platforms and in new ways. Three global alliances are also looking at incorporating LCCs. However cooperating is not always easy and the costs versus benefits may initially look unattractive.
  • What do LCC alliances mean for FSCs and other travel partners? What are plans for deeper co-operation in strategy in the future?
  • LCCs joining global alliances: Are there enough benefits for both new and existing members, especially FSCs?
  • What are the other evolving forms of partnership? What is the future for cross-border JVs? 

Day One @ 13:40

Disruptive distribution: How close are we to become the “Amazons of Travel”?

The new intermediaries are disrupting distribution. They have a 360-degree view of customers in a way that airlines cannot—at least today. With deep customer data and analytics, they are targeting the management of customer relationships, working as facilitators of mobility.
  • What are new ideas to help airlines address the challenges in distribution and transition into “Amazons of Travel?
  • What’s the role of NDC and ONE Order? How would an airline go about calculating the benefits (and costs) of implementing them?
  • Who will be the next disruptor? And how we should prepare ourselves to be future-ready?

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