Information on all IAC events will be posted below as it becomes available. All luncheons are scheduled to begin at Noon.
To RSVP, click on the link below to complete the online registration form.
Vice President, North America, Air China
As Vice President and General Manager for North America, Dr. Zhihang Chi manages all aspects of Air China’s business in the region and a team of 100-plus employees from its headquarters in Los Angeles.
Dr. Chi’s extensive experience in the airline industry, his visionary leadership and passion in promoting a closer and mutually beneficial Sino-American relationship are credited for Air China’s expansion and aggressive growth in North America, particularly in Los Angeles.
He is a much sought-after speaker on topics ranging from US-China relations, trade, tourism and aviation.
In November 2011, Dr. Chi received the prestigious China Business Leadership Award from the U.S.- China Policy Foundation. Each year the nonprofit, non-partisan, non-advocacy Washington, D.C.-based organization honors individuals who have made valuable contributions for the promotion of greater understanding between American and Chinese policymakers and government officials.
Dr. Chi’s experience, training and educational background have prepared him well for the challenges of his position as the head of Air China in North America. He worked in a number of increasingly responsible positions for Northwest Airlines from 1994 to 2003. During his years at Northwest, he developed and managed a number of strategic alliances with other international carriers, especially with the Chinese carriers.
He joined Air China in 2004 and has led the company’s unprecedented growth and significant investments in and contribution to the California economy. Before he was named Vice President and General Manager for North America in April 2008, Dr. Chi was General Manager, Western US. Prior to that, he ran Air China’s Los Angeles office.
Dr. Chi’s unrelenting advocacy for travel facilitation for Chinese visitors has made him a familiar figure to senior members of the U.S. Congress, State Department and the U.S. Homeland Security with whom he has personally met. Fluent in English and Chinese, Dr. Chi’s background makes him uniquely qualified to speak on China and U.S.-China relations.
A naturalized U.S. citizen, Dr. Chi was born in China. He earned his doctorate and master’s degrees from the Sloan School of Management of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and received his bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Peking University in China.
Note: Registration will open at 11:30 AM. Lunch will be served at 12:00 pm. Space is limited. Advance registrations are strongly encouraged. Please let us know if you have special dietary needs.
Guest names for name tags, recommendations to the Club for government invitees, and other questions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join the International Aviation Club for a festive evening to celebrate the holidays!
We are pleased to be hosted by the Netherlands Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency André Haspels, who will welcome us and offer remarks on the importance of international aviation and reflect on global trade, travel, and tourism.
This event is complimentary for all current IAC members. Members may invite guests at $65 per person.
Former COO-Customers, Airbus
President & Chief Executive Officer, KLM
Pieter (J.Th.) Elbers is an airline industry veteran with over 25 years of experience within KLM. He started his career at KLM in 1992 as Manager Aircraft loading, followed by a number of managerial positions in The Netherlands, as well as 6 years abroad (in Italy, Greece, and Japan). He joined the Managing Board of KLM in 2011 as Chief Operating Officer. In 2014, he became President and CEO.
His responsibility is to manage KLM’s overall strategy and performance. In this role, setting strategic priorities in order to leverage the company’s competitive advantage is his primary focus. He is also responsible for external affairs and the relationship with external and internal stakeholders, as well as for further developing and enhancing (joint venture) alliances and (Skyteam) partnerships. Next to that, he is accountable for maintaining a customer focused, innovative and efficient organisation and operation. Important corner stones in reaching his goals are leading a motivated executive team and building a firm and fair corporate culture.
He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Air France KLM Group. Furthermore, he is a member of the Supervisory Board of Marfo B.V, member of the Board of the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW), member of the International Advisory Board of International Institute of Air & Space Law (IIASL), and member of the Board of Governors of IATA.
Pieter graduated at the Open University in Amsterdam (Master in Business Administration) and the Academy of Venlo (Bachelor in Logistics Management). In addition, he has completed executive programs at IMD - Lausanne, Columbia University - New York and Tsinghua - Beijing. He is married and has 3 children.
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