The head of global innovation at BA parent IAG has completed the keynote speaking line up at this year’s Travolution European Summit.
Sister brand to the UK’s leading trade title Travel Weekly, Travolution has been pioneering media title in the online, digital and travel t2echnology sector for over a decade.
Abiola joins Carnival corporation chief experience and innovation officer John Padgett and Expedia president partner solutions Ariane Gorin on the speaking line-up.
The event will also hear from Dr Kris Naudts, the founder of Culture Trip, an emerging London-based OTA that recently raised £80 million as it seeks to establish itself in the travel sector.
A trained barrister and entrepreneur, Abiola joined IAG at the end of 2017 taking over from Stephen Scott who moved to a similar role at the firm’s loyalty programme Avios.
She is currently overseeing IAG’s Hangar 51 accelerator programme for start-ups which has recently opened up for firms to bid to join.
Hangar 51 is in its third year and this year will look for start-ups from around the globe to relocate to London for a 10-week period to work on projects with IAG’s cargo division, BA and Avios.
The programme culminates in a pitch event when IAG will decide which of the start-ups it will continue to work with and invest in.
Abiola said as well as Hangar 51 IAG also has a global investment fund for early-stage companies and it is her job to scour the planet for the latest technologies relevant to the airline group.
“We want to support the start-up eco-system because we believe in innovation. We also understand that for start-ups to work with corporates is not always the easiest.
“There are many ways in which IAG is a real frontrunner in terms of trying to support innovation across the eco-system.
“We have tried to reduce some of the friction of getting commercial contracts with some of these newer players and addressing things like procurement issues.
“We are constantly scouring the market for places where we feel we can offer investment, finance, and our expertise to provide real value in helping to grow new and interesting opportunities.”
The day-long Travolution European Summit will take place on September 26 at The Brewery near The Barbican in central London.
It will see up to 400 senior executives, leading brands and technology providers gather to hear about emerging technologies and the latest digital marketing and technology trends in travel.
An early bird rate of £299 for delegates is available until the end of the month. Go to travolutionsummit.com to secure your place.