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SPEAKERS

LEONARDO HELICOPTERS

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Sergio has been leading the business activities for Leonardo Helicopters in Southern Africa, as Head of Region – Southern Africa, since the end of 2018.

He also serves as a Director of Leonardo South Africa, after the full acquisition of PAS by Leonardo International in 2020.
Sergio joined Leonardo Helicopters (previously AgustaWestland) in 2010 in the Product Marketing department, where he spent three years supporting AW products and promoting them cross-segment and cross-geography.
He then relocated to Shanghai, China as Regional Sales Manager, supporting the great expansion of Leonardo Helicopters’ activities in the region.
Sergio holds a BSc. in Aerospace Engineering from Politecnico di Milano (Italy)  and a MSc. in Aerospace Engineering from Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands).
He then rounded his management and financial skills off thanks to a Masters in Management from LIUC university (Italy) and a Masters in Air Transport Management from Cranfield University (UK).

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Gail joined Precision Aviation Services (PAS) in 2004, as the Financial Manager, and in 2018 was promoted to the Financial Director with a minority shareholding.
PAS was founded in 1993 by Pieter Hulleman and was the first privately owned helicopter maintenance facility recognised as an Authorized Excellent Service Centre by Leonardo Helicopters.
Gail played a key role in the acquisition of PAS by Leonardo International, and accepted the position of Managing Director in January 2020, which realised on the 30th April 2020.
The acquisition of PAS represents the opportunity for Leonardo South Africa to become the gateway to Africa.
The ethos of the business – excellence comes standard – encapsulates the vision of the business under Gail’s management.
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After obtaining a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering, Nicolo worked for 3 years in the automotive sector to develop CO2 friendly technologies. In 2017 he joined Leonardo as Sales Engineer, and after 3 years spent on bids and tenders in 2020, he was been appointed as AW169 Product Lead, being responsible for the promotion of the AW169 cross-segment and cross-geography.
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After obtaining his Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering, he joined Leonardo in the Product Marketing & Sales Engineering office, being assigned to the AW109/119 platform, in which he is responsible for the promotion of the AW109/119 cross-segment and cross-geography.

ABSOLUTE AVIATION

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Absolute Aviation’s Founder and CEO’s experience in the aviation industry dates back to the late 80’s and includes a broad spectrum of aviation qualifications and experience.
After qualifying as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer in 1990, and gaining experience and Licenses on Learjet 20, 30 and 55 series aircraft, Neil went on to complete his USA Airframe and Powerplant License in 1991.
In the same year Neil joined ExecuJet’s maintenance division as their Manager responsible for all jet maintenance.  In 1994, Neil accepted the position of Maintenance Director for ExecuJet South Africa, where he was solely responsible for ExecuJet Maintenance (Pty) Ltd, which was operated as a stand-alone entity.
In 2001 Neil started Howard Aviation, a Management Consulting Services business that primarily managed the maintenance of aircraft on behalf of owners. During this period, Neil completed his Fixed Wing Commercial Pilot’s License and later earned his Airline Transport Pilot’s License. Neil is rated on numerous corporate jets and multi-engine turboprop models, and went on in 2006 to qualify as a Helicopter pilot.
In September 2007, Neil changed the name Howard Aviation to Absolute Aviation to reflect the more business it had
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Guy comes to aviation with an extensive local and international Marketing and Sales pedigree in FMCG. His working experience since 1990 includes various functional roles within two Global Fortune 500 businesses, Nestle and JTI. In late 2007 Guy was transferred to an international role based at JTI Head Office in Geneva, Switzerland to serve 120 markets in the capacity of Marketing Director across a portfolio of leading global brands. During the course of his time abroad, his global roles included:
• Marketing Director – South Africa (at time of leaving)
• Equity and Communications Director – Camel
• Channel Strategy Director
• Marketing Director – Belgium and Luxembourg
• OTP Director
Guy returned to South Africa on offer of the opportunity to purchase an equity stake in Absolute Aviation  during the time of the Comair acquisition. He joined the Absolute Aviation  Team in January of 2015.
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Mike gained management experience in various industries and in 1999 he joined the Aviation industry at BalmOral.
After BalmOral, Mike joined NAC’s international operations where he gained valuable aviation operational experience.  While at NAC Mike completed a Master’s degree in aviation management at the Da Vinci Institute. Shortly after completing his degree, Mike accepted a position at ExecuJet Aviation.
Mike was promoted to Operations Director and spent seven years in that position. In 2015 Mike joined Swift Flite as the CEO. In September 2020 Mike accepted a position as Managing Director, Absolute Aircraft Sales and Absolute Flight Services.
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