Bernard in an interview with the conference committee in Lagos agreed to chair the event with the theme: ‘Sunset Airports: Economic & Safety Implications,’ stating that the theme and the discourse is centred around growth and development of airlines and airports’ increased patronage in the country.
No fewer than 250 participants are expected at the conference which has gotten the participatory nod of other aviation industry captains.
A statement by Albinus Chiedu, the Secretary, Planning Committee, LAAC, said that apart from Bernard, other major industry stakeholders and players have also confirmed their participation at the conference, which would be held virtually and physically.
Chiedu explained that as in the past editions, the conference had also drawn key participants and organisations from within and outside the country’s aviation industry.
Chiedu explained that Bernard, who is also the Chairman, Association of Aviation Training Organisations in Nigeria (AATON), in his acceptance speech, lauded LAAC for its consistency at mirroring and shaping the travel industry in Nigeria through its objective and unbiased reporting.
He explained that he accepted to chair the 26th edition of the conference because of his belief in the growth of the Nigerian aviation industry, stressing that the theme for the conference was timely and germane, especially at this time where operators were faced with myriads of industry challenges.
He said: “The first time I attended LAAC event, I was impressed by the high-levelled discussions by panelists, stakeholders and participants. I am therefore humbled to receive the honour of being the Chairman of the 26th LAAC Conference and Awards. I believe that LAAC’s contribution to the aviation industry is worthy of recognition by all.
“At Finchglow Holdings, we thrive on a culture of professionalism and excellence. These virtues are not alien to members of this esteemed association. I believe previous LAAC events have gone a long way in shaping the Nigerian aviation industry, hence, I am delighted to collaborate with the league.”
Chiedu stated that the 26th annual conference would centre on solutions to the multiple challenges faced by stakeholders in terms of safety and economics as a result of operating sunset airports in Nigeria.
The LAAC Annual Conference has over the years, made an unquantifiable impact on Nigeria’s aviation industry by throwing up policy, management and operational issues for public discuss. This has resulted in tremendously significant evidential changes in Nigeria’s aviation sector.
Bernard is the Group Managing Director of Finchglow Holdings, the parent company for Finchglow Travels, Finchglow Holidays, Lagos Aviation Academy, FCM Travel Solutions, Nigeria; Prysm Investments Travelden Nigeria Limited, Finchglobal Nigeria Limited and FinchAir.
Bernard is also the Chairman of the Airline and Passenger Joint Committee (APJC) and the immediate-Past-President of the National Association of the Nigerian Travel Agents (NANTA), the umbrella body for the over 6,000 travel agencies operating in Nigeria.
Bankole is a member of the Hospitality and Tourism Committee of the Institute of Directors (IoD), a member of SKAL International and a member of the Nigeria-South African Chamber of Commerce (NSACC).
In 2006, he launched Finchglow Travels after an illustrious career in the Banking and Finance sector. Finchglow Travels very quickly rose to prominence and has paved the way for the establishment of five other companies that play in different fields within the downstream aviation industry in Nigeria.
Through his dedication to hard work and excellence, the establishment has earned awards from Qatar Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways, South African Airways, Lufthansa, Etihad Airways, Delta Airlines, British Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, ASKY, Air France/KLM, and many others.
Bankole was recognized in March 2022 as one of the 50 Most Impactful and Award-Winning CEOs that contributed to Nigeria’s GDP in 2021 by the Guardian Newspaper.
Bankole is actively involved in mentoring young aviation professionals and has awarded scholarships to aspiring aviation professionals to study at Lagos Aviation Academy, the leading aviation school in Nigeria, and one of the subsidiaries of Finchglow Holdings.
Bankole Bernard is currently running a program on Ownership President Management (OPM) at Harvard Business School. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Lagos.