Kochi will play host to a virtual who’s who of the global airline industry during the US-based Ohio State University’s Eleventh International Multi-industry Symposium to be held at the Taj Malabar Resort from 21 March to 24 March.

The symposium, being held in Asia for the first time ever, will have the leaders of the airline industry involving themselves in a multi-industry discussion on the ‘New Business Realities for the 21st Century’. Chief Minister A. K. Antony will inaugurate the symposium supported by Air India, and co-hosted by Trivandrum-based IBS Software Services Pvt. Ltd. (IBS). As a leading supplier of software solutions and services to the global air transportation industry, IBS has been successful in bringing this symposium to India for the very first time. The other co-sponsors of the event include Airbus, Bombardier, Rolls Royce, Teradata, Unisys and VISA.

The four-day meet will deliberate on contemporary issues of concern to the airline sector, such as the evolving business models, redefining of business relationships, organisational readiness and the need for leveraging new technologies. The meet will see CEOs and CIOs of participating airline and allied industries discuss the need for new business models and the potential of alternate business models available.

According to V K Mathews, CEO of IBS Software Services, who is instrumental in bringing the symposium to India: “Apart from putting Kochi on the global airline map and providing impetus to Kerala as a technology destination, the symposium also provides an opportunity for the top airline executives to savour Kerala as a tourist destination”.

Elaborating on Air India’s role in the symposium, Tulsidas V., Chairman & Managing Director, Air India said: “This is a part of the continuing efforts by Air India to bring together under one umbrella, the various segments involved in the industry.” Meanwhile, according to Nawal Taneja of the Aerospace Engineering and Aviation department, Ohio State University, this symposium has over the years proven the value of interaction between airline and airline-industry related professionals. “The Ohio University has so far co-hosted ten successful conferences on behalf of the international airline industry, providing a forum for top executives to deliberate on contemporary issues and challenges facing senior business executives worldwide”, Mr. Taneja added.

The participants expected at the symposium include top management representatives from Ford, Mazda, Qantas, Shell Oil, British Airways, Emirates, Airbus, Southwest Airlines, Thai Airways, Unisys, Virginia Atlantic Airways, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, Avient Solutions and Cendant.