John Ackerman confirmed as CEO of Los Angeles World Airports


John Ackerman has been confirmed as the new CEO of LAWA. Having previously held senior executive roles with DFW and DEN, he will take up the role in February 2024, following service from interim CEO Bea Hsu.

John Ackerman has been confirmed as the new CEO of Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA). He will take up the role in February 2024, following several months of service from interim CEO Bea Hsu, who has helped continue major capital improvement programmes during the period of transition.

Ackerman brings decades of experience in the aviation industry. He previously held senior executive roles with Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Denver International Airport (DEN). He most recently served as Executive Vice President of Global Strategy and Development for DFW, where he expanded the airport’s global footprint by driving the first-ever cargo strategy, a multi-year programme focused on Asia-Latin America trade flows, among other accomplishments. Prior to his time at DFW, Ackerman served as the Chief Commercial Officer for DEN, where he led teams that transformed the customer experience at every touchpoint. In addition to leading major departments and initiatives at airports, Ackerman is also a trained pilot.

“I am honoured by the City Council and the Mayor’s confirmations and thank the Board of Airport Commissioners for their appointment,” said Ackerman. “I am grateful for the confidence Mayor Bass, the Board of Airport Commissioners, and the City Council has in me. I look forward to working with them, city departments, airport stakeholders, and community members to create airports that Angelenos deserve.”

Board of Airport Commissioner President Karim Webb commented: “The hiring committee cantered the interest of Angelenos throughout an international search process resulting in the selection of John Ackerman to lead LAWA as its CEO. John will effectively and compassionately guide LAWA through this historic period of change at our airports. Thank you to the City Council for the confirmation.”

Andrew Watterson, Chief Operating Officer, Southwest Airlines, added: “John and LAWA have similar, long histories of working with airlines and other stakeholders to chart pathways that satisfy multiple objectives. He’s an excellent choice to take the baton and marshal the final laps in LAWA’s transformation ahead of the 2028 games, when their work together undoubtedly will be the talk of the worldwide aviation community. A world-class airport has hired a world-class executive and that promises a bright future for LAWA and the airlines that serve LAX.”

Future Travel Experience is excited to return to Los Angeles next year for our FTE Global 2024 show – now widely renowned as “the CES for aviation” – where it will once again be co-located alongside APEX/IFSA Global EXPO, bringing together the best of the airport and inflight realms under one roof. This mega-event will be the largest gathering of air transport executives from around the world in North America in 2024 to network, learn, forge new partnerships, collaborate and be inspired. Find out more about FTE Global 2024 here

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