Meet the Team


Over the years Chris has gained a masterful reputation for developing and organizing aviation-related conferences.

Christopher Staab


Christopher Staab, CEO

Over the years Chris has gained a masterful reputation for developing and organising conferences. He heads Ai Events where he oversees the engineering of new events and on-going operations of the company’s yearly events portfolio.

Chris began his career in the airline industry as a Tariff Analyst at ATPCO in Washington D.C. and later worked as an Aviation Analyst at the U.S. Department of Transportation and as Manager of Revenue Management at Amtrak.

Prior to co-founding Airline Information, Chris worked as a Senior Business Development Manager at the International Air Transport Association.

Chris holds B.A.’s in Business Administration, History and Latin American Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. He speaks fluent Spanish and is a certified Meeting Planner.

Angella Esposito, Senior Events Manager

Angella is our Senior Events Manager with over 15 years experience in developing and implementing international events & conferences. Prior to joining Ai Events in 2016, she worked as an Event Manager at Accelya in Barcelona, Spain for 7 years, where she gained a deep knowledge of the airline and payment industries.

She began her career working in advertising and media in her hometown of Lima, Peru.
She holds a degree from the University of Lima in Communications. Angella is a native Spanish speaker and is fluent in English and French.


Angella is our Senior Events Manager with significant experience in developing and implementing internationals events and conferences.

Angella Esposito

Senior Events Manager
Paul Spooner Picture

Paul is our Digital manager

Paul Spooner

Digital Manager

Paul Spooner, Digital Marketing

Originally an Ai Events intern, Paul is now our Digital Marketer and has over 10 years’ experience in marketing. Before re-joining Ai Events, Paul was sales manager at a gamification and digital experience start-up based in Santiago de Chile.

He holds a graduate degree from The European Business School, London as well as a Masters from the University of Granada.
Having lived in the UK, Mexico, Canada, France and Chile, Paul has native English and Spanish and is fluent in French.

Ritesh Gupta, Correspondent

Ritesh is a veteran of both the airline and travel industry!  His extensive journalist coverage of the years has seen him managing, publishing and editing across a range of digital and print platforms.

At Ai Events, Ritesh has covered the full range of conferences and events that we have run over the years.  His insightful analysis both before and after the events gives our delegates access to additional content.  This comes not only from listening to all the event speakers, but his many research articles (which you can find on our website!)

You’ll also find Ritesh running our twitter account @Ai_Connects_Us.

He is based in India.


Ritesh covers the airline industry with in-depth analysis, features and executive interviews

Ritesh Gupta


In his current role, Michael Is a Board Advisor for Ai’s market leading events.

Michael Smith

Board Advisor

Michael Smith, Board Advisor

Prior to his current role, Michael organised and developed the agendas for Ai’s events. These events covered loyalty, ancillary merchandising, co-brand cards to payments and fraud.  He is also a co-founder of the Loyalty Security Association and is actively moderating, speaking and consulting on the topic of Loyalty Security and Fraud Prevention throughout the world.

As Board Advisor Michael is supporting the Ai Events team to grow and develop the content and connections that it delivers to its delegates.  In addition, he looks after SeaMountain, Ai Events sister company.

Before joining Ai Events, Michael was a Board Director of British Airways Global Financial Services Limited. This included responsibility for developing mileage sales with partners such as American Express, Avis Car Rental and bringing onboard all the brands within InterContinental Hotels and Resorts portfolio.  Early on in this role, Michael recognised that real value could be delivered by BA (and other airlines) if understanding what customers were actually buying.

It was more than just an airline seat, many of them wanted a “one stop” shop for the products ancillary to the flight. As a result, BA developed in-depth relationships with its Executive Club partners that delivered more benefits to passengers than just miles. It also resulted in an additional multi-million pound revenue stream to BA on the back of these ancillary sales.

He is based in Glasgow, Scotland, where he graduated with an MBA from the University of Strathclyde as well as having professional qualifications in Marketing from the UK’s Chartered Institute of Marketing.