Steve Ridgway Keynote Speaker
- CEO for Virgin Atlantic (2001-13)
- Leading industry advocate in aviation policy
- Strong focus on building brand and airline innovation
Steve Ridgway was CEO for Virgin Atlantic between 2001-13, during which time he saw the airline grow from two aircraft to a forty strong fleet, flying over six million passengers a year. Widely lauded for his innovative style, Virgin received a string of top business, consumer and trade awards under his management.
Steve joined Virgin Atlantic 1989 when the company was still in it’s early days and soon rose to be Managing Director of Virgin Freeway in 1990, launching the UK’s first automated frequent flyer programme. In 1994 he was appointed to the board as Executive Director of Customer Services, then Managing Director in 1998. In 2001 he began his 12 year run as CEO.
Steve has long been a leading industry voice pushing the Government to re-evaluate its stance on UK aviation and airports. With an excellent grasp of market trends and realities he managed to see the company through ever increasing fuel costs, fluctuating passenger numbers and the dramatic events of 9/11 and the volcanic ash cloud. Key to his approach was building Virgin Atlantic as a strong global brand, known and trusted by millions worldwide.
He built and is heavily involved with the £13.5m St Moritz Hotel in Trebetherick, Cornwall.