Ian Woodley

Founder of Regional Connect Ltd., Founder and Chairman of Business Air, Founder Board member BMI Regional. (ERAA.ORG). World Routes.                            

Ian Woodley is an inspirational leader and skilled negotiator who makes vison a reality by high performance motivation of loyal and focused skilled teams both grounded in financial and network optimization of the Airline business and identifying clear opportunities for partnership growth. Developing results through strategic planning.

Previously Ian made history as the UK’s youngest start up regional airline Owner, Founder and Chairman of award-winning Airline Business Air. The airline specialized in combined daytime passenger schedules and extensive overnight postal operations. Ian consequently became the highest utilization operator of the Embraer and Saab aircraft type.

As a natural relationship builder, this led to investments from EU carriers Lufthansa and Crossair and the launch of the “Superhub Manchester project” and became first Jet operator from London City with its “ Bank Express” service to Frankfurt.

As a competitive Airline Ian was approached by Sir Michael Bishop, Chairman of British Midland International and a large competitor to British Airways and consequently Ian sold Business Air to enable its further growth in the industry and become British Midland Regional.  

During his supposed sabbatical Ian spent time working with Houston based “Capacity Provider” ExpressJet forming a JV to canvass emerging global markets including Asia and Australasia with a focus on China identifying the present day airline China Express for investment. 

Some years later Ian led the acquisition of BMI regional from the Lufthansa Group and subsequently IAG British Airways successfully acquiring this business on behalf of investors at under 30% of NAV to become Founder Board member and Chairman of BMI regional. By using his solid relationship with Lufthansa Ian positioned BMI Regional to partner ‘Super Code Share’ routes into Munich and Frankfurt and developed wet leasing agreements to other Lufthansa group airlines.

Having established this goal, Ian, in 2017 changed roles to focus personally on the rapidly changing and emerging role that regionals now play as partner capacity providers to the main network airlines in the EU, identifying emerging various key consolidation opportunities present in the market.

Advisor to the Nordica Aviation group.

Founder Board Member of the European Regional Airline association (ERAA.ORG)

Founder Board Member of World Routes (routesonline.com)

Currently Founder of Regional Connect Ltd, established as an M & A advisor and platform using his demonstrated abilities to evaluate and pursue potential mergers and acquisitions within the EU and Global regional market place using his extensive industry contacts built up over 30 years and valued reputation as a key player in this business. 

He is a great believer in the power of regional connectivity and harnessing the latent demand and value for this to be both maintained and developed further securing regional economical growth across nations and continents. 

“Off duty” Ian enjoys cooking for his family and entertaining in the South of France.