Icons of Aviation 2019 Trailblazer of the Year Nominees

Cynthia Chan

Aircraft Maintenance Engineer

TAG Aviation

Cynthia Chan has worked for TAG Aviation for over 6 years, joining the company as a flight operations officer with the operations team, and a subsequent promotion to senior flight operations controller. With a Masters of Avionics from the University of Glasgow in hand, Cynthia pursued potential opportunities within TAG to expand her career into aircraft engineering, and in 2016 the opportunity arose for Cynthia to join the TAG Asia Engineering team in Hong Kong, as the first female Aircraft Maintenance Engineer at TAG Aviation Asia.

Having developed an interest in aviation during secondary school and joining the air cadet corps, Cynthia has a passion for aviation which has driven her to achieve her existing qualifications. Phil Balmer, Director Maintenance, TAG Aviation Asia added: “Cynthia remains modest about her achievements and career development to date, but we are very lucky to have talented and motivated individuals at TAG Aviation Asia, and we are proud to facilitate the career growth of our people. I am confident that Cynthia’s career will continue flourish and demonstrate to other people who are developing their aviation career, or looking to enter the industry, as to what can be achieved.  

Aida Ismail

Regional Director, Asia

Hadid International Services

Aida Ismail is a forward-thinking and entrepreneurial spirit. She joined Hadid International Services (HADID) as a Business Development Manager for Asia in early 2017. Her commitment to the role and ability to forge strong business relationships saw her rise quickly to Regional Director for Asia. Aida’s unique and dedicated leadership has resulted in tremendous growth.

She has played an instrumental role in the increase of HADID’s brand awareness in Asia as well as Australia and New Zealand. Furthermore, her experience covers business analysis and strategy, networking and client relationship management with business aviation operators, major airlines, government agencies and NGO’s. She draws on multiple disciplines, including a Masters in Managerial Psychology and a Bachelors qualification in IT, applying these successfully to lead initiatives and start-ups relating to well-being and education before joining HADID.

Aida’s passion for STEM fields coupled with her self-starter attitude have driven CSR initiatives including 12 aviation focused educational programs across Malaysia and Singapore. Working together with AsBAA, more than 1,000 youth have benefited from their collaborative efforts in the development of aviation talent for Asia and beyond. She also presides as the Chairperson for Women in Corporate Aviation Malaysia, a growing chapter of Women in Corporate Aviation Malaysia, another chapter from Women in Corporate Aviation International, WCA. With the purpose of empowering women in aviation.

Violet Kwek

Sales Director, Greater China and North Asia


Violet Kwek joined Global Jet Capital and the business aviation community just two years ago after a prominent career in shipping finance.  She has brought her unique perspective and creative structuring abilities to business aviation, resulting in first of kind transactions in the Asia market, helping regional clients achieve financing structures that are exclusively tailored to meet their needs.  Her commitment to bringing innovative financing solutions to the region is aiding in growing and creating new opportunities for all.

Fanessa Lee

Manager of Training and Development

Flight Training Resources

Fanessa Lee joined TAG Aviation Asia in 2012 supporting the cabin service within the company. In this role she continued to grow and develop the cabin service delivery amongst the different aircrafts in the fleet. 

Fanessa took the initiative to offer her support in the office and she was later promoted to Assistant Manager Cabin Crew. Within this position she also took on a training role and became a HKCAD certified SEP instructor and EASA certified CRM instructor.

Fanessa’s passion is a driving force in her desire and commitment in ensuring crew receive the highest standard of training possible. Her dedication was further recognised by Gulfstream and she was invited to be on their Customer Advisory Board.  In 2017 she was subsequently promoted to Manager Training and Development in TAG Aviation Asia. 

In 2018, with investment from Flight Training Group, Fanessa reached another milestone in setting up and launching a separate training organisation – Flight Training Resources, where her aim is to set the benchmark for Cabin Safety Training within the industry. 

Eddie Wong Director of Flight Training Resources: “Fanessa’s knowledge of the industry is invaluable and we are extremely fortunate to have such a dedicated and hardworking member of the team. She still has so much potential to grow both individually and within the company”

Penny Lim

General Manager

NavFix Flight Services

Penny Lim has been for over 2 years active for AsBAA. Her achievements are:

  • Planning and support the AsBAA Philippine Chapter launch 2017 in the Makati inclusive of organizing the sponsorships
  • Planning and support of the AsBAA investor trip in January 2018 to the Philippines
  • Planning and support of the 1st AsBAA Safety Day and the first AsBAA Pilot’s Day in the Philippines inclusive of organizing the sponsorships for the successful conduct of this event

In addition, she is instrumental in supporting the Philippine AsBAA Discovery Foundation and mobilizing sponsorships for the Foundation and lining up of the Directors and supporting the Discovery Program in the country.

Other achievements are:

Being the supportive mother of Mio and Maxine, the AsBAA Youth Ambassadors for the Discovery Program and accompanying them on every possible weekend to the airfield to be with the aviation community. She also assists in community projects around that airfield to bring aviation closer to the general population in the area surrounding the airstrip.

Yini Lin

Director of Sales – APAC

Universal Weather & Aviation

• Business Development Manager Feb 2014 – Mar 2018
• Senior Business Development/Account Manager April 2018 – Sep 2018
• Manager of Sales – APAC Sep 2018 – Dec 2018
• Director of Sales – APAC Jan 2019 – Present

Ms. Lin joined UW in 2014 with originally the responsibility for sales & business development in China. In the first year she had great success, was an integral part of the team which resulted in the signing of multiple contracts. This led to her responsibilities being broadened to include Greater China, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and her becoming a driving force for UW in Asia. But Ms. Lin’s career really made great strides in 2018 as Universal Weather itself evolved and she earned the “trail blazer” moniker. In that single year she first assumed the role of Senior Business Development Manager, then Manager and then Director of Sales APAC based in Shanghai with the responsibility to manage all of Universal Weather’s APAC clients’ portfolio of business and became the most recognizable face of UW in Asia. A humble, hardworking, consummate professional with exemplary business ethics & practices, Ms. Lin is an up-and-coming talent who can be relied on, when asked, to get the job done right, quickly and efficiently. Her long list of specialties includes: business development & planning, budgeting, due diligence, customer & vendor relationships, positioning, quality, strategy, and corporate compliance.

Michael Skou Christensen

Vice President of International

Satcom Direct

Throughout his seven years at SD, Michael has worked to expand SD’s offerings to business aviation customers all over the world. Michael oversees all of SD International, which has offices in Hong Kong, Dubai, Australia, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Russia, and Brazil. With each market presenting its own set of unique opportunities and challenges, it takes a lot of work to ensure that SD’s brand and product offerings are synchronized across all markets. Without Michael’s commitment to SD’s customers, company vision, and success, Satcom Direct would not be the industry leader in business aviation that it is today. Michael is also responsible for opening SD’s Hong Kong office, which enabled SD to greatly expand our presence in the APAC region.

Thierry Tea



Thierry is the founder and Managing Director of PhilJets Aero Services Inc, since 2013, a company in the Philippines. He also holds the position of Chairman of PhilJets Aero Charter Corp (formerly Zenith Air Inc), Managing Partner of Agama Investments Co Ltd in Cambodia, Managing Director of Starline Global Industries Pte Ltd and Managing Director of Starline Aero Investment Pte Ltd in Singapore. Tea has co-founded WeCube Inc, a collaborative ecosystem for start ups, and has been nominated by Business France to be the Ambassadeur of the label La French Tech in the Philippines.

At the age 27, Tea was President and CEO of Airbus Helicopters Philippines (Formerly Eurocopter Philippines) for 5 years, from 2007 to 2012. He was the youngest CEO of a subsidiary in Airbus Helicopters.

At 29, Tea became the head of Airbus Group (formerly EADS) in the Philippines, becoming one of the youngest executives in the group.

Tea is married to Lynda Him, and he is the father of a daughter named Julia Tea.

His recent achievements in 2018-2019 are as follows:

1) Philjets appointed an approved Textron Service Center in the Philippines -Sept 2019.

2) Philjets added to the Lux Aviation charter alliance -April 2019.

3) Advocating business & general aviation in Asia. -January 2019.

4)  Video interview -June 2019

5) Supporting women leaders.

6) Winner of numerous awards.

Justin Yeung

Commercial Manager

Metrojet Limited

I am pleased to nominate Justin Yeung for the AsBAA Trailblazer of the Year 2019 Award. Justin graduated in LL.B Laws (Hons) from the London School of Economics. He started his career with Rolls-Royce in the UK and completed his MBA with Manchester Business School.

Since joining Metrojet in April 2018, Justin has proactively established and expanded the capabilities and capacity of the Commercial Department. Aside from commercial contracts, Justin and his team are responsible for sales support, business analysis, insurance and governance matters for the company.

Justin has played an integral part in delivering the Metrojet’s new 26,000m2 business aviation parking and MRO facility in Clark, Philippines. This US$25m investment project is the largest in Metrojet’s 22-year history.

Justin successfully led the contract negotiations with the Clark International Airport Corporation for a long-term lease to construct and operate the facility. The favourable commercial agreement he has secured will be a cornerstone in maintaining Metrojet’s competitive advantage in the region. Justin is currently focussed on designing and executing the commercial and sales strategy for the facility’s parking services. Justin also represented Metrojet as a panel speaker at the 4th Annual Philippine Airport Modernization and Expansion Summit in May 2019.

Justin’s positive and enthusiastic attitude has seen him blaze a trail of significant success at Metrojet and we have no doubt that he has the skill and mind set to be a leader of the future. He is an asset to the aviation industry and a worthy contender for the Trailblazer award.