Ryan Leick, Ph.D., C.M.

Industry Expert

Executive Summary

Dr. Ryan Leick enjoys executing real-world solutions to the challenging aviation environment grounded in a unique and diverse career in industry and higher education.  He brings strategic insight from three airlines and front-line operational knowledge acquired training airport professionals during his lifetime in aviation higher education. 

Dr. Leick draws on industry experience in airline marketing, distribution and information technology gained from working for entrepreneurial startup and long-haul low-cost carrier MAXjet Airways, major network carrier United Airlines and privately held, niche carrier Aloha Airlines.  His qualifications combine specialized technical application of data science with strategic understanding of the industry, a focus on value creation and large scale project management experience. 

Ryan is currently an Associate Professor specializing in airline / airport operations and planning at Utah Valley University.  Ryan also teaches the Certified Member course for the American Association of Airport Executives while consulting on a variety of aviation projects with AECOM. 

Ryan has traveled to every continent sharing results from his applied research in Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, Panama, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.  Recent contributions to the field include research into the effectiveness of centralized deicing facilities during winter operations and the gamification of lean production management for airline schedule optimization. 

He is a graduate of the Air Transport Management Ph.D. program at Cranfield University in the United Kingdom and alumni of the School of Business at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach campus. 

Experience Highlights

Aloha Airlines, Honolulu, Hawaii

Information Technology Project Manager

  • Managed cross-functional team in the development and implementation of enterprise-wide data warehouse and business intelligence solution.
  • Developed data dashboards and reports on airline operations and sales for executive leadership.
  • Collaborated with Flight Operations, Finance, Revenue Management and Maintenance departments to reengineer and map business processes.

United Airlines, Elk Grove Village, Illinois 

Senior Staff Specialist, GDS Management

  • Managed operational and financial aspects of company’s external distribution channels.
  • Responsible for the day-to-day management of Sabre Global Distribution System (GDS) contract.
  • Actively contributed to the strategic renegotiations of all major GDS contracts in developing an innovative, industry-wide standard to shape the future of airline distribution.
  • Designed a system to analyze GDS budget of several hundred million dollars for cost efficiency improvements.
  • Directed the planning and implementation of several projects to enhance functionality of United’s distribution network.

SkyLink Airways/MAXjet Airways, Dulles, Virginia

Analyst, Marketing and Information Technology

  • Reported to Chief Marketing Officer in managing over 25 strategic projects.
  • Collaborated directly with VPs of Planning and Corporate Development on network planning and partnership development.
  • Managed design and development of distribution channels including web site, agency portals, global distribution systems, sales network and call center.
  • Coordinated inter-departmental project to build product offerings and profit & loss model.
  • Worked on creation of a dynamic revenue management model and optimal fare structure.
  • Developed strategic marketing plan and brand identity.


Ph.D., Air Transport Management, Cranfield University

B.S., Aviation Business Administration, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) Certified Member (CM)

Airline Reporting Company (ARC) Specialist certification

NASBA Predictive Analytics & Data Mining: Model Development and Project Planning, The Modeling Agency

FAA Private Pilot, Single-Engine Land