Simon Talling-Smith


Simon is a career aviation executive with many years of leadership experience, at British Airways and latterly as Chief Commercial Officer of Qatar Airways. Along the way he has also held senior roles at several technology growth companies in the travel and aviation sectors. Simon is a passionate driver of change and has led some of the largest transformation programs within the organisations he has worked for. He holds an honours degree in Engineering, Economics & Management from Oxford University.

Simon brings Clear Sky a deep understanding of how aviation can adopt innovative technologies and the challenges faced by growth companies as they introduce new products to mature organisations like airlines.

As a founding Partner in Clear Sky, Simon manages the team and spearheads marketing and communication activity. He is also the lead for portfolio company management.

Why is sustainability in aviation so important to you?

Having spent my whole career in the airline industry I am determined to see it handed to future generations in a form that allows travel to be a force of good, without any negative carbon impact on the world that we all love to travel in.

What excites you about the Clear Sky mission?

Aviation must be one of the thorniest carbon-neutrality problems around! The solution is going to be a complex mix of known and unknown technologies – there is no silver bullet for this one. I believe Clear Sky will help the aviation industry to work together and this collaboration will make a real difference to driving sustainability.

How do you balance life with work?

Well, I have family with 3 children who are always ready to keep my feet on the ground. I’m also a runner and there’s nothing better than a trail run in the mountains behind my hometown of Barcelona to centre me for the day.

What is on your Spotify playlist right now?

I’ve been listening to a lot of French music recently (Polo & Pan, L’Equipe Du Son etc) and I if I need something to help me focus, I’m a fan of the Belgian composer, Wim Mertens.


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