GENEVA, 25 November 2020: British Airways’ former chief, Willie Walsh, is in line to take over the top International Air Transport Association post 1 April after the current director-general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, steps down at the end of March 2021.
De Juniac made known his intention to step down from the
association several months ago, which enabled a search process to facilitate a
smooth leadership transition.
The IATA Board of Governors was due to recommend to the 76th
IATA Annual General Meeting 24 November 2020 the appointment of Willie Walsh,
former CEO of International Airlines Group (IAG) to become IATA’s eighth
director-general from 1 April 2021.
“I did not come to this decision lightly. It has been the
privilege of a lifetime to serve the global air transport industry—what I call
the business of freedom—as the head of IATA. Over the last years, IATA has
strategically increased its relevance as the voice of the global airline
industry. This has been evident in the Covid-19 crisis. IATA has set the course
to restore air connectivity amid the pandemic with systematic pre-departure
testing. We are well into preparations to fulfil critical vaccine distribution
needs. In parallel, we have restructured IATA to survive the crisis and be
ready to support the industry recovery with an organization dimensioned to
serve a smaller industry,” said de Juniac.
De Juniac joined IATA in September 2016 from Air France-KLM
where he was chairman and CEO.
“Alexandre has led our industry in extraordinary times.
Under his leadership, IATA has become a stronger and even more relevant
organization… I am also pleased that we are able to present a very capable
candidate to the 76th IATA AGM to succeed Alexandre in this important role. I
am convinced that Willie will be a great director-general for IATA,” said IATA
Board of Governor’s chair and CEO of Lufthansa, Carsten Spohr.