Former IAG CEO Willie Walsh to head IATA

Geneva: Willie Walsh, former CEO of International Airlines Group (IAG) will be nominated to succeed International Air Transport Association (IATA) Director General Alexandre de Juniac, who is stepping down from his role in March, confirmed the association on Monday.

He will be the eighth Director-General for the global airline body.

“The IATA Board of Governors will recommend to the 76th IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) on November 24, 2020, the appointment of Willie Walsh, former CEO of International Airlines Group (IAG) to become IATA’s eighth Director-General from April 1 2021,” the statement read.

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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.

“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,” said de Juniac.

De Juniac joined IATA in September 2016 from Air France-KLM where he was Chairman and CEO.

Carsten Spohr, Chair of the IATA Board of Governors and CEO of Lufthansa, said that Juniac has led the airline industry in extraordinary times.

Under Juniac’s leadership, the IATA has become a stronger and an even more relevant organisation, he added.

“I am joined by all the members of the Board of Governors in thanking him for his service and wishing him well in his next endeavours. 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,” Spohr said.

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