The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced that Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, has commenced as Chairman of the IATA Board of Governors (BoG). His one-year term is effective from the conclusion of the 74th IATA Annual General Meeting in Sydney, Australia.
A Qatar first
Al Baker is the 77th chair of the IATA BoG and the first CEO from Qatar Airways to hold the position. He has served on the BoG since 2012, and succeeds Goh Choon Phong, CEO of Singapore Airlines.
“I am delighted to be here in Sydney and honored to be leading the IATA Board of Governors as Chairman for the year ahead. To be nominated to such a prestigious leadership position in the industry is a great honour, made all the more pertinent in the difficult circumstances in which Qatar Airways currently operates,” Al Baker said.
“I look forward to continuing my work in the coming year for our great aviation industry, connecting safely the peoples of the world, a sector which will only continue to grow in the years ahead, and one in which I am most proud to work and represent one of the world leading airlines.”
Shoes to fill
“I want to thank Goh Choon Phong for his strong support and leadership over the past year. He has led major changes in IATA’s governance that will enable the association to work even more closely with its members,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
“Under his leadership the industry approved a major modernisation of our settlement systems, and made excellent progress on transformative initiatives such as New Distribution Capability and ONE Order. Choon Phong’s insights were particularly helpful as we contended with the PEDs ban and growing infrastructure capacity shortfalls in key regions, while also working with governments to prepare for the arrival of the historic CORSIA program to help airlines manage their future emissions growth.
“I am confident that Akbar will be a strong voice on behalf of the Business of Freedom in the face of growing challenges including creeping re-regulation and a movement away from open borders and toward trade protectionism and restrictions on the free movement of people. I look forward to working with him on these and other key industry issues,” said de Juniac.
IATA also announced that Carsten Spohr, Chairman and CEO of Lufthansa, will serve as Chairman of the BoG from June 2019, following Al Baker’s term.