(01 Apr 2021) Willie Walsh has officially taken on the role of
Director General of IATA, succeeding Alexandre de Juniac.
Walsh was confirmed as
IATA’s 8th Director General
by the 76th IATA Annual General Meeting on 24 November 2020. He
joins IATA after a 40-year career in the airline industry.
Walsh retired from International Airlines Group
(IAG) in September 2020 after serving as its CEO since its
inception in 2011. Prior to that he was CEO of British Airways
(2005-2011) and CEO of Aer Lingus (2001-2005).
He began his career in aviation at Aer Lingus in
1979 as a cadet pilot.
“I am passionate about our industry and about the
critical work that IATA does on behalf of its members, never more
so than during the COVID19 crisis,” said Walsh. “IATA has been at
the forefront of efforts to restart global connectivity, including
IATA Travel Pass. Less visible but of equal importance,
airlines continue to rely on IATA’s financial settlement systems,
Timatic and other vital services to support their day-to-day
operations. I am grateful to Alexandre for leaving behind a strong
organization and a motivated team. Together, the IATA team is
absolutely focused on restoring the freedom of movement that
airlines provide to billions of people around the world. That
means your freedom to visit friends and family, to meet critical
business partners, to secure and retain vital contracts, and to
explore our wonderful planet.”
Walsh is deeply familiar with IATA, having served
on the IATA Board of Governors for almost 13 years between 2005 to
2018, including serving as Chair (2016-2017). He will work from
the Association’s Executive Office in Geneva, Switzerland.
“In normal times over four billion travelers
depend on aviation each year and the distribution of vaccines has
put the value of efficient air cargo in the spotlight. Airlines
are committed to delivering safe, efficient, and sustainable
services. My goal is to ensure that IATA is a forceful voice
supporting the success of global air transport. We will work with
supporters and critics alike to deliver on our commitments to an
environmentally sustainable airline industry. It’s my job to make
sure that governments, which rely on the economic and social
benefits our industry generates, also understand the policies we
need to deliver those benefits,” said Walsh.
De Juniac joined IATA in September 2016 from Air
France-KLM where he was Chairman and CEO.
As the above video interview was conducted over the internet, I
would like to apologise that the audio and visual quality are not
up to the same HD/UHD quality that it normally would be. Hopefully it won’t be too
long until we are once again conducting exclusive video interviews
in person, but for now we have to make do with what we have. Thank
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