SYDNEY – Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker was officially elected as Chairman of the new Board of Governors of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for a term of one year.
Al Baker occupies the position of Chairman of the IATA Board of Governors (BoG) 2018-2019, replacing the previous official of Singapore Airlines CEO, Goh Choon Phong. IATA announced it in the closing agenda of the IATA Annual General Meeting to-74 in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday (5/6/2018).
Al Baker became the Chairman of the 77th BoG Board of IATA and the first CEO of Qatar Airways to be the IATA chairman. Prior to occupying the position of chairman, Al Baker has joined the BoG IATA since 2012.
“I am delighted to be in Sydney and honored to be the Chairman of the Board of Governors of IATA for the next year. To be nominated to a prestigious leadership position in the industry is a great honor for me, “said Al Baker, in a press conference at the 74th Session of the IATA Annual General Meeting on Wednesday (5/6/2018).
Also present at the occasion were IATA Director and General, Alexandre de Juniac and Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.
Al Baker hopes to carry out his duties over the next year to serve the growing aviation industry, connecting securely to the world community, a sector that only continues to grow in the coming years.
“A lot of work has to be done, but some key issues such as human trafficking, challenges to market turbulence risks and geopolitical conditions, the pressure of world oil price increases on industry. Hope these issues can be well mitigated to continue the growth trend for the airline, “said Al Baker.
Appointed Chief Executive of Qatar Airways Group in 1997, Al Baker successfully pioneered the growth of Qatar Airways from a small regional carrier to a major player in the world.
“I thank Goh Choon Phong for his support and leadership for the past year. He has led major changes in IATA governance, “de Juniac said.
He believes Al Baker has a strong capacity to voice industry interests, amid challenges including trade protectionism.
Meanwhile, in a speech to the 74th AGM IATA Report, de Juniac said that the association membership is currently growing to 290 airline operators from around the world. There are 21 airlines listed as IATA members, including one of Batik Air from Indonesia. The other airlines are Africa World Airlines, Atlantic Airways, Air Peace, Cambodia Angkor Air, Cayman Airways, China Express Airlines, Cobalt Air, Eastar Jet, Evelop Airlines, and Hebei Airlines
In addition, Jeju Air, Jin Air, SaudiGulf Airlines, SCAT Airlines, Somon Air, Suparna Airlines, UNI Air, Vistara ,, VOlotea, and WDL Aviation. With 290 airline members, IATA represents at least 82% of global aircraft market demand, both cargo and passengers.
IATA also announced that Carsten Spohr, Chairman and CEO of Lufthansa, will be elected as Chairman of the BoG Board in June 2019, which will replace the leadership of Al Baker. The Association also announced that Korean Air will host the 75th AGM IATA meeting and the World Air Transport Summit in Seoul, South Korea, June 2-4, 2019. On this year’s Qantas Airways meeting, Qantas Airways acted as the host.