Former CEO of International Airlines Group (IAG), Willie Walsh, will take over from Alexandre de Juniac as director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) effective 31 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 will recommend to the 76th IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 24 November 2020 the appointment of Walsh, to become IATA’s eighth director general from 1 April 2021.
“I did not come to this decision lightly,” de Juniac says. 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 fulfill critical vaccine distribution needs.
“In parallel, we have restructured IATA to survive the crisis and be ready to support the industry recovery with an organisation dimensioned to serve a smaller industry. And we have a motivated team that is determined to get the job done. The building blocks for an industry recovery are in place. And now is the right time to hand over IATA’s leadership for the long process of recovery,” he adds.
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,” notes said Carsten Spohr, chair of the IATA Board of Governors and CEO of Lufthansa. “Under his leadership, IATA has become a stronger and an even more relevant organisation. 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.”