Willie Walsh officially takes over as IATA Director General
The function succeeds Alexandre de Juniac, who leaves the helm with the challenge of recovering air connectivity at a global level
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that Willie Walsh has officially assumed the position of Director General of the organization. He succeeds Alexandre de Juniac.
“I am passionate about our industry and the critical work that IATA does on behalf of its members, never more than during the COVID-19 crisis. IATA has been at the forefront of efforts to restart global connectivity, including the development of the IATA Travel Pass. Less visible but just as important, airlines continue to rely on financial settlement systems from IATA, 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,
“In normal times, more than 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 providing safe, efficient and sustainable services. My goal is to ensure that IATA is a powerful voice supporting the success of global air travel. We will work with supporters and critics alike to deliver on our commitments to an environmentally sustainable airline industry. My job is to make sure that governments, who depend on the economic and social benefits that our industry generates, also understand the policies we need to deliver those benefits, ”Walsh said.
Walsh was confirmed as IATA 8th Director General by the 76th IATA Annual General Assembly on November 24, 2020. He joins IATA after a 40-year career in the airline industry. Walsh retired from the International Airlines Group (IAG) in September 2020 after being 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 aviation career at Aer Lingus in 1979 as a cadet pilot.
Walsh is deeply familiar with IATA, having served on the IATA Board of Governors for nearly 13 years between 2005 and 2018, including the position of President (2016-2017). He will work from the Association's Executive Office in Geneva, Switzerland.