International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) director general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, will step down from his role effective March 31, 2021.
In line to take over De Juniac’s role is Willie Walsh, former CEO of International Airlines Group. He was recommended by the IATA Board of Governors at the 76th IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) on November 24 to become IATA’s eighth director general from April 1, 2021.
De Juniac commented: “I did not come to this decision lightly. 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 fulfil critical vaccine distribution needs.
“In parallel, we have restructured IATA to survive the crisis and be ready to support the industry recovery. 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 joined IATA in September 2016 from Air France-KLM, where he was chairman and CEO.
Carsten Spohr, chair of the IATA Board of Governors and CEO of Lufthansa, said: “Alexandre has led our industry in extraordinary times. Under his leadership, IATA has become a stronger and an even more relevant organisation.
“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.”