IATA’s Board of Governors has one year rotating chairmanship and Mr. Akbar Al Baker of Qatar Airways will take over the position from Singapore Airlines CEO in Sydney come June 2018.
The decision was made at the meeting this past Sunday. Not sure if this was unanimous decision considering that some of the other board members are quite vocal against the ME3 (perhaps they prefer keeping the Mr. Al Baker busy with IATA rather than running QR?).
Here’s the press release from Qatar Airways:
DOHA, Qatar – Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, has been elected Chairman of the Board of Governors (BoG) of prestigious global aviation industry body International Air Transport Association (IATA), effective June 2018.
The rotating one-year term will commence at the end of IATA’s 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Sydney and will continue until the end of its 2019 AGM. H.E. Mr. Al Baker will succeed current IATA BoG Chairman Mr. Goh Choon Phong, Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Airlines.
H.E. Mr. Al Baker said: “I am honoured to have been chosen by my fellow board members to head this important body, at a time when the industry faces numerous challenges on a multitude of levels. To represent and lead the IATA Board of Governors is a tremendous privilege, and I am grateful for the opportunity to represent an industry that plays such a vital role in the global economy.
“For more than two decades I have lived and breathed aviation, and I look forward to working alongside the Board of Governors to champion passenger rights and improve security standards across the industry, as well as continuing to promote the rights of freedom of flight for all.”
IATA represents some 275 airlines comprising 83 per cent of global air traffic. The election of H.E. Mr. Al Baker to this prestigious post is a clear recognition of the leading role that he plays in a dynamic and highly competitive industry.
H.E. Mr. Al Baker is one of the most recognisable figures in international aviation. His vision and commitment enabled the development of Qatar Airways from a small regional carrier into a major global airline in a span of just 20 years. Under his leadership, Qatar Airways has become one of the world’s most highly-respected airlines, competing on a scale very few airlines achieve. Passengers have recognised the airline’s commitment to the values of safety, security, innovation and quality of service by awarding it the Skytrax Airline of the Year 2017, the fourth time it has received this award.
Nobody can say that Mr. Akbar Al Baker wouldn’t be visible figure in the industry whether you agree with his views or not.
Sometimes he should think twice before voicing his opinions, however. His “grandmother” comments about the American Airlines FA’s torpedoed his planned investment into the airline.
Interesting that he decided to pursue Chairmanship role in the IATA Board of Governors. Might take some time off his hands running the Qatar Airways.