Willy Walsh, the former CEO of IAG, the parent of British Airways, Iberia, and others, will become the new Director General and CEO of the International Air Transport Association, usually referred to as just IATA.
The former CEO of Air France-KLM and the current IATA DG, Mr. De Juniac, is going to step down on March 31, 2021, and Willy Walsh is expected to take over on April 1.
Here’s the announcement from IATA:
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO will step down from his role at the Association 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 Willie Walsh, former CEO of International Airlines Group (IAG) to become IATA’s eighth Director General from 1 April 2021.
“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 with an organization 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,” said de Juniac.
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. Under his leadership IATA has become a stronger and an even more relevant organization. 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 endeavors. 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,” said Carsten Spohr, Chair of the IATA Board of Governors and CEO of Lufthansa.
Resolutions will be presented to the 76th IATA AGM thanking de Juniac for his service to IATA as Director General and CEO and proposing Walsh as the next IATA Director General.
You may not have always liked what Mr. Walsh, who started as a pilot with Aer Lingus, did with the airlines he led or the direction that IAG (International Airlines Group) took.
However, he has had quite a remarkable career in aviation and is in a unique position to lead Ithe ATA.