Willie Walsh became IATA Director General

Willie Walsh became IATA Director General

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that Willie Walsh has officially replaced Alexandre de Juniac as Managing Director.

IATA will continue in the same direction

“I am passionate about our industry and about the critical work that IATA does on behalf of its members IATA has been at the forefront of efforts to restart global connectivity, including developing the IATA Travel Pass.

Less visible but of equal importance, airlines continue to rely on IATA’s financial settlement systems, 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, to secure and retain vital contracts, and to explore our wonderful planet.” said Walsh.

Strong ties with governments

And Walsh continued “In normal times over 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 delivering safe, efficient, and sustainable services.

My goal is to ensure that IATA is a forceful voice supporting the success of global air transport. We will work with supporters and critics alike to deliver on our commitments to an environmentally sustainable airline industry. It’s my job to make sure that governments, which rely on the economic and social benefits our industry generates, also understand the policies we need to deliver those benefits.”

Walsh is not a stranger to culture of IATA

Walsh was approved as the eighth Executive Director of IATA at the 76th IATA Annual General Meeting on November 24, 2020. He joined IATA after 40 years of career in the airline industry. Willie Walsh retired from the International Airlines Group (IAG) in September 2020, after serving as 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 started his aviation career as a cadet pilot at Aer Lingus in 1979.

Walsh served on the IATA Board of Directors for nearly 13 years between 2005 and 2018, including as Chairman (2016-2017). For this reason, Walsh is not a stranger to the IATA administration and its internal bureaucracy. Willie Walsh will work at the Union’s Management Office in Geneva, Switzerland.