Willie Walsh, the former Chief Executive Officer of International Airlines Group (IAG), would be nominated as the new Director-General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Walsh would become the eighth Director-General for the authority.
IATA announced that its current Director-General Alexandre de Juniac, who joined the authority in September 2016, would step down in March 2021. In a statement released on November 24, 2020, the global airline body confirmed that after de Juniac made the decision to step down from the position in the authority several months ago, IATA initiated the search process of leadership transition.
“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 fulfill critical vaccine distribution needs,” de Juniac, was quoted in a press release.
Following the statement, IATA would transfer the position of the new Director-General to Walsh. IATA expected that Walsh would take over the role from April 1, 2020.
“Alexandre has led our industry in extraordinary times. Under his leadership, IATA has become a stronger and even more relevant organization. […] I am convinced that Willie will be a great Director-General for IATA,” said Carsten Spohr, the Chair of the IATA Board of Governors and CEO of Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA).
The final resolutions would be presented at the 76the IATA ATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 24 November 2020.