People article(s)
November 24, 2020

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that its Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, 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 Association said.


IATA said its Board of Governors will recommend to the 76th IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 24 November the appointment of Willie Walsh, former CEO of International Airlines Group (IAG) to become IATA’s eighth Director-General from 1 April 2021.


Smaller industry cited 

“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,” de Juniac said.


He added that the organization was also “restructured” to survive the crisis and be ready to support the industry recovery with an “organization dimensioned to serve a smaller industry.”


“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,” de Juniac, who joined IATA in September 2016 said.


He was the former Air France-KLM 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 endeavour,” said Carsten Spohr, chair of the IATA Board of Governors and CEO of Lufthansa.


Willie Walsh to succeed de Juniac


“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,” he added.

IATA said 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.


This is not the first time that a high-ranking official of IATA resigned. Its global cargo head, Glyn Hughes, also announced he is stepping down from his position last September — effective January 2021. 


He will then take the newly created role of Director-General of The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) starting February next year. 

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