At the conclusion of this year’s IATA AGM, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced the appointment of His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive of Qatar Airways, to the post of Chairman of the IATA Board of Governors (BoG).
Serving as the 77th chair of the IATA BoG for a one-year term, HE Al Baker is the first CEO from Qatar Airways to hold the position, though he been a member of the board since 2012. He previously served as the president of the 70th AGM which was held in Doha in 2014.
The new chairman succeeds Goh Choon Phong, CEO of Singapore Airways.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, said, "I am delighted to be here in Sydney and honored to be leading the IATA Board of Governors as Chairman for the year ahead. To be nominated to such a prestigious leadership position in the industry is a great honour, made all the more pertinent in the difficult circumstances in which Qatar Airways currently operates.
"I look forward to continuing my work in the coming year for our great aviation industry, connecting safely the peoples of the world, a sector which will only continue to grow in the years ahead, and one in which I am most proud to work and represent one of the world leading airlines,” he added.
IATA also announced that Carsten Spohr, Chairman and CEO of Lufthansa, will serve as Chairman of the BoG from June 2019, following Al Baker’s term.
After thanking outgoing IATA Chairman, Goh Choon Phong, Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, shared: “I am confident that Akbar will be a strong voice on behalf of the Business of Freedom in the face of growing challenges including creeping re-regulation and a movement away from open borders and toward trade protectionism and restrictions on the free movement of people. I look forward to working with him on these and other key industry issues.”