Qatar Airways Group chief executive, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker has assumed his role as chairman of the IATA Board of Governors for a one year term.
He is succeeding Singapore Airlines chief executive officer (CEO), Goh Choon Phong and will be the 77th chairman when his term starts at the conclusion of the 74th International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting in Sydney, Australia.
Al Baker says: “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.”
Al Baker was named Qatar Airways Group chief executive in 1997 and has spearheaded the growth of the airline from a small regional carrier into a major global player.
IATA director general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac says: “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.”
IATA also announced that Lufthansa chairman and CEO, Carsten Spohr will serve as chairman of the board of governors from June 2019, following Al Baker’s term.