Willie Walsh replacing Alexandre de Juniac as Director General and CEO of IATA is not the only leadership change endorsed at the 76th IATA AGM.

Robin Hayes, CEO of JetBlue is now the Chair of the IATA Board of Governors (BoG), succeeding Carsten Spohr, Chair IATA BoG (2019-20) and CEO of Lufthansa. Hayes will serve a term commencing immediately and ending at the conclusion of the Association’s 78th Annual General Meeting to be held in 2022. Hayes will serve an extended term as Chair covering two AGMs due the disruption to governance cycles necessitated by the COVID-19 crisis.

Rickard Gustafson, CEO of SAS Group will serve as Chairman of the BoG from the conclusion of the 78th IATA AGM in 2022 until the conclusion of the 79th AGM in 2023, following Hayes’ term.

“I am pleased to be ending my term as Chair of the IATA BoG with strong leadership in place to see IATA through the crisis and lead the industry towards recovery,” said Spohr. “I thank all the members of the BoG and Alexandre for their support over the 18 months that I have served as BoG Chair—particularly during the crisis period. That support enabled extraordinary efforts by IATA during the crisis. Those efforts have made our association even more relevant. With today’s leadership announcements we can be assured that IATA remains in good hands. Robin will be a strong leader for the BoG. I am confident that Alexandre will continue to be an authoritative voice for the industry as he completes his term as Director General and CEO. And Willie will take up the mantle from April with the fierce leadership determination for which he is well-known.”

“The expectations for IATA’s leadership are high,” said Hayes. “Managing through the crisis is, of course, at the top of the agenda. We must safely re-open borders and build back the vital global connectivity that has been lost in this crisis. There is a great expectation for aviation’s role in the global distribution of a vaccines when they are ready. Safely restarting large parts of the industry after months of being grounded is a challenge that will require IATA to work with governments globally.

“And, in additional COVID-19 related work, we have a clear mandate to meet our 2050 goal to cut net aviation emissions to half 2005 levels; and to explore pathways to net zero emissions globally. I look forward to driving these priorities forward with the support of Alexandre, Willie, the BoG and all our members.”

Hayes was named President of JetBlue in 2014 and appointed CEO in 2015, a position that also encompasses subsidiaries JetBlue Technology Ventures and JetBlue Travel Products. He joined JetBlue in 2008 as Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer after a 19-year career with British Airways.

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