The Lufthansa chief takes over from Qatar Airways’ CEO Akbar Al-Baker.

Carsten Spohr

Carsten Spohr has been appointed as the 78th Chairman of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Board of Governors (BoG).

The Lufthansa Group CEO has served on the IATA BoG since May 2014 and succeeds Qatar Airways Group CEO His Excellency Akbar Al-Baker following the conclusion of IATA’s 75th Annual General Meeting in Seoul, South Korea.

Spohr, who will serve a one-year term, has been Lufthansa CEO and Chairman since May 2014, managing the Group’s business segments including Network Airlines, Eurowings and Aviation Services.

We face a number of challenges, including growing protectionism, high taxes and trade wars, but probably the greatest challenge of all is sustainability

“I’m honored and excited to take on this role at this important time for our industry,” said Spohr, who will be replaced as Chairman by JetBlue’s Robin Hayes in 2020.
 
“We face a number of challenges, including growing protectionism, high taxes and trade wars, but probably the greatest challenge of all is sustainability. 

“The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) is a major achievement that will stabilize our carbon emissions from 2020. Now we must map out the path to achieving our much more ambitious 2050 goal—to cut net emissions to half 2005 levels. Aviation is serious about its climate change commitments. 

“And we will be pushing hard for governments to do their part by sorting air traffic management inefficiencies and laying the policy framework for the commercialization of sustainable aviation fuels.”

IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac welcomed the appointment, and also thanked Al-Baker for his service and enthusiasm in bringing IATA initiatives and the issue of gender diversity to the forefront.

“Under his leadership, IATA has made progress on a number of IATA initiatives including New Distribution Capability, One ID and digital transformation,” de Juniac said.

“Akbar also encouraged our gender diversity initiatives, leading to the creation of the association’s Diversity and Inclusion Awards to recognize those companies and individuals who are leading in this effort.”

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