April 1 2021  |  People

Walsh takes DG spot at IATA

By Rick Lundstrom

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced today that Willie Walsh has officially taken on the role of Director General of the organization. He succeeds Alexandre de Juniac.

Walsh was confirmed as IATA’s eighth director general by the 76th IATA Annual General Meeting on November 24, 2020. He joins IATA after a 40-year career in the airline industry. Walsh retired from the International Airlines Group (IAG) in September 2020 after serving as its CEO since its inception in 2011. Prior to that he was CEO of British Airways (2005-2011) and CEO of Aer Lingus (2001-2005). He began his career in aviation at Aer Lingus in 1979 as a cadet pilot.

Walsh has served on the IATA Board of Governors for nearly 13 years between 2005 to 2018, including serving as Chair from 2016 to 2017. He will work from the Association’s Executive Office in Geneva, Switzerland.

“I am passionate about our industry and about the critical work that IATA does on behalf of its members, never more so than during the COVID-19 crisis. IATA has been at the forefront of efforts to restart global connectivity, including developing the IATA Travel Pass. Less visible but of equal importance, airlines continue to rely on IATA’s financial settlement systems, Timatic and other vital services to support their day-to-day operations. I am grateful to Alexandre for leaving behind a strong organization and a motivated team. Together, the IATA team is absolutely focused on restoring the freedom of movement that airlines provide to billions of people around the world. That means your freedom to visit friends and family, to meet critical business partners, to secure and retain vital contracts, and to explore our wonderful planet,” said Walsh, in today’s announcement.

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