The International Air Transport Association has announced that Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO, will step down from his role at the Association effective 31 March 2021, and is set to be replaced by Willie Walsh.
Walsh retired as chief executive of International Airlines Group after 15 years in September. In the interim, he has been working as deputy chairman of Dublin-based CarTrawler, a company which connects airlines and travel agents to car hire, airport transfer and car-booking services.
De Juniac’s intention to step down is reported to have been known to internal circles for some months. The IATA Board of Governors will recommend to the 76th IATA AGM on 24 November 2020 the appointment of Willie Walsh to become IATA’s eighth Director General from 1 April, 2021.
“I did not come to this decision lightly. It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve the global air transport industry—what I call the business of freedom—as the head of IATA. Over the last years IATA has strategically increased its relevance as the voice of the global airline industry. This has been evident in the COVID-19 crisis. IATA has set the course to restore air connectivity amid the pandemic with systematic pre-departure testing. We are well into preparations to fulfil critical vaccine distribution needs. In parallel, we have restructured IATA to survive the crisis and be ready to support the industry recovery with an organisation dimensioned to serve a smaller industry. And we have a motivated team that is determined to get the job done. The building blocks for an industry recovery are in place. And now is the right time to hand over IATA’s leadership for the long process of recovery,” said de Juniac.
De Juniac joined IATA in September 2016 from Air France-KLM where he was Chairman and CEO.
“Alexandre has led our industry in extraordinary times. Under his leadership IATA has become a stronger and an even more relevant organisation. I am joined by all the members of the Board of Governors in thanking him for his service and wishing him well in his next endeavours. I am also pleased that we are able to present a very capable candidate to the 76th IATA AGM to succeed Alexandre in this important role. I am convinced that Willie will be a great Director General for IATA,” said Carsten Spohr, Chair of the IATA Board of Governors and CEO of Lufthansa.
Resolutions will be presented to the 76th IATA AGM thanking de Juniac for his service to IATA as Director General and CEO and proposing Walsh as the next IATA Director General.