On April 1, 2021, Willie Walsh took on the role of IATA Director General, replacing Alexandre de Juniac, who was at the helm of the organisation since 2016.
Walsh says he is highly aware of the coming challenges: “I am passionate about our industry and about the critical work that IATA does, never more so than during the Covid-19 crisis. IATA has been at the forefront of efforts to restart global connectivity, including the IATA Travel Pass. We are focused on restoring the freedom of movement that airlines provide to billions of people. That means freedom to visit friends and family, to meet business partners, to secure and retain vital contracts, and to explore our wonderful planet,” said Walsh.
“In normal times, over four billion travellers depend on aviation each year and the distribution of vaccines has highlighted the value of efficient air cargo. My goal is to ensure that IATA is a forceful voice supporting the success of global air transport. We will work to deliver on our commitments to an environmentally sustainable airline industry. My job is to make sure that governments also understand the policies we need to deliver those benefits,” he added.
Walsh was confirmed as IATA new Director General last November. He retired from the International Airlines Group (IAG) in 2020 after serving as its CEO since 2011. Prior to that he was CEO of British Airways and before that, of Aer Lingus.