Willie Walsh, former CEO of International Airlines Group (IAG), has been named the new Director General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Walsh will take charge on 1 April 2021 as IATA’s 8th Director General. He will succeed Alexandre de Juniac, who has led IATA since 2016 and who will step down from IATA at the end of March 2021.
“My style will be different to what has gone before me. I too am a businessman. I too understand how governments operate but I am even more unhappy and more critical of how they get things done or more importantly, in many cases how they have failed to get things done… I have seen first-hand the numerous challenges and significant crises that we have faced and that we have overcome. I have a passion for this industry and a passion for IATA. We need more than ever an effective industry body to serve and represent our interests,” Walsh said in his acceptance speech.
He said that the virus did not stop our customers boarding our aircraft because we have demonstrated our ability to adapt and to ensure the safety of our customers and our people and we know they want to fly with us. “They have been denied the freedom we provide, not by a virus, but by a disjointed political response and the restrictions put in place by certain governments who have failed to adapt and to adopt the sensible measures that would have allowed almost normal air services to continue,” he added.