October 13, 2017: TIACA has inducted air cargo veteran Desmond (Des) Vertannes, an acknowledged leader known for initiating change and innovating, to its Hall of Fame.
Des has fostered and led industry collaboration in e-freight, cargo security, and handling, initiated the Global Air Cargo Advisory Group (GACAG) and pushed to modernize the relationship between airlines and forwarders over a career spanning close to five decades.
During his tenure as Head of Cargo for the International Air Transport Association (IATA) between 2010 and 2014, Des famously set the industry the challenge of reducing transit times by 48 hours to “ensure customers paying the premium air transport price consistently received a premium service”.
“The Chairman’s Council selected Des for his unwavering commitment to the development and recognition of the air cargo industry and its impact on global trade,” said Oliver Evans, Chair of TIACA’s Chairman’s Council.
“His dedication, perseverance, visionary thinking, and inspiring leadership have made a profound and lasting impact on our industry. Des is also known for forging and growing friendships right across the industry, that last to this day,” he added.
Des began his career with British Airways in 1970, holding several management positions before setting up his own forwarding business in 1984, and then joining Air Canada as General Manager, Cargo in 1991.
He was Chief Executive with Air Menzies International, Managing Director at Menzies World Cargo and was Head of Cargo at Gulf Air and then Etihad Airways before joining IATA.
A year after retiring from IATA, Des became a Strategic Advisor to cloud-based IT cargo management provider, SmartKargo.
The TIACA Hall of Fame honors air cargo professionals who have played a role in the progress of aviation and have helped to shape and grow the industry.
Past winners have included James ‘Jim’ Jackson, a driving force behind the standardization of Aircraft Unit Load Devices (ULD), and Sir Peter Masefield, the former Managing Director of British European Airways and Chairman of the British Airports Authority and London Transport.
“It is wonderful to know Des in his professional capacity and even more pleasant to have him as a friend,” said Vladimir Zubkov, Secretary General, TIACA.
“I met Des shortly after he joined IATA when he responded to an invitation from Volga-Dnepr to come to the first air cargo conference in Moscow. His statements were very professional and his vision inspired. His ability to speak clearly about complicated problems, trends, and requirements was really impressive and his soft and reassuring manners made him very approachable. I am delighted that the air cargo industry, through its senior and most respected representatives bestowed this prestigious award on Des and congratulate my friend warmly,” Zubkov added.
“Des is truly deserving of this prestigious award. I have known him for many years, his ability to cast a vision and get people to rally behind it has been commendable,” said Sanjiv Edward, Chairman, TIACA.
“The air cargo industry needs leaders with an unstinted commitment to promote air cargo and Des is one of the few leaders who have passionately pursued this cause. My sincere congratulations to Des; it is a pleasure to have him join TIACA’s Hall of Fame,” Edward said congratulating Des.