Qatar Airways' chief executive Akbar Al Baker is the new IATA Board chairman

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June 05, 2018: Akbar Al Baker, Group chief executive, Qatar Airways, is the new chairman of the industry body International Air Transport Association (IATA) Board of Governors (BoG) for a one-year term effective from the conclusion of the 74th IATA Annual General Meeting in Sydney, Australia.

He is the 77th chair of the IATA BoG and the first CEO from Qatar Airways to hold the position. He has served on the BoG since 2012. He succeeds Goh Choon Phong, CEO of Singapore Airlines.

Akbar Al Baker said, "I look forward to continuing my work in the coming year for our great aviation industry, connecting safely the peoples of the world, a sector which will only continue to grow in the years ahead, and one in which I am most proud to work and represent one of the world leading airlines."

Al-Baker was named Qatar Airways’ Group chief executive in 1997. In this position, Al Baker has spearheaded the growth of Qatar Airways from a small regional carrier into a major global. He was president of the 70th AGM which was held in Doha in 2014.

"I am confident that Akbar will be a strong voice on behalf of the Business of Freedom in the face of growing challenges including creeping re-regulation and a movement away from open borders and toward trade protectionism and restrictions on the free movement of people. I look forward to working with him on these and other key industry issues," said said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.

Carsten Spohr, chairman and CEO of Lufthansa, will serve as chairman of the BoG from June 2019, following Al Baker’s term.

The full list of the 2018-2019 IATA Board of Governors is as follows:               

Calin Rovinescu, President and CEO - AIR CANADA

María José Hidalgo Gutiérrez, CEO - AIR EUROPA

Franck Terner, CEO - AIR FRANCE

Douglas Parker, Chief Executive Officer - AMERICAN AIRLINES

Harry Hohmeister, Chairman - AUSTRIAN AIRLINES

German Efromovich, Chairman - AVIANCA

Rupert Hogg, Chairman and CEO - CATHAY PACIFIC

Liu Shaoyong, Chairman - CHINA EASTERN AIRLINES

Tan Wangeng, President and CEO - CHINA SOUTHERN AIRLINES

Pedro Heilbron, CEO - COPA AIRLINES

Safwat Musallam, Chairman and CEO - EGYPTAIR

Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO - ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES

David Bronczek, President and CEO - FEDEX CORPORATION

Christine Ourmières-Widener, CEO - FLYBE

Luis Gallego Martin, CEO - IBERIA

Yuji Akasaka, President - JAPAN AIRLINES

Naresh Goyal, Chairman - JET AIRWAYS (INDIA) LTD.


Sebastian Mikosz, Managing Director and CEO - KENYA AIRWAYS

Pieter Elbers, President and CEO - KLM

Yang Ho Cho, Chairman and CEO - KOREAN AIR

Enrique Cueto, CEO - LATAM

Carsten Spohr, Chairman and CEO - LUFTHANSA

Mohamad El-Hout, Chairman/Director General - MIDDLE EAST AIRLINES

Alan Joyce, CEO - QANTAS


Rickard Gustafson, President and CEO - SAS

Saleh Nasser Al Jasser, Director General - SAUDI ARABIAN AIRLINES



Pham Ngoc Minh, Chairman - VIETNAM AIRLINES

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