Director General and CEO of IATA to step down

Alexandre de Juniac makes announcement at 76th IATA general meeting, with Willie Walsh the replacement

Alexandre de Juniac is to step down from his role as Director General and CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) at the end of March 2021.

De Juniac decided several months ago to give up the position, allowing IATA to search for a new CEO in order to facilitate an easy transition.

At the November 24 IATA general meeting, the board of governors recommended that Willie Walsh, former CEO of International Airlines Group (IAG), will take over the position.

“Alexandre has led our industry in extraordinary times. Under his leadership IATA has become a stronger and an even more relevant organization. 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,” said Carsten Spohr, Chair of the IATA board of governors and CEO of Lufthansa. “I am convinced that Willie will be a great Director General for IATA.”

De Juniac joined IATA back in September of 2016, after leaving his position as the Chairman and CEO of Air France KLM.

“I did not come to this decision lightly,” said de Juniac. “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 organization 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.”

Walsh will succeed de Juniac on April 1 next year.