Doha, Qatar 6 . Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, has attended the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Sydney, Australia, in his official forthcoming capacity as Chairman of IATA’s Board of Governors. The Board of Governors is the highest governance body in IATA; it provides strategic guidance for the airline industry as a whole and is entrusted with overseeing the activities of IATA.
In his capacity of Chairman of the Board of Governors, H.E. Mr. Al Baker first jointly hosted an IATA Press Conference for international media on Tuesday 5 June, a date most relevant as it marks the first anniversary of the illegal blockade against the State of Qatar by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, H.E. Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “I am delighted to be here in Sydney and honoured to be leading the IATA Board of Governors as Chairman for the year ahead. To be nominated to such a prestigious leadership position in the industry is a great honour, made all the more pertinent in a year in which Qatar Airways itself was faced with an illegal blockade, closing off international air space in our own region.
“I look forward to continuing my work in the coming year for a transparent and fair aviation industry the world over, a sector which will only continue to grow in the years ahead, and one in which I am most proud to work and represent the World’s Best Airline.”
Over the course of the IATA AGM in Sydney, H.E. Mr. Al Baker also attended a signing ceremony alongside IATA Director General. Mr. Alexandre de Juniac, at which IATA and Qatar Airways signed a Training Partnership Agreement, accrediting Qatar Airways as an IATA Regional Training Centre.
The training centre will support the further development of aviation professionals in the region with locally provided training programmes in the fields of international aviation, cargo and travel and tourism.
The partnership will also introduce the IATA-UNIGE Leadership & Management Training Programme in collaboration with the University of Geneva. IATA’s training partnership with Qatar Airways falls within a shared vision of reaching out to the next generation of leaders in the aviation industry.
H.E. Mr. Al Baker was nominated Chairman of the Board at the IATA AGM in Cancún in 2017 and will hold the position until the next IATA AGM in June 2019. Election to this prestigious position is a clear recognition of the leadership role that H.E. Mr. Al Baker has played in a dynamic and highly-competitive industry and comes after serving on the IATA board itself since 2012.
H.E. Mr. Al Baker succeeds the outgoing IATA Board of Governors Chairman Mr. Goh Choon Phong, Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Airlines. One of the most recognisable figures in the aviation industry, H.E. Mr. Al Baker’s vision and commitment have enabled the development of Qatar Airways from a small regional carrier into a major global airline in a span of just 20 years. Under his leadership, Qatar Airways has become one of the world’s most highly-respected airlines.
From its home and hub at Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar Airways operates a modern fleet of more than 200 aircraft to a network of more than 150 key business and leisure destinations across six continents.
The airline plans a host of exciting new destination launches over the next year, including Tallinn, Estonia; Valletta, Malta; Langkawi, Malaysia; Da Nang, Vietnam; Bodrum and Antalya, Turkey and Málaga, Spain.
The award-winning airline has received a number of recent accolades, including ‘Airline of the Year’ by the prestigious 2017 Skytrax World Airline Awards, held at the Paris Air Show. This is the fourth time that Qatar Airways has been given this global recognition as the world’s best airline.
In addition to being voted Best Airline by travellers from around the world, Qatar’s national carrier also won a raft of other major awards at the ceremony, including ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’ and ‘World’s Best First Class Airline Lounge’.