Alexandre de Juniac to leave IATA in 2021; Willie Walsh named replacement

By Luke Barras-hill |

Alexandre de Juniac joined IATA in September 2016 from Air France-KLM, where he was Chairman and CEO. He signalled his intention to leave IATA several months ago.

Alexandre de Juniac will step down as Director General and CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on 31 March 2021.

The IATA Board of Governors will today (24 November) recommend at the association’s Annual General Meeting the appointment of former International Airlines Group CEO Willie Walsh as de Juniac’s replacement.

If approved, Walsh would take the reins from 1 April 2021.

In a statement, de Juniac said: “I did not come to this decision lightly. 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.”

The IATA Board of Governors will recommend that former IAG CEO Willie Walsh assumes the position of IATA Director General from 1 April 2021.


He continued: “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 organisation 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.”

Carsten Spohr, Chair of the IATA Board of Governors and CEO of Lufthansa said: “Alexandre has led our industry in extraordinary times. Under his leadership IATA has become a stronger and an even more relevant organisation.

“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. I am also pleased that we are able to present a very capable candidate to the 76th IATA AGM to succeed Alexandre in this important role. I am convinced that Willie will be a great Director General for IATA.”

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