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Jun 17, 2022

Aviation leaders gather in Doha for IATA’s 78th AGM

Foreign Affairs News Correspondent
IATA

Leaders of the global aviation industry are meeting in Doha, Qatar from June 19 to 21, for the 78th IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit (WATS).

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announcement, Qatar Airways is the host airline of the meeting that attracts the industry’s most senior leaders from among IATA’s 290 member airlines, as well as leading government officials, strategic partners, equipment suppliers, and media.

IATA represents some 290 airlines comprising 83% of global air traffic.

“In a few days, Doha will become the aviation capital of the world. The last time we met in Doha, in 2014, we were celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first airline flight,” said IATA’s Director General Willie Walsh.

“This year’s AGM is another momentous occasion. Airlines are simultaneously recovering from the COVID-19 crisis, setting the path to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, working to improve gender diversity, and adapting to a geopolitical environment that is undergoing its greatest shock in over three decades,” added IATA’s Director General Walsh.

“It is an absolute privilege to be hosting our industry partners in Qatar Airways’ home city, particularly during our milestone 25th year of operations,” Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker said.

“Coming together face-to-face provides us with the opportunity to discuss lessons learnt from our recent years during the pandemic, global issues affecting us all in the here and now, and to plan the best way forward for the industry,” Al Baker added.

World Air Transport Summit

The WATS opens immediately following the AGM. A highlight will be the third edition of the Diversity and Inclusion Awards sponsored by Qatar Airways. These awards recognize organizations and individuals who are making a difference in helping to drive the industry’s 25by2025 initiative to make the aviation industry more gender balanced.

The WATS will also feature the popular CEO Insights Panel moderated by CNN’s Richard Quest and featuring Adrian Neuhauser, CEO, Avianca, Pieter Elbers, CEO, KLM, Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive, Qatar Airways and Jayne Hrdlicka, CEO, Virgin Australia.

In addition to the updated industry economic outlook, key topics to be addressed include: the War in Ukraine and its implications for the globalized world; the challenges to achieving sustainability, including net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and reducing the use of single use plastics, allocating scarce airport capacity, and ensuring safe carriage of lithium batteries. New for 2022 is a CFO Insights Panel

This will be the fourth time that the AGM is hosted in the Middle East.

In normal times, aviation in the region supports some 3.4 million jobs and US $213 billion in economic activity.

“Since we were last in Doha, the region has only increased its importance to global connectivity. According to the most recent figures, the region’s airlines account for 6.5% of global international passenger traffic and 13.4% of freight movements. Much of this growth has occurred in the Gulf region, as is typified by our host airline,” said Walsh.