ISTANBUL – Dubai is to be the host city for the 80th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Air Transport Summit of the International Air Travel Association (IATA).
The announcement took place on Monday, June 5 during the 79th AGM of the association in Istanbul, Türkiye. Mehmet T. Nane, Pegasus Airlines (PC) chairman announced that Emirates (EK) would be the host airline for the global air transport meeting, which will take place June 2-4, 2024.
Emirates president Sir Tim Clark took to the stage and shouted “Yippee” as the city was announced, and praised Nane and his team for successfully organizing this year’s event.
As Nane concluded the official AGM agenda, he handed over the role to RwandAir’s (WB) chief executive Yvonne Makolo who becomes the first female to chair the industry association’s governing board.
“I am honored and pleased to take on this important role. IATA plays a critical role for all airlines—big and small, various business models, and in all corners of the world. Leading a medium-sized airline in Africa gives me a unique perspective on issues that airlines hold in common. At the top of the agenda are decarbonization, improving safety, the transformation to modern airline retailing, and ensuring we have a cost-efficient infrastructure. I am particularly pleased to be taking on this role as IATA launches Focus Africa with the aim of unifying the continent’s stakeholders so that together we can strengthen the contribution of aviation to Africa’s social and economic development,” Makolo said.
Makolo started her aviation career in 2017 when she was appointed as RwandAir’s Deputy CEO in Charge of Corporate Affairs. She was named CEO in April 2018. Under her leadership, RwandAir has become one of Africa’s fastest-growing airlines with a fleet of 13 aircraft. She has led cultural change at the airline with a focus on inclusion and diversity and growing the number of women in under-represented roles.
“I look forward to working with Yvonne as we tackle the important challenges of sustainability, rebuilding the aviation workforce while growing diversity and reinforcing the global standards that are so critical for efficient connectivity. I want to thank Mehmet for his strong support and leadership over the past year as the industry emerged from the COVID-19 [pandemic] and in particular, his encouragement in working for greater gender diversity,” said Willie Walsh, Director General, IATA.
IATA also announced that Pieter Elbers, CEO of IndiGo (6E), will serve as Chair of the board from June 2024, following Makolo’s term.
Featured image: Emirates