Air transport industry’s most senior leaders as well as leading government officials, strategic partners and equipment suppliers are gathering in Doha from today (June 19) for the 78th The International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit (WATS).
IATA has 290 member airlines and Qatar Airways as the host airline for the event, which runs till June 21.
“The last time we met in Doha, in 2014, we were celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first airline flight. 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,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker said: “It is an absolute privilege to be hosting our industry partners in Qatar Airways’ home city, particularly during our milestone 25th year of operations. 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.”
World Air Transport Summit
The WATS opens immediately following the IATA AGM. A highlight will be the third edition of the Diversity and Inclusion Awards sponsored by Qatar Airways. These awards recognise organisations 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 globalised 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 $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.
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