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IATA Director General Willie Walsh at the International Air Transport Association’s 77th Annual General Meeting (Photo: IATA)

The 78th IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) Begins in Doha

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is an event, organized by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), that provides an opportunity for IATA members, as well as major players in the international civil aviation industry, to meet, network, and discuss emerging issues in civil aviation.

Two years ago the event was held entirely online (due to the pandemic) and lasted only one day, last year it was held in Boston, Mass., while this year the event will last two days, from June 19, until June 21, and is held in the Qatari capital, Doha. The national flag carrier Qatar Airways will be the host airline of the Meeting, and the top sponsors are Airbus, Boeing, General Electric and Shell Aviation.

This is not the first time the AGM has been held in Qatar, because back in 2014, it was hosted in Doha as well. The year 2014 was a special year because it was the 100th anniversary of the first flight of an airline, which occurred on Jan. 1, 1914, when a “flying boat” took off from St. Petersburg, Florida, and landed in Tampa, Florida, about 17 miles (27 kilometers) away.

The AGM is an event of great historical significance as well. It is one of the earliest civil aviation events, started in Montreal, Canada in 1945, and at that time, there were only 57 members from 31 countries. Today, IATA represents about 290 members from around the world.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Officer, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, said, that “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.”

Monday kicks off the World Air Transport Summit (WATS), which will include the third annual Diversity and Inclusion Awards, sponsored by Qatar Airways. These awards recognize organizations and individuals who strive to make the aviation industry more gender-balanced. Immediately following will be the “CEO Insights Panel,” moderated by CNN’s Richard Quest, featuring Adrian Neuhauser, CEO of Avianca; Pieter Elbers, CEO of KLM; Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive of Qatar Airways; and Jayne Hrdlicka, CEO of Virgin Australia.

On the last day of the event on June 21, there will be a sustainability focus, sponsored by the Air Lease Corporation, on reducing Single-Use Plastics (SUP) and sustainable aviation fuels. Finally, there will be a focus on regulatory and financial challenges, regarding global guidelines for airport slots and advances in lithium battery safety, sponsored by Cirium. Among the main topics to be addressed will be the war in Ukraine and its implications for the globalized world.

Author

  • Vincenzo graduated in 2019 in Mechanical Engineering with an aeronautical curriculum, focusing his thesis on Human Factors in aircraft maintenance. Currently, he is pursuing his master's degree in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Palermo, Italy. He combines his journalistic activities with his work as a Safety and Reliability Engineer at DMD Solutions.

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