IATA’s board of governors is to recommend an extension to Alexandre de Juniac’s term as chief executive and director general of the airline association.
The former Air France-KLM group chief executive succeeded Tony Tyler at the helm of IATA in 2016. His current term runs until August 2020.
IATA’s board of governors “will recommend an extension of the term of office of Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO, to the association’s Annual General Meeting which will take place in Amsterdam 22-23 June 2020”, the association says.
The announcement was disclosed in a wider release about changes to its strategic leadership team and corporate structure, which it says are designed to focus on its core competencies of standard-setting and adoption, advocacy, and services and products.
As part of those changes, its current senior vice-president for Financial and Distribution services, Aleks Popovich, is to lead a newly formed Customer and Business services division. This unit will manage operations of IATA’s industry settlement systems, central sales and marketing, and its customer service.
IATA’s senior vice-president for aviation solutions, Mark Hubble, is retiring at year-end. The Marketing and Commercial services division he led is being dissolved and its functions largely incorporated into the Customer and Business services unit.
IATA has also created a revamped Financial, Distribution and Data services unit to lead its work on digital transformation and business intelligence. It is also adding some 50 positions to its advocacy capabilities, many of which will be within its Member and External Relations division.
While de Juniac’s tenure at IATA has come during a period of sustained profitability for the industry, much of this has been driven by a leading group of 30 carriers.
“There are many airlines struggling to keep revenues ahead of costs,” de Juniac said in a keynote address at IATA’s global media day in Geneva on 11 December. “That is why we are so adamant to pursue policies focused on efficiency with governments.
“Governments have huge agendas, but the goal that brings diverse interests together is promoting social and economic prosperity. Aviation can help. And we can do that with greatest effect when governments take the right policy decisions on these key areas.”
The industry’s profit run though has been challenged over the past 18 months by the economic fallout from growing trade wars.
“IATA has and will continue to take a strong stance that we are better off with borders that are open to people and to trade,” de Juniac says. “Trade wars produce no winners and while respecting the right of countries to protect their borders, we believe that greater connectivity makes our world a better place.”
De Juniac’s term has also seen airlines prepare for the launch of the CORSIA market-based carbon offset scheme – the implementation of which was further endorsed at the ICAO general assembly this autumn – amid heightened pressure within Europe for aviation to tackle its environmental impact.
“We must get governments to focus on driving the technology and policy solutions that will make flying sustainable. In the immediate term, that means focusing on sustainable aviation fuels which have the the potential to cut our carbon footprint by up to 80%.”
But he adds: “We need to support these efforts with effective communication, so that people and governments are fully aware of what aviation is doing.”