US airline trade group the Air Transport Association of America (ATA) has elected Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson as chairman of the board of directors, and Southwest Airlines chief executive Gary Kelly as vice chairman.

Anderson succeeds United Airlines' non-executive chairman Glenn Tilton in the role of ATA chair. He and Kelly will each serve a two-year term.

The appointments follow ATA's recent announcement that it has named Nicholas Calio as president and CEO, effective 1 January. Calio currently leads global government affairs for Citigroup.

"Richard Anderson, Gary Kelly and incoming ATA president and CEO Nick Calio will complement each other as the association's board representatives with the administration and the new Congress," says current ATA president and CEO James May in a statement.

Adds Anderson: "I look forward to working cooperatively with the administration, Congress and regulatory agencies to advance initiatives that support continued improvements in the financial health of the US aviation industry and maintain our focus on safety.

"Airlines are a vital industry in the United States and provide 11 million jobs annually. Our association's focus is to move tax and regulatory oversight in a direction that fosters growth and makes us an even stronger economic engine for America."

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news