Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker, attended the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Sydney, Australia, in his official capacity as Chairman of the IATA Board of Governors.

The Board of Governors is the highest governance body in IATA; it provides strategic guidance for the airline industry as a whole and is entrusted with overseeing the activities of IATA.

In his capacity as Chairman, Al Baker jointly hosted an IATA Press Conference for the international media this Tuesday, 5 June, a date most relevant as it marks the first anniversary of the illegal blockade against the State of Qatar by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

Al Baker said he was honoured to be leading the IATA Board of Governors as Chairman for the year ahead.

To be nominated to such a prestigious leadership position in the industry is a great honour, made all the more pertinent in a year in which Qatar Airways itself was faced with an illegal blockade, closing off international air space in our own region.’

Over the course of the IATA AGM in Sydney, Al Baker also attended a signing ceremony alongside IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac, where they finalised a Training Partnership Agreement, accrediting Qatar Airways as an IATA Regional Training Centre.

The training centre will support the development of aviation professionals in the region with locally provided training programmes in the fields of international aviation, cargo, and travel and tourism. The partnership will also introduce the IATA-UNIGE Leadership and Management Training Programme in collaboration with the University of Geneva. IATA’s training partnership with Qatar Airways falls within a shared vision of reaching out to the next generation of leaders in the aviation industry.

Al Baker was nominated Chairman of the Board at the IATA AGM in Cancún in 2017 and will hold the position until the next IATA AGM in June 2019. Election to this prestigious position is a clear recognition of the leadership role that Al Baker has played in a dynamic and highly-competitive industry and comes after serving on the IATA board itself since 2012. Al Baker succeeds the outgoing IATA Board of Governors Chairman Goh Choon Phong, Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Airlines.

For more information about Qatar Airways, visit their website through this link.