Willie Walsh has officially taken on the role of Director General at the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
He succeeds Alexandre de Juniac. Walsh was confirmed as IATA's eighth Director-General by 76th IATA annual general meeting on November 24 last year. He joins IATA after a 40-year career in the airline industry.
Walsh retired from the International Airlines Group (IAG) in September 2020 after serving as its CEO since its inception in 2011. Prior to that, he was CEO of British Airways (2005 to 2011) and CEO of Aer Lingus (2001 to 2005). He began his career in aviation at Aer Lingus in 1979 as a cadet pilot.
"I am passionate about our industry and about the critical work that IATA does on behalf of its members, never more so than during the Covid-19 crisis," said Walsh.
"The IATA team is absolutely focused on restoring the freedom of movement that airlines provide to billions of people around the world. That means your freedom to visit friends and family, to meet critical business partners, to secure and retain vital contracts, and to explore our wonderful planet," he said.
Walsh served on the IATA board of governors for almost 13 years between 2005 to 2018, including serving as Chair (2016 to 2017). He will work from the association's executive office in Geneva.