Sydney will play host to some 1,000 aviation executives and international media after being named as the venue for the 2018 International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual general meeting.
The annual gathering of the airlines’ industry body will be held on June 3-5 2018, IATA announced at the 2016 AGM in Cancun on Tuesday (Mexico time).
Qantas, a founding member of IATA and Australia’s largest carrier, will be the host airline of the 74th AGM and chief executive Alan Joyce noted the 2018 event would be the first time it has returned to the Asia Pacific since Beijing hosted it in 2012.
“It’ll be good to bring the industry back to what is the world’s fastest-growing region for air travel, and give an Australian perspective on the issues and opportunities facing our industry,” Joyce said in a statement.
“Sydney has been Qantas’s home since the 1930s and it’s Australia’s global aviation gateway today, at a time when we’re seeing a major tourism boom.
“The AGM will give us an opportunity to showcase the warm, welcoming hospitality that Australia is known for and discuss some of the important priorities for an industry that is changing rapidly with new technologies, new markets and new generations of travellers.”
IATA chief executive and director general Alexandre de Juniac said Qantas, and Australia more generally, would be an excellent host.
“Australia’s pioneering tradition on aviation matters carries on to this day with competitive airlines, effective air traffic management and a commitment to smarter regulation,” de Juniac said.
“As a result, aviation keeps Australia connected to the world. And those links contribute greatly to the country’s prosperity.”
— IATA (@IATA) June 6, 2017
Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines chief executive Goh Choon Phong has commenced his one-year term as IATA chairman, following the conclusion of the 2017 annual general meeting. Goh succeeds Willie Walsh, the chief executive of Aer Lingus, British Airways and Iberia parent company International Airlines Group, and is the third Singapore Airlines chief executive to hold the post.
Goh said there was much work for IATA to focus on on a range of issues, including on managing security threats in consultation with national governments.
“We have a busy year ahead,” Goh said in a statement.
“While the industry’s global profitability may be strengthening, there is more work to be done as it is not evenly spread.
“Security is at the top of the agenda. We must improve our partnership with governments to meet the many emerging threats.
“Additionally, I will be paying special attention to progressing preparations for the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), driving the modernisation of cargo processes, and increasing transaction volumes with the New Distribution Capability.”
Further, it was announced Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker would be the next IATA chairman, following Goh’s one-year term.