Qantas CEO takes over as IATA chair

Rappler.com
Qantas Airways's Alan Joyce succeeds KLM's Peter Hartman as head of IATA, a powerful aviation industry group that brings together about 270 airlines comprising over 98% of all international scheduled air traffic

MANILA, Philippines – The aviation industry lobby group has a new head: Qantas Airways CEO and managing director Alan Joyce.

The Australian airline chief succeeds KLM President and CEO Peter Hartman who headed the industry group for a year. IATA brings together about 270 airlines comprising over 98% of all international scheduled air traffic.

The passing of the baton was announced at the end of the 68th annual meeting of IATA members and the World Air Transport Summit in Beijing on Tuesday, June 12.

“IATA plays a critical role in the industry… The top priorities, as always, will be safety, security, and sustainability,” Joyce said in a statement.

“Aviation delivers enormous economic benefits—supporting some 57 million jobs and $2.2 trillion in economic activity. We need to ensure that governments understand what is at stake when they are making key decisions on taxes, regulation, and capacity expansion,” Joyce added. He is a 24-year veteran of the airline industry.

Earlier, the airline executives said they expect the industry profits to plummet to just $3 billion in 2012, from a 2011 profit of $7.9 billion.

The growing budget or low-cost airlines, too, feel the same challenges to the bottom-line: high oil prices and the ongoing eurozone crisis.

The business model of the low-cost airlines, however, continue to experience growth rates higher than those experienced by the those who are members of IATA.