Airline leaders gather in Doha

DOHA, 20 June 2022: Global aviation leaders are gathering in Doha, Qatar, for the 78th IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit (WATS), this week, with Qatar Airways as the host airline.

The event runs until 21 June and brings together senior leaders from among IATA’s 290 member airlines, leading government officials, strategic partners, equipment suppliers and media.

“The last time we met in Doha, in 2014, we were celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first airline flight. This year’s AGM is another momentous occasion: Airlines are simultaneously recovering from the Covid-19 crisis, setting the path to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, working to improve gender diversity, and adapting to a geopolitical environment that is undergoing its greatest shock in over three decades,” said IATA’s director general Willie Walsh.

World Air Transport Summit

The WATS opens immediately following the AGM. A highlight will be the third edition of the Diversity and Inclusion Awards sponsored by Qatar Airways. These awards recognize organizations and individuals making a difference in helping drive the industry’s 25by2025 initiative to make the aviation industry more gender-balanced.

The WATS will also feature the popular CEO Insights Panel moderated by CNN’s Richard Quest and Adrian Neuhauser, CEO, Avianca, Pieter Elbers, CEO, KLM, Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive, Qatar Airways and Jayne Hrdlicka, CEO, Virgin Australia.

In addition to the updated industry economic outlook, key topics to be addressed include the War in Ukraine and its implications for the globalized world; the challenges to achieving sustainability, including net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and reducing the use of single-use plastics, allocating scarce airport capacity, and ensuring safe carriage of lithium batteries.

This is the fourth time that the AGM is hosted in the Middle East. In normal times, aviation in the region supports some 3.4 million jobs and USD213 billion in economic activity.

“Since we were last in Doha, the region has only increased its importance to global connectivity. According to the most recent figures, the region’s airlines account for 6.5% of global international passenger traffic and 13.4% of freight movements. Much of this growth has occurred in the Gulf region, as our host airline typifies,” said Walsh.