June 11, 2012
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is revising its corporate governance to reflect demands for greater transparency and a shift in membership representation brought forward at the 2011 annual general meeting in Singapore.
IATA reallocated the one seat on the board of governors from North America to a representative of the Asia-Pacific region. Middle East/Africa will also get a newly created seat. The board will in the future consist of ten members. “I hope members have taken note of efforts to make this process more transparent,” IATA Board of Governors Chairman Peter Hartman said at the annual general meeting in Beijing.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al Baker was heading critics at the 2011 meeting. He stressed at the time that strongly emerging air transport markets such as the Middle East needed better representation. Al Baker seconded Hartman’s reform proposals on Monday.
The new IATA board will include Richard Anderson (Delta, Chairman) and the following members: Akbar al Baker (Qatar Airways), Willie Walsh (International Airlines Group), Enrique Cueto (LAN), Jean-Cyril Spinetta (Air France-KLM), Vitaly Saviliev (Aeroflot), Marcin Pirog (LOT Polish Airlines), Si Xian Min (China Southern), Hosan Kamal (Egyptair) and Alan Joyce (Qantas). The important strategy and policy committee will be made up of Anderson, Walsh and Cueto.
Governance changes also include a limit to board membership terms. Members can only serve a maximum of three terms. Exceptions would have to be approved by the annual general meeting.
Hartman pointed out that the measures are “by no means” the end of the reforms and stated that more changes can be made if the members are in favor of them.
Separately, IATA decided to consolidate its global operations. It will reduce the number of local offices from 59 to 45. The remaining offices will in turn take on a broader role and drive global campaigns on a local level, IATA CEO Tony Tyler told this year’s annual general meeting in Beijing.
The IATA settlement system will in the future be consolidated into five hubs – Miami, Amman, Beijing, Madrid and Singapore. The two initiatives are targeted at reducing IATA’s organizational costs.
Tyler says he will keep the target driven culture at IATA, but will put a stronger focus on longer term goals and strategies.