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Article from BTNews 28 SEPTEMBER 2020

IATA goes virtual

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that the Association’s 76th Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place 24 November 2020 as a virtual event, hosted by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines from Amsterdam.

All member airlines, invited industry partners/stakeholders and media will be able to participate virtually.

IATA also announced that the World Air Transport Summit (WATS) that accompanies the AGM has been cancelled for 2020.

“The decision to cancel the in-person AGM has not been taken lightly and in no way is a reflection on the hospitality of the Netherlands, nor our host carrier, KLM. When we postponed this year’s AGM from June until November, it was with the expectation that government restrictions on travel would have been sufficiently eased to enable a physical meeting. That now seems unlikely and alternative plans for a virtual event are being activated,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

“This will be one of our most important AGMs. The industry is in the deepest crisis in its history. And it is more important than ever for the industry to have this meeting serve as a rallying call of resilience as we find solutions to safely open borders and re-establish global connectivity, ensure vital cargo lanes; and build a sustainable future from the destruction of the virus,” said de Juniac.

‘IATA’ is the major event in the airline calendar, and whilst not supported by every carrier (easyJet and Ryanair for instance) it is the annual meeting place for the most senior airline officials and very much the opportunity for media and lobbyists to informally meet the industry.  “A video conference is not the same as the getting together face-to-face,” said BTN’s Malcolm Ginsberg. “But these are difficult times and it will have to do.  Let us hope the politicians tune in!”


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