Carsten Spohr, CEO Lufthansa Group (photo: Lufthansa Group)

Lufthansa CEO becomes IATA board chairman

Carsten Spohr, chief executive of Lufthansa Group, has begun his one-year term as chairman of the board of governors of the International Air Transport Association.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced that Carsten Spohr, CEO of Lufthansa Group, has begun the work of IATA Board of Governors chairman for a one-year term. The appointment comes after the conclusion of the 75th IATA Annual General Meeting in Seoul, Korea.

Spohr is the 78th chair of the IATA board of governors and has served on the board since May 2014. He succeeds Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group CEO, who will continue to serve on the board.

“I’m honoured and excited to take on this role at this important time for our industry. We face a number of challenges, including growing protectionism, high taxes and trade wars. Probably the greatest challenge of all is sustainability. The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) is a major achievement that will stabilise our carbon emissions from 2020,” said Spohr.

Business engineering
Spohr has been chairman of the executive board of Deutsche Lufthansa since May 2014. He manages Lufthansa Group, with around 135,000 employees worldwide.

He began his aviation career after receiving a degree in business engineering at the University of Karlsruhe and holds an A320 family captain’s license.

“I look forward to working with Carsten as chair of the IATA Board of Governors. As we continually seek to broaden the IATA membership, his experience within Lufthansa Group will be particularly valuable,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.

“I also want to thank Akbar Al Baker for his strong leadership and support as chairman over the last year. Under his leadership, IATA has made progress on a number of IATA initiatives including New Distribution Capability, One ID and digital transformation. Akbar also encouraged our gender diversity initiatives, leading to the creation of the association’s Diversity and Inclusion Awards to recognise those companies and individuals who are leading in this effort.”

IATA also announced that JetBlue Airways president and chief executive Robin Hayes would serve as chairman of the Board of Governors from June 2020, following Spohr’s term.

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