IATA today announced the appointment of Vinod Chidambaram as Regional Vice President for Africa, heading up the Associations strengthened presence in the region. This is a significant strengthening of our African resources. As African aviation continues to develop, critical issues from safety to liberalisation require a strong industry voice. Our new Africa team has the knowledge and experience to make a very positive contribution, said Giovanni Bisignani, Director General and CEO of IATA.
Chidambaram, former Managing Director of Air Mauritius, will join IATA on 28 September. He will head a newly created Regional Headquarters for Africa, located in Johannesburg, which will consolidate leadership of IATAs key activities including Safety, Operations & Infrastructure, Member & Government Relations and Industry Distribution & Financial Services. I look forward to bringing IATAs involvement in Africa to a higher level with greater cost effectiveness, said Chidambaram.
Other members of the Africa leadership team are Darren Sack, Regional Director for Industry Distribution & Financial Services (Johannesburg) and Peter Chikumba, Director Member & Government Relations (Nairobi). Jehad Faqir, Director Safety, Operations & Infrastructure for the Middle East will assume responsibility for Africa on an acting basis.
IATA will continue to operate and expand its network of national offices in Africa. These offices provide a local presence for IATA to understand and respond to member needs in key markets across Africa.
The need for change in aviation has never been more urgent and IATAs mission to lead, represent and serve the airline industry has never been more relevant. Key projects like the global introduction of e-ticketing by 2007 will require significant efforts in Africa. The creation of a regional office for Africa positions us to better serve our African members at this critical juncture, said Bisignani.