TAP Portugal Pinto heads IATA

TAP Portugal CEO, Fernando Pinto, has begun his one-year term as the Chairman of the Association’s Board of Governors of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Pinto immediately vowed that the environment, security and safety would top IATA’s agenda over the next 12 months.

Pinto brings a unique perspective to the position as he successfully led airlines in two regions - Latin America (Varig) and Europe (TAP).  He started his term at the close of the 63rd Annual General Meeting in Vancouver, Canada today and succeeds Chew Choon Seng, CEO of Singapore Airlines.

“The agenda for the year ahead has some extraordinary challenges for which industry-wide leadership is critical,” Pinto said. “Our 243 members face some crucial deadlines in the next year that can’t be missed in order to make the industry safer and more efficient.  We need to keep the momentum moving in the right direction and work aggressively with our IATA airlines to support industry objectives in key areas from environment to safety and e-ticketing.”

“Even though airlines and their markets vary based on regions, I have seen first hand on two continents the benefits of progressive liberalisation and greater efficiency.  We need to remind our partners and industry stakeholders of the need to keep pace with industry change. I look forward to working closely with the IATA team—shouting politely to achieve change,” said Pinto.

Giovanni Bisignani, IATA Director General and CEO said, “First, we must thank Choon Seng for a job well done. His leadership over the past year—particularly on environment issues—has helped to define a critical leadership role for IATA on this important issue. I am confident that Fernando will drive us still further to achieve even greater results. The agenda is full, but I am confident that we will continue to deliver the important results that the industry needs.”

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The IATA Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit concluded in Vancouver today. The 650 delegates gathered for the event discussed the industry’s most important issues, with executive briefing sessions on security and environment. The briefings featured industry leaders including Chew Choon Seng (CEO, Singapore Airlines), Leo Van Wijk (President and CEO, KLM), Steve Ridgway, (CEO, Virgin Atlantic), Maurice Flanagan (Vice- Chairman and Group President of Emirates), Samer Majali (CEO, Royal Jordanian), Marion Blakey (Administrator, US FAA), and Michael P. Jackson (Deputy Secretary US Department of Homeland Security).  Full content of the briefings is available on www.iata.org/events/agm/2007/.

Among the last orders of business at the 2007 AGM was approval of the next World Air Transport Summit and IATA Annual General Meeting to be held in Istanbul, Turkey in June 2008. “We appreciate the kind offer of Temil Kotil, CEO of Turkish Airlines to meet in Istanbul next year—a vibrant centre of economic and culture with a rapidly expanding air transport sector,” said Bisignani.
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