Royal Jordanian’s Majali is new IATA Chairman

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced that Royal Jordanian Airlines CEO, Samer Majali, commenced his one-year term as the Chairman of the IATA Board of Governors.  Majali succeeds Fernando Pinto, CEO of TAP Portugal who served as Chairman from June 2007.Majali is a 29-year veteran of the air transport industry who has served as CEO of Royal Jordanian since 2001. He successfully led the airline through one of its most challenging periods as it prepared for a successful privatisation. Majali takes on the Chairman duties in tough times for the airline industry with fuel prices skyrocketing to unprecedented levels.

“With fuel prices at record highs, the industry faces a crisis and the agenda for the year ahead has extraordinary challenges. Change must be even more aggressive. Finding even more efficiency gains - not just for airlines but throughout the industry value chain - is crucial for our survival. We celebrated a great achievement - 100% e-ticketing. But there is no time to lose in pushing forward with the next phase of Simplifying the Business - Fast Travel,” said Majali.

Giovanni Bisignani, IATA Director General and CEO, said, “First, we must thank Fernando Pinto for a job well done. His leadership over the past year helped us reach our goal to eliminate paper tickets. I am confident that Samer will provide a unique perspective and great leadership to help us deal with our growing challenges in the world of US$130 oil.”

IATA also announced the Board of Governors agreed to appoint Tony Tyler, Chief Executive of Cathay Pacific, to serve as Chairman following Majali, commencing in June 2009. Tyler will bring a unique perspective from Asia-Pacific, which will soon become the largest aviation market in the world.