Qatar Airways chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, has been elected chairman of the board of governors of global aviation industry body International Air Transport Association.
He will take up the role in June next year.
The rotating one-year term will commence at the end of IATA’s 2018 annual general meeting in Sydney and will continue until the end of its 2019 event.
Al Baker will succeed current IATA chairman Goh Choon Phong, chief executive of Singapore Airlines.
Al Baker said: “I am honoured to have been chosen by my fellow board members to head this important body, at a time when the industry faces numerous challenges on a multitude of levels.
“To represent and lead the IATA board is a tremendous privilege, and I am grateful for the opportunity to represent an industry that plays such a vital role in the global economy.
“For more than two decades I have lived and breathed aviation, and I look forward to working alongside the board to champion passenger rights and improve security standards across the industry, as well as continuing to promote the rights of freedom of flight for all.”
IATA represents some 275 airlines comprising 83 per cent of global air traffic.
Al Baker is one of the most recognisable figures in international aviation.
His vision and commitment enabled the development of Qatar Airways from a small regional carrier into a major global airline in a span of just 20 years.
The national carrier of Qatar is one of the fastest-growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world.