DALLAS – IATA has rescheduled its 78th annual general meeting to Doha, Qatar, after previous plans to conduct the event in Shanghai were thwarted by ongoing COVID-19 travel restrictions in China.
The AGM will be held in the Qatari capital from June 19 to June 21, marking the second time the Gulf state has hosted the event after hosting it in 2014. This year’s meeting will be hosted by Qatar Airways (QR).
The AGM was previously scheduled to take place in Shanghai, with China Eastern Airlines (MU) serving as the host airline. However, the Asian country has maintained its tight ‘zero-Covid’ policy, which limits international travel into the country.
Due to the pandemic, IATA was unable to hold its 2020 AGM in person in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, but the aviation body was able to convene last year’s AGM in Boston in October.
Comments from IATA Director
IATA director general Willie Walsh says, “It is deeply disappointing that we are not able to meet in Shanghai as planned. In the meantime, we are pleased to be returning to the dynamic aviation hub of Doha and the warm hospitality for which Qatar Airways, our host airline, has become famous.”
Walsh added, “This year’s AGM will be an important opportunity for aviation’s leaders to reflect on the shifting political, economic, and technological realities facing air travel as the industry’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic gathers pace.”
The organizational meeting of IATA was held in Havana, Cuba in April of 1945, and the association formally came into being on the 19th of that month. In October of that same year, the first AGM of IATA was held in Montreal, Canada.
At that time, there were 57 members from 31 countries. Today, IATA represents some 290 members from all over the world.
Featured image: IATA