DUBAI: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has appointed Kamil H. Al-Awadhi, former CEO of Kuwait Airways, as its regional representative responsible for Africa and the Middle East (AME).
Al-Awadhi will succeed Muhammad Albakri as IATA’s regional vice president for AME from March 1, 2021.
Albakri is moving to take up a new role as IATA’s senior vice president for customer, financial and digital services.
Al-Awadhi was CEO of Kuwait Airways from November 2018 to August this year. He spent over three decades with the airline, holding positions in areas such as safety, security, quality management and enterprise resource planning. He will be based in IATA’s regional office in Amman, Jordan.
“Kamil is an industry veteran who brings a tremendous depth of airline expertise and regional experience. These will be critical in leading IATA’s activities in the AME region at this very challenging time,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.
“As a former CEO, he knows what member airlines expect of IATA. And, I have no doubt that Kamil has the skills and determination to exceed those expectations as we aim to reconnect the world amid the coronavirus pandemic.”
Al-Awadhi said: “I look forward to getting started at IATA. Like all regions, AME will need a strong air transport industry to kick-start the economic recovery from COVID-19.”
He added: “The priority to revive aviation is clear and IATA is at the center of this effort. There is no time to waste. We must help governments to re-open borders without quarantine, and we need to ensure that the industry is ready to safely scale-up operations and implement the global standards that will keep passenger and crew safe during the pandemic and beyond.”
Last month, IATA said Saudi Arabia and the wider Middle East will feel the damaging economic impact of the pandemic on the aviation sector for many years to come.
IATA has forecast that global airlines will lose a total of $157 billion this year and next, with those in the Middle East set for 2020 losses of $7.1 billion and $3.3 billion in 2021.