The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced Thursday (24 September) that its 76th annual general meeting (AGM) will take place 24 November 2020 as a virtual event, hosted by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. All member airlines, invited industry partners/stakeholders and media will be able to participate virtually. The move from an in-person event to an online meeting was made because of travel restrictions and quarantine requirements various countries have imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. IATA also announced that the World Air Transport Summit (WATS) that accompanies the AGM has been cancelled for 2020.
“The decision to cancel the in-person AGM has not been taken lightly and in no way is a reflection on the hospitality of the Netherlands, nor our host carrier, KLM,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO. “When we postponed this year’s AGM from June until November, it was with the expectation that government restrictions on travel would have been sufficiently eased to enable a physical meeting. That now seems unlikely and alternative plans for a virtual event are being activated.
“This will be one of our most important AGMs,” de Juniac said. “The industry is in the deepest crisis in its history. And it is more important than ever for the industry to have this meeting serve as a rallying call of resilience as we find solutions to safely open borders and re-establish global connectivity, ensure vital cargo lanes; and build a sustainable future from the destruction of the virus.