The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced the winners of the third edition of the IATA Diversity & Inclusion Awards. Winners were:
- Inspirational Role Model: Güliz Öztürk – CEO, Pegasus Airlines
- High Flyer Award: Kanchana Gamage – Founder and Director, The Aviatrix Project
- Diversity & Inclusion Team: airBaltic
“The IATA Diversity & Inclusion Awards recognise individuals and teams that are helping aviation to improve gender balance. Determination to make this happen is a common denominator for this year’s winners. They are breaking barriers and helping to make aviation an equally attractive career choice for men and for women,” said Karen Walker, editor-in-chief, Air Transport World and chair of the judging panel. The other members of the judging panel are the 2021 Diversity and Inclusion Award recipients: Harpreet A. de Singh, Executive Director, Air India; Jun Taneie, Director of Diversity & Inclusion Promotion, All Nippon Airways (ANA), and Lalitya Dhavala, former Aviation Engineering Consultant, McLarens Aviation.
“I congratulate the winners of the 2022 awards. They demonstrate the change that is happening in aviation. A few years ago, just 3 percent of IATA airline CEOs were women. Today, that is nearing 9 percent. Even more importantly, there are many more women in the senior ranks as we are seeing with the growing commitment to the 25by2025 initiative. And as the industry scrambles with skill shortages, it cannot afford to ignore half the population. Change will not happen overnight, but with the efforts of those being awarded today and many others across the industry, I am confident that the face of aviation’s senior management will look very different in the next years,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general.
Qatar Airways is the sponsor of the Diversity & Inclusion Awards. Each winner receives a prize of $25,000, payable to the winner in each of the categories or to their nominated charities. Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker, said: “I want to personally congratulate this year’s winners on their success and am proud to present them with awards that recognise their outstanding achievements. It is wonderful to see increasing numbers of female role models emerging in our industry. Not only does this impact positively at the senior level now, but it also inspires our aviation leaders of the future.”
Inspirational Role Model: Güliz Öztürk – CEO, Pegasus Airlines: As the first female CEO in the field of air transportation in the history of Turkish civil aviation, Öztürk serves as a strong inspiration for women in Türkiye and around the aviation world. She joined Pegasus in 2005. As Chief Commercial Officer she pioneered numerous diversity and inclusion initiatives. Öztürk is also the co-chair of the airline’s Women in Sales Network, a company-wide initiative to improve gender balance in commercial departments. Öztürk is heavily involved in the Sales Network’s mentoring program that aims to support female professionals within the airline. In 2019, she received the “Sales Leader of the Year” award and in 2021 she was the winner of the LiSA Leader of the Year award. Öztürk’s efforts shaped Pegasus Airlines as a commercial entity and in doing so, she put a lot of focus on diversity & inclusion that continues to this day.
High Flyer Award: Kanchana Gamage – Founder and Director, The Aviatrix Project: As a diversity champion from an ethnic minority background, UK-based Gamage continues to be a role model for the next generation of women. Having worked on bridging the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) gap, particularly in relation to the under representation of women in the aviation industry, Gamage launched The Aviatrix Project in 2015. The aim of the project is to raise awareness, particularly among women and girls but also people from diverse backgrounds, about aviation as a potential career choice. Having started her career in education, Gamage believes that role models are key to changing the landscape. The Aviatrix Project offers sustainable, long-term outreach to ensure that there is a pipeline of diverse talent into the industry. As part of the project, Gamage works closely with primary and secondary schools in the United Kingdom as well as higher education institutions to encourage girls to pursue STEM options and raise enthusiasm for aviation careers. The project also offers flights, bursaries, and a mentoring program for aspiring pilots as well as support for parents. Gamage believes that collaboration is the key to successful diversity and inclusion initiatives and that this is the time to move from representation to transformational change.
Diversity & Inclusion Team: airBaltic: AirBaltic’s core values “We deliver. We care. We grow” reflect the airline’s approach to operating in a globalised industry, such as aviation. Diversity and inclusion have become a key differentiator for the carrier, which has introduced a strict zero discrimination policy and where 45 percent of the airline’s top management team comprises women, a figure that is significantly higher than the industry’s average. AirBaltic is recognised for promoting gender equality across the company. The airline has a 50 percent gender split among all managers and 64 percent of women managers have been promoted internally to their current positions. In addition, airBaltic has worked on reducing the gender pay gap to 6 percent, which is well below the European average. Last year, airBaltic identified high potential employees for the internal ALFA leadership program where 47 percent of the nominees are female. In addition, airBaltic continues its efforts to increase the number of women working in fields traditionally associated with male roles, such as pilots, technicians, or maintenance personnel, and actively encourages young women to embark on these career paths. Finally, as part of its diversity and inclusion effort, last year the proportion of male cabin crew at airBaltic increased from 13 percent to 20 percent.
Mehmet Tevfik Nane named chair of IATA board: IATA also announced that Pegasus Airlines vice chairman of the board (Managing Director) Mehmet Tevfik Nane has assumed his duties as chair of the IATA Board of Governors (BoG) for a one-year term, effective from the conclusion of the 78th IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Doha, Qatar. Nane is the 80th chair of the IATA BoG. He has served on the BoG since 2019. He succeeds JetBlue Airways CEO Robin Hayes, who will continue to serve on the BoG. “I’m honoured to take on this position at a time when the industry is emerging from our worst downturn. In addition to maintaining momentum toward re-opening the globe to travel and commerce, we have a very full agenda over the next 12 months. This includes achieving agreement at the ICAO Assembly on a Long Term Aspirational Goal for governments on aviation’s decarbonisation, refining the pathway to Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050, and broadening participation in the 25by2025 gender diversity initiative,” said Nane. Nane was appointed CEO of Pegasus Airlines in 2016, a position he held until earlier this year, when he assumed his current position with the airline. Prior to joining Pegasus, he served as CEO of CarrefourSA between 2013-2016, as CEO of Teknosa between 2005-2013, and as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Teknosa between 2000-2005. Nane, who began his business career in 1988, has extensive experience in business, including consumer retailing and banking.
ICAO Assembly must adopt long-term goal to decarbonise aviation: IATA has called for governments to adopt a long-term aspirational goal to decarbonise aviation. The call came at the 78th IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit (WATS) where airlines are mapping out the pathway to the industry’s commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 in line with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C goal. “The decarbonisation of the global economy will require investment across countries and across decades, particularly in the transition away from fossil fuels. Stability of policy matters. At the IATA AGM in October 2021, IATA member airlines took the monumental decision to commit to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. As we move from commitment to action, it is critical that the industry is supported by governments with policies that are focused on the same decarbonisation goal,” said IATA’s Walsh. “Achieving net zero emissions will be a huge challenge. The projected scale of the industry in 2050 will require the mitigation of 1.8 gigatons of carbon. Achieving that will require investments across the value chain running into the trillions of dollars. Investment at that magnitude must be supported by globally consistent government policies that help deliver the decarbonisation ambition, take into account differing levels of development, and do not distort competition,” said Walsh. “I am optimistic that governments will support the industry’s ambition with an agreement on a long-term aspirational goal at the upcoming ICAO Assembly. People want to see aviation decarbonise. They expect the industry and governments to be working together. The industry’s determination to achieve net zero by 2050 is firm. How would governments explain the failure to reach an agreement to their citizens?” said Walsh.
IATA calls for SAF incentives: IATA called for governments to urgently put in place large-scale incentives to rapidly expand the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) as aviation pursues its commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. To fulfil aviation’s net zero commitment, current estimates are for SAF to account for 65 percent of aviation’s carbon mitigation in 2050. That would require an annual production capacity of 449 billion litres. Investments are in place to expand SAF annual production from the current 125 million litres to 5 billion by 2025. With effective government incentives, production could reach 30 billion litres by 2030, which would be a tipping point for SAF production and utilisation. “Governments don’t need to invent a playbook. Incentives to transition electricity production to renewable sources like solar or wind worked. As a result, clean energy solutions are now cheap and widely available. With similar incentives for SAF, we could see 30 billion liters available by 2030. Though still far from where we need to be, it would be a clear tipping point towards our net zero ambition of ample SAF quantities at affordable prices,” said IATA’s Walsh. In 2021, irrespective of price (SAF is between two and four times the price of conventional jet fuel), airlines have purchased every drop of the 125 million liters of SAF that was available. And already more than 38 countries have SAF-specific policies that clear the way for the market to develop. Taking their cue from these policy measures, airlines have entered into $17 billion of forward-purchasing agreements for SAF. Further investment in production needs support from the right policies. This would boost supply and drive down costs, IATA said. The market for SAF needs stimulation on the production side. The United States is setting an example for others to follow. Its SAF production is expected to reach 11 billion litres in 2030 on the back of heavy government incentives. Europe, on the other hand, is the example not to follow. Under its Fit for 55 initiative, the EU is planning to mandate that airlines uplift 5 percent SAF at every European airport by 2030. Decentralising production will delay the development of economies of scale. And forcing the land transport of SAF will reduce the environmental benefit of using SAF. View the IATA Environment and Sustainability presentation.
IATA cautions on new 5G rules: IATA urged governments to work closely with the aviation industry to ensure that aviation and incumbent aviation safety systems can safely co-exist with new 5G services(1). While IATA recognises the economic importance of making spectrum available to support next generation commercial wireless telecommunications, maintaining current levels of safety of passengers, flight crews, and aircraft must continue to be one of governments’ highest priorities. The call came as the industry was meeting in Doha, Qatar at the 78th IATA Annual General Meeting. “We must not repeat the recent experience in the United States, where the rollout of C-band spectrum 5G services created enormous disruption to aviation, owing to the potential risk of interference with radio altimeters that are critical to aircraft landing and safety systems. In fact, many countries have successfully managed to facilitate the requirements of 5G service providers, while including necessary mitigations to preserve aviation safety and uninterrupted services. These include, for example, Brazil, Canada, France and Thailand,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General. Before deciding on any spectrum allocations or conducting spectrum auctions, IATA called for governments to ensure close coordination and mutual understandings between national spectrum and aviation safety regulators so that each frequency allocation/assignment is comprehensively studied and is proven not to adversely impact aviation safety and efficiency. Robust testing in coordination with aviation subject matter experts is critically important in providing necessary information. IATA noted that airlines operating to/from and within the US continue to contend with the effects of the rollout of 5G, including a pending airworthiness directive from the Federal Aviation Administration requiring them to retrofit/upgrade radio altimeters at their own expense to enable the respective aircraft to continue to utilize CAT II and CAT III low-visibility approaches at many US airports where 5G C-Band service is currently or will be deployed in future. The timely availability of upgraded altimeters is a concern, as are the cost of these investments and the lack of certainty regarding the future spectrum environment. Furthermore, 19 additional telecommunications companies are scheduled to deploy 5G networks by December 2023.
For Editorial Inquiries Contact:
Editor Matt Driskill at firstname.lastname@example.org
For Advertising Inquiries Contact:
Head of Sales Kay Rolland at email@example.com