Geneva - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that the IATA World Cargo Symposium (WCS) will focus on sustainability, safety and digitalization. WCS is taking place in Istanbul, Türkiye from 25 to 27 April 2023.

“Air cargo is operating at nearly pre-pandemic levels. But the way it operates has changed dramatically. This is due to a convergence of economic and geo-political forces, continuing priorities on improving sustainability, safety, and reliability, as well as emerging opportunities with new markets, technologies, and digitalization. This year’s WCS will explore how to keep air cargo profitable while addressing these priorities, challenges, and opportunities,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

Speakers & Sessions

Willie Walsh, and Brendan Sullivan, IATA’s Global Head of Cargo will be speaking at the event along with:

  • Ahmet Bolat, Chairman of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee, Turkish Airlines
  • Mehmet Tevfik Nane, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Pegasus Airlines and Chair of the IATA Board of Governors
  • Kendra Kincade, President and CEO, Elevate Aviation
  • Marco Bloemen, Managing Director Accenture and Head of Seabury Cargo
  • Steve Smith, President & CEO, Airlink
  • Turhan Ozen, Chief Cargo Officer at Turkish Airlines

Session tracks will cover several key aspects of safety, sustainability, and digitalization:

  • Lithium batteries
  • ULD and operations
  • ESG reporting in air cargo
  • Reducing plastic waste in the air cargo industry
  • Attracting and retaining talent
  • E-commerce
  • Air cargo market dynamics
  • Digital distribution and booking
  • Digital Cargo and ONE Record

Air Cargo’s Humanitarian Efforts

The WCS program will also include a special session on the vital role of air cargo in humanitarian efforts. This session will have a particular focus on recent efforts to deliver aid to the people of Türkiye and Syria affected by the devastating earthquakes in the region.


“Air cargo plays a critical role in delivering aid to those in need. The industry’s recent mobilization to provide support to the people of Türkiye and Syria affected by the tragedy is the latest example. With this year’s WCS being hosted in Türkiye, it’s the perfect opportunity to reflect on the role that air transport plays so that airlines are even better prepared for the next humanitarian crisis,” said Brendan Sullivan, IATA’s Global Head of Cargo.


The WCS program will be complemented by a series of workshops, including:

IATA Air Cargo Innovation Awards 2023

The winner of the fourth edition of the IATA Air Cargo Innovation Awards which recognizes new solutions, concepts and ideas that contribute to air logistics’ digitalization, sustainability, safety and security will also be decided at WCS. 

Three finalists will be invited to present their projects during the conference. Delegates will then vote for their preferred innovation and the winners will be announced at the closing plenary of WCS.

WCS is open to accredited members of the press.

> View the WCS program


For more information, please contact:

Corporate Communications
Tel: +41 22 770 2967