(Tokyo) Robert Milton, Chairman of Air Canada, assumed duties as Chairman of the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) Board of Governors for 2005-2006.

Milton succeeds Jean-Cyril Spinetta, Chairman and CEO of Air France, who ended his term as Chairman with the closing of the 61st Annual General Meeting (AGM) of IATA in Tokyo today.

"I thank Jean-Cryil for his leadership in a very challenging year. During his term we achieved significant progress on cost efficiency issues and successfully launched the Simplifying the Business initiative. However, we still have a long way to go and I look forward to working with my colleagues towards our goal of bringing common sense and customer value back to the forefront of the business of flying," said Milton.

"We have an industry of great people. Jean-Cyril Spinetta and Robert Milton are among the greatest. I thank Jean-Cyril for his support of the many changes that IATA has led over the past year. Together we started the Simplifying the Business revolution. I look forward to working with Robert to drive further change in the industry. Safety, cost efficiency, commercial freedom and passenger convenience are at the core of a common-sense agenda to bring the industry back to health," said Giovanni Bisignani, Director General and CEO of IATA.

The Annual General meeting was attended by over 600 delegates representing airlines from around the world. This was the first AGM and World Air Transport Summit to be held in Tokyo since 1959. The IATA AGM will next meet 4-6 June 2006 in Paris, France.

Notes for Editors:

Recent Past IATA Chairmen:
2004-2005 Jean-Cyril Spinetta, Air France
2002-2005 Isao Kaneko, Japan Airlines
2001-2002 Xabier de Irala, Iberia
2000-2001 Leo F. Mullen, Delta Air Lines
1999-2000 James Strong, QANTAS