New Delhi: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) today announced the appointment of Robey Lal as the Country Manager for IATA in India. In this position, Lal will lead IATA's business initiatives in the Indian sub-continent. IATA is revamping its operations in India and has opened a new office in Delhi. This will, position IATA to better meet the needs of the fast growing Indian market.

Commenting on the occasion, Mr. Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's Director General and CEO, IATA said, "We are delighted to welcome Robey Lal on board. His industry experience will drive the growth of IATA initiatives in India. Lal's technical background combined with knowledge and strong relationships within the Indian aviation market will be an asset to IATA. International passenger traffic to and from India is expected to expand at 7.8% for the period 2004-2008 placing it among the top growth markets in the world. This presents many opportunities as well as challenges for the industry. IATA's role is to lead, represent and serve the international air transport industry. I am confident Lal and the new management team will take IATA's impressive record of accomplishment to a new level of distinction in India."

Within this pivotal role, Lal's priorities will include Simplifying the Business, IATA's comprehensive program to harness technology to improve passenger convenience and reduce costs. The first deadline in this program will be the implementation of 100% e-ticketing by the end of 2007. Lal will also promote IATA's Operational Safety Audit, the first global standard for airline safety management. Air-India was among the early adopters and the audit is open to all carriers—including non-IATA members. Additionally, Lal will promote IATA's products and services to the Indian market, including airport consultancy, training, clearing house operations and the IATA Agency Program.

Lal has over 39 years of industry and related experience in the aviation sector. Before his appointment at IATA, Lal has been a Member of Board of the Airports Authority of India (AAI), where his responsibilities included Operations. Prior to that he was Member of the Boad responsible for Engineering and Planning at IAAI. Lal has also worked as an airport engineering and planning consultant in India and abroad.

Presently, Lal is a member of prestigious Civil Aviation Committee and Logistics and Transport Committee of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).

About IATA
IATA – IATA leads, represents and serves the international air transport industry. IATA was first established in India in 1994 and maintains offices in Delhi and Mumbai. Four Indian carriers (Air-India, Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and Sahara Airlines) are among IATA's 265 member airlines that comprise over 94% of global scheduled international air traffic.