Singapore: Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the Geneva-based International Air Transport Association (IATA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on the development and upgrading of human capital for the global aviation industry.

The MOU was signed by NTU President, Dr Su Guaning, and IATA Director-General and Chief Executive Officer, Giovanni Bisignani, at NTU this morning.

This is the first time that IATA, which represents some 230 airlines worldwide and accounts for 93 per cent of international scheduled air traffic, has entered into such an agreement with an Asian university.

“I am pleased to note that NTU will be the first university in Asia to partner IATA in an exciting venture that will explore research, development and education opportunities in the area of civil aviation,” said Dr Su. “The nurturing of human capital and the focus on management competencies are crucial in developing the talent base for aviation companies and organizations in Asia and beyond.”

“Asia is the future of the air transport industry – it is the single largest market and will continue to drive the industry’s growth,” said Bisignani. “With Singapore at the crossroads between the aviation giants of China and India, this MOU will allow IATA and NTU to take a leading role in developing the human capital needed to support and fulfil the region’s aviation growth.”

Under the MOU, NTU and IATA will explore the possibility of launching a joint executive Master of Business Administration program with specialization in aviation management to develop professional aviation leaders for Asia and the world. NTU faculty will also lecture in IATA Training and Development Institute courses, while senior instructors from IATA will teach in NTU programs.

Another key area of collaboration is on research topics of mutual interest and benefit, to develop new theories and practices on cultural intelligence and global talent management. This aims to enhance aviation leaders’ cultural intelligence to maximise their performance in the global business environment. In addition, NTU and IATA plan to work together to organize an International Aviation Human Resource Summit in Singapore.

Nanyang Business School’s flagship Nanyang Master of Business Administration program is ranked 27th in the Financial Times Global MBA Rankings 2010 and is consistently placed among the top four MBA programs in Asia. The school’s Centre for Leadership and Cultural Intelligence, led by Professor Soon Ang, and the IATA Training and Development Institute, led by Guido Gianasso, will be the working partners for this MOU.

The Centre for Leadership and Cultural Intelligence is well regarded for its pioneering work in the area of cultural intelligence (or Cultural Quotient), which refers to the ability of individuals and organizations to be effective across cultural and geographical boundaries. Its mission is to lead in the knowledge, assessment and programs to develop culturally intelligent individuals and organizations for today’s global environment.

“Today’s global environment requires business leaders who are able to operate effectively in different cultures to drive results. This has been a priority area in IATA’s leadership development program, especially since we have offices in 60 countries around the world and our operations in Asia are growing rapidly,” said Bisignani. “Having collaborated with NTU in this area, it made sense to formalize the partnership between our two organizations through an MOU to deliver value to the aviation industry.”

Nanyang Business School has already started its collaboration with IATA by providing senior professors as expert faculty for the latter’s elite Intercultural Leadership Engagement and Development (I-Lead) Program. IATA’s week-long premier I-Lead program is being held in Singapore for the first time. Twenty top IATA executives from around the world are currently attending the program held at the Nanyang Executive Centre on NTU’s Yunnan Garden campus.

For more information, please contact:

  • Narendra Aggarwal
    Director, Public Affairs
    Nanyang Business School
    Nanyang Technological University
    Tel: (+65) 6790 5678
  • Edgar Lee
    Senior Assistant Director
    Corporate Communications Office
    Nanyang Technological University
    Tel: (+65) 6790 6052

  • Albert Tjoeng
    Assistant Director, Corporate Communications
    International Air Transport Association
    Tel: (+65) 6499 2286

Notes for Editors:

  • IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some 230 airlines comprising 93% of scheduled international air traffic.
  • Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is a research-intensive university ranked among the world’s top 200 universities. More information is available at