IATA members, colleagues, friends, ladies and gentlemen,

We have come to the close of IATA’s 69th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit.

I would like to begin by acknowledging all those who have contributed to making what I hope you will agree was a highly successful meeting. The theme for this AGM was partnership. And putting on an IATA AGM is the result of a lot of hard work among many partners.

First, I would like to recognize our gracious host for this meeting, South African Airways. Their warm hospitality created a great atmosphere in which to hold our AGM. And I am certain that we will all bring home fond memories of our time in Cape Town.

Acting Chief Executive Officer Nico Bezuidenhout also served as our AGM president, skillfully guiding us through some very important—in fact historic—discussions. We have a tradition of presenting the AGM gavel as a symbol of our thanks for a job well done. Nico, please accept this gavel with our thanks for all of your efforts.

In addition, we have many friends and partners who helped us by sponsoring various parts of the AGM. In alphabetical order….I would like to take a moment to recognize them.

  • Airbus, Airports Company South Africa, ARC, BOC Aviation, Boeing, Bombardier, CAE, CFM International, Changi Airport Group, Diio, GE, LEK, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation, MTU Maintenance, World Sky Gate Narita, Panasonic Avionics Corporation, Pratt and Whitney, Seabury and SITA
  • And, of course, our media partner, CNN.

We appreciate their support. Along with working with them closely throughout the year, we also hope that we will see them in Qatar next year. And in the meantime, let’s thank all of them for their generous support (lead applause).

This has been a decision-making AGM.

  • Our historic agreement on carbon-neutral growth 2020 is a major achievement by any measure. We stand united as an industry. And you have set a clear and responsible path for us to work with our partners in government. Through the ICAO process we will strengthen the foundations for the sustainable future of aviation.
  • The reaffirmation of your support for the New Distribution Capability also set a clear direction for us to work with our partners in the travel industry to build standards that will enable an information-rich and modern shopping experience through travel agents.
  • And we have delivered a firm and united stance to governments concerning core principles for passenger rights regulation.
    Through your strong performance, the industry outlook has improved. But I know that the day-to-day challenge of keeping revenues ahead of costs is relentless. IATA is your association. We are strong because of the support and confidence that you give us. And we are dedicated to delivering value that is relevant to your business.

So I would like to thank you—our members—for your participation and engagement over the last two days. Now we need to turn our discussions and decisions in this room into action throughout the world. Your association will be a proud voice on your behalf. And I know that I can count on you to amplify the message as we move forward with the critical work that lies ahead and continue realize the potential of our great industry—making it ever safer, more secure, sustainable and profitable.

Thank you.