We have come to the close of another IATA AGM. After two days of intense discussions, it is not the time for a long speech. But I did not want to miss this opportunity to recognize the contributions of those organizations and individuals who have made your AGM so special. I often say that aviation is a team effort. IATA AGMs are no different. It takes a great team to make an AGM possible. As we bring this event to a close, I would once again like to recognize their efforts.
First, thanks to all of you for not just coming, but participating in the 72nd IATA AGM and World Air Transport Summit. Our members have showed up in record numbers. And that is a great sign of the tremendous support that they give to their association.

And I should specially recognize one member, Aer Lingus, who have graciously hosted us in this vibrant city. When we were invited to Ireland for this AGM, we knew that it would be one to remember. Stephen and his team at Aer Lingus have not let us down.
Our AGM has a reputation for coinciding with freak weather. Many of you will remember the massive hailstorm in Cape Town three years ago. But Stephen has arranged a week of uninterrupted sunshine – even more remarkable in Ireland at this time of year.
And Stephen has also presided skillfully over our discussions as the AGM President. In our modern world, it is not often that one gets to bang a gavel. But it is a critical part of the AGM President’s role. We have a tradition of presenting the gavel to the AGM President. And we will continue that this year.

We also must say thank you to our many sponsors. Our gold sponsors—Airbus, Boeing and GE—have made a particularly significant contribution with memorable social functions. They were joined by Rolls-Royce and Travel Sky as Silver Sponsors. And many more at the Bronze level.
  • AerCap, Aviation Capital Group, ATR, BOC Aviation, Bombardier, Boxever, CAE, CAPA Centre for Aviation, Changi Airport Singapore, CFM, firstaff, Heico, LEK, Mistubishi Aircraft Corporation, Miagen, MTU Aero Engines, Narita, Optiontown, Panasonic, Pratt & Whitney, Seabury, Seraph Aviation Management, SITA, SMBC Aviation Capital, Thales, UATP.
Thanks for recognizing all of them and our special partners—Dublin Airport and CNN—for their efforts with a hearty round of applause.

And I would also like to thank—personally and on your behalf—my IATA team, of whom I could not be more proud. Over these few days in Dublin they have put on a great show. And day-in and day-out over the course of the year they make tremendous efforts to support me, and more importantly to support you, our members with results that are make a difference to your business.

This will be my last AGM as your Director General and CEO. As I have said before, it has been an honor and pleasure to serve the industry in this unique and important role. I have spent my entire career in this great industry. Thank you all for supporting me during these past five years. And I shall cherish my last three months in post before I hand over to Alexandre who, I am sure, will continue to make IATA a very relevant association for all of you.

The theme for this AGM has been aviation as a force for good. I think that we have lived up to that promise. The resolutions that we have passed on climate change, on terrorism and ending the illegal trafficking of wildlife demonstrate that we are a good corporate citizen in our globalized world.

But even more impressive is what you and your teams do each and every day—safely boarding 10 million people and 140,000 tonnes of cargo, taking them to 30,000- or 40, 000-feet, and then safely returning them to land many kilometers away.

That’s amazing stuff! You do it with a huge amount of planning and coordination to make sure that it all works seamlessly. You keep safety, security and sustainability as top priorities. You struggle to keep revenues ahead of costs. Your days are full in managing the present and preparing for the future. And I am sure that you don’t often have the time to reflect on the positive impact that our business—aviation—has had on our world in just over a century.

So let me remind you. We create jobs. We help economies to develop. We have shrunk distances. We make peoples’ lives better. And from the very core of what we do, aviation makes the world a more prosperous place—in terms of wealth and the human spirit.

That’s a message that we should shout proudly from every corner of this wonderful world that we bring together. And Godspeed to all of you as you continue to nurture and grow this most exciting industry into an even more potent force for good!