Passing the baton
Des Vertannes retired after 44 years in the industry
After four years as IATA’s Global Head of Cargo and four decades in the industry, Des Vertannes has chosen to devote his time to his family and friends. Grand-child number 7 is due in August and the newly-built retirement home in Portugal is ready to welcome the Vertannes family! Travel plans are made to visit friends from the industry, starting with Ram Menen, his brother in arms. Ram even flew to Geneva for Des’ farewell party to give him the survival kit for retirees: a pair of shorts and flip-flops!
Des Vertannes, with Ram Menen and Glyn Hughes
An industry leader
During his four years as Global Head, Vertannes has put collaboration at the heart of its agenda: the creation of the Global Air Cargo Advisory Group (GACAG), the voice of air cargo; the modernization of the Agency Program and improvement of the relationship with FIATA; the continuous engagement of regulators; the close cooperation with ground handlers are some of his major achievements.
Vertannes also lead the widespread adoption of new security programs and the e-freight roadmap, including the e-Air Waybill project. “There are so many exciting challenges in air cargo, so many great projects we are working on, and so many fantastic people, whom I am proud to regard as friends”, he stated. “It will be a huge wrench to step away from that.”
During the last World Cargo Symposium in Los Angeles, he set a new target for the air cargo business. He challenged the industry to achieve a reduction in transit times up to 48 hours by 2020, an act that according with IATA Director General and CEO Tony Tyler, “was typical of his vision”. “Des joined us after a distinguished career in air freight to drive our cargo agenda. I know that all in IATA and the wider air cargo world will join me in thanking him for his great work, and wishing him a long and happy retirement.”
Glyn Hughes appointed Global Head of Cargo
“I am very pleased that IATA has passed over the helm of cargo to Glyn, who I know will continue the amazing work IATA undertakes on behalf of the Cargo industry” said Vertannes.
Hughes joined IATA in 1991 to enhance and expand the Cargo Accounts Settlement Service (CASS), successfully growing it from 35 to nearly 100 operations. In recent years, he has led IATA Cargo’s initiatives, embracing industry management and relationship building, including being part of the GACAG committee. He has also led a campaign to promote the value of air cargo, and is taking a principal role in IATA working for the Cargo Agency Modernization Program.
“Glyn has worked very closely with Des Vertannes these past four years and is well placed to continue the important work of driving the transformation of the air cargo business. He is well known and respected across the air cargo industry and I know he will have tremendous goodwill and support,” stated Tony Tyler.
Future challenges for IATA Cargo
Air cargo faces considerable challenges and we have an ambitious goal to improve the industry’s competitiveness through a cut in end-to-end shipping times of up to 48 hours. “Glyn and his team will be dedicated to that goal, as well as to deliver the industry priorities of safety, security, quality, modernization and transformation through the e-cargo agenda,” added Tyler.
Hughes wants to continue the close collaboration with the entire air cargo supply chain towards securing air cargo as a premium product. Making air cargo the modal choice for customers and an attractive sector for young talents will be key priorities in the coming months and years.
“In the last four years under Des’ leadership we have established a relevant and valued Cargo agenda which is fully supported by the Cargo Committee and the wider industry. It is my belief that this agenda in broad terms is the right agenda to carry forward as it tackles the critical issues of the day” said Hughes.