✈️ Airfreight Extravaganza: Surprise HQ Meeting keynote speaker revealed!

FIATA e-flash
25 March 2024

In recent weeks, FIATA's contributions to, and promotion of a Global Air Cargo Programme have travelled across continents, starting in Geneva at the IATA Headquarters for the IATA-FIATA Consultative Council's 85th session, reaching Hong Kong for the IATA World Cargo Symposium (WCS2024), and culminating in agreement to establish a working group per FIATA's proposal!

IATA's Willie Walsh to address 2024 HQ Meeting participants in opening keynote

FIATA is very excited to share that Willie Walsh, who has been Director General of IATA since April 2021 and who has had an impressive airline industry career spanning over 40 years, will be a special guest and keynote speaker at the opening of the 2024 FIATA HQ Meeting, in a fireside-style opening keynote session to which you can contribute your questions in advance! Your pressing questions will be addressed in the session, which will be moderated by FIATA's Director General Stéphane Graber.

Mr Walsh served on the IATA Board of Governors for almost 13 years, and started his airline industry career in 1979 when he joined Ireland’s flag carrier Aer Lingus as a cadet pilot, before becoming a captain in 1990. One year earlier, he had moved into a management position in the airline’s flight operations department. In 2001, Mr Walsh was appointed chief executive of Aer Lingus in October 2001 at a time when the carrier was in a grave financial crisis following the 9/11 attacks, leading a radical restructuring that returned Aer Lingus to profitability.

In 2005, Mr Walsh was appointed chief executive of British Airways (BA), leading it through the 2008/09 global recession, and establishing a transatlantic joint business venture with Iberia, Finnair and American Airlines. He then oversaw the 2011 merger of BA and Iberia under a newly established parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG). Mr Walsh served as chief executive of IAG from its inception until he retired in September 2020. A citizen of Ireland, Mr Walsh holds a Master of Science and Business Administration from Trinity College, Dublin.

Why not take this opportunity to pose your global airfreight situation questions to Mr Walsh, with whom FIATA hopes to stimulate engaging and productive discussions amongst its members?

Send your questions for the fireside chat with Willie Walsh!

Register to the 2024 FIATA HQ Meeting here

Experience Switzerland's Wonders: Glaciers to Olympic Games! Secure your spot now on the HQ Meeting special optional tour!

The itinerary of this special tour, which will take place on Monday 22 April, includes a Glacier 3000 visit and a visit to the Olympic Museum offering a perfect blend of natural beauty, adventure, and cultural exploration, making it an unforgettable experience for participants.

The optional tour is priced at CHF 240 and includes cable car tickets, lunch with a panoramic view, Olympic Museum tickets, and guided tours. An all-inclusive package for a hassle-free experience!

If you have expressed interest in joining the tour via the HQ Meeting Registration form, you will receive information via email from the FIATA Events team. If you have not disclosed your interest for the tour when registering, please contact [email protected].

For more information, and to register to the optional tour, click here!

FIATA HQ Meeting airfreight session to delve into regional airfreight challenges

Following the recent appointment of the new Cargo Agency Commissioners, this year's FIATA HQ Meeting airfreight workshop will provide attendees with the opportunity to meet the Commissioners, and to understand the common issues giving rise to disputes that are subsequently brought to the Office of the Commissioner.

The Cargo Agency Commissioner is an independent arbiter appointed jointly by IATA and FIATA to conduct reviews on decisions and/or actions affecting Agents/Intermediaries and applicants under the Cargo Agency Program and Intermediary programmes, including the Cargo Accounts Settlement System (CASS). The aim of the workshop is to examine some of the key issues impacting freight forwarders, leading to adverse actions being taken against them, and to come up with solutions to support the industry.

Delegates will also be encouraged to participate in subgroup discussions addressing regional airfreight challenges. Following the discussion, an exchange of best practices will be facilitated. The airfreight workshop will also evaluate the regional insights provided by delegates regarding how the Global Air Cargo Programme (GACP) could effectively address these challenges. 
The session participants will benefit from the expertise of Marco Alvarenga, Cargo Agency Commissioner, Paul Cheetham, Cargo Agency Commissioner, and Dawit Woubishet, FIATA Airfreight Institute (AFI) Chair.

2024 HQ Meeting: Uniting for resilience

This year's annual FIATA HQ Meeting will be held from 23-26 April, at the CICG - The International Conference Centre Geneva, in Geneva, Switzerland. The sessions will be conducted in a workshop-style format fostering discussion and open forums, and will include the intervention of industry experts to address specific queries. The event will delve into current challenges and opportunities, providing ample networking and knowledge-sharing opportunities.

FIATA members attending the HQ meeting will have the opportunity to leverage the expertise of FIATA's extensive global network and interact with key industry guest leaders. Burning industry questions to be addressed include:

  • How to retain competitiveness and embrace AI and other innovative technologies?
  • What contractual practices could make or break a transaction in the maritime supply chain?
  • How can freight forwarders navigate new challenges and disruptions (geopolitical, environment) to bring supply chain resilience?
  • How can the industry leverage PLACI regimes as key trade facilitation measures through better data quality?
  • How to empower the next generation of industry leaders?
  • What are the main obstacles for freight forwarders in the IATA Cargo Agency Programme?

Don't miss the chance to be part of the evolution of our industry! Register now to guarantee your place at this unique event!

Event registration is mandatory for attendance with a registration fee of CHF 360 per delegate. This fee covers access to the sessions from 23-26 April,
the Welcome Cocktail on Tuesday 23 April and Panama Night on Thursday 25 April. For those unable to attend the full event, day pass registrations are also available for CHF 120, excluding social events.

Register here for a 2024 FIATA HQ Meeting Day Pass!

Register here for the entire 2024 FIATA HQ Meeting, 23-26 April!


New impetus for Global Air Cargo Programme proposals at 85th IATA-FIATA Consultative Council meeting and IATA Cargo Agency Conference!

On 11 March 2024, the FIATA Director General and the Chair of the FIATA AFI were invited, for the second year running, to present FIATA’s proposal to the IATA Cargo Agency Conference (CAC) concerning the next steps for the establishment of a Global Programme. Their participation provided the opportunity to recap the journey towards modernisation, first initiated by IATA over a decade ago with the Cargo Agency Modernisation Programme (CAMP) Working Group, which paved the way for the IATA-FIATA Air Cargo Programme (IFACP) cooperation agreement. Following the disruptions caused during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was noted that there are heightened demands for a global, fit-for-purpose framework that allows airlines and forwarders to work together to ensure harmonised quality standards around the world that can effectively address new market evolutions. 

As per the proposal made by FIATA, representing the voice of the logistics community in all its diversity, the CAC affirmed its support to the IFCC in establishing a working group to discuss potential modernisation opportunities to accurately recognise the current relationship between airlines and freight forwarders. FIATA will continue to unite the diverse freight forwarding industry around the world, from SMEs to MNEs, to ensure that their interests are well-represented in the work towards a Global Air Cargo Programme.

FIATA takes the helm: Airfreight outlook spotlight in Spring CAAS magazine

As per usual, at the beginning of each year, CAAS asked industry experts to share their reflections and experiences on the past year (2023), and to share their views and expectations for 2024. The special outlook 2024 report in the Spring magazine edition features various analyses, reflections and updates on the airfreight industry from the main actors who contribute to this vibrant industry. 

FIATA is pleased to have shared its vision and ongoing work towards a modern Global Air Cargo Programme representing today's commercial realities, as a spotlight feature article in the recent Spring CAAS magazine. 

It also highlighted its critical work on PLACI with an interdisciplinary working group tasked with the development of a joint industry guidance on multiple filing agreements between airlines and forwarders for ICS2 and future PLACI regimes. The multi-stakeholder group, comprising airlines, IATA as well as multinational and small and medium-sized forwarders, examplifies the nature and role of FIATA in unifying the industry and promoting global best practice and standards.

Since 2023, FIATA, under the leadership of FIATA Airfreight Institute (AFI) Chair Dawit Woubishet, has strengthened the vital role it plays in shaping the airfreight industry. In addition to its longstanding partnership with ICAO on industry training and education, and its reinforcement as a member of TRAINAIR Plus with the ICAO-FIATA Dangerous Goods by Air Training Programme (IFDG), FIATA plays a key role in supporting process optimisation as a member of the Cargo IQ Board, and by contributing to the update of the seventh edition of the  IATA Cargo Handling Manual (ICHM). 

While economic and geopolitical uncertainty will remain high in 2024, FIATA will continue to support its freight forwarder members throughout the year to navigate these challenging times. 

Read the CAAS Spring magazine here for FIATA's airfreight outlook!

IATA World Cargo Symposium provides perfect opportunity to strengthen FIATA as a pivotal player!

The IATA WCS2024 was held between the 12-14 March 2024 in Hong Kong. It is the largest air cargo annual event, and this year's edition set a new record, bringing together over 1,800 delegates for the first time in IATA history, showing the attractiveness of organising such an event in the vibrant Asia-Pacific Region.

FIATA, represented by the FIATA AFI Chair, Dawit Woubishet, and Director General, Dr Stéphane Graber, participated in several activities of the Symposium, such as the Cargo Agency Conference, the Cargo iQ Board and the IATA Executive Summits, which tackled aspects related to technology, innovation, safety and security, customs, cargo operations and sustainability.

Among the lessons learned from the Symposium, it was noted that the world is facing challenging times, and that uncertainty remains high. However, there is room for cautious optimism, with a global GDP growth of around 3% despite forecasts of recession. So far, low unemployment rates around the world have enabled the global economy to escape recession. The recent disruption to shipping routes in the Red Sea has benefited air freight demand, with a spike in air freight yields on the affected trade lanes. This highlights the complementary nature of the different modes of transport, which is in FIATA's DNA, even when not all goods are suitable for all modes of transport. The “optionality” offered by freight forwarders is vital for some of the most urgent shipments in extraordinary circumstances to ensure supply chain resilience.

The key trends of the WCS2024 remain safety and security, sustainability and digitalisation. Data is a catalyst for the industry, but its power is in its accessibility, and the only way to achieve this is through an inclusive and collaborative approach. This requires an ethical approach to data to create trust, beyond the profit of any single player. As Andres Bianchi, CEO/Head of Cargo at LATAM Airlines, pointed out, the tools are there and need to be used by the whole ecosystem, for which collaboration is essential.

In recent years, under the leadership of Willie Walsh, IATA has committed itself to reducing its priorities and streamlining the organisation to make it more focused. This reflects an approach similar to that which FIATA has adopted and continues to implement under the FIATA Presidency of Mr Erkeskin, as part of its organisational strategy, in continuation of FIATA's Reset Programme. 

WCS2024 demonstrated the vitality of the airfreight industry, in which more than ever, freight forwarders and FIATA play a key role, as demonstrated at the Symposium.