December 23, 2020: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that Kamil H. Al-Awadhi will be appointed IATA’s regional vice president for Africa and Middle East (AME), effective March 1, 2021.
Al-Awadhi succeeds Muhammad Albakri who will become IATA’s senior vice president for customer, financial, and digital services (CFDS), also effective March 1, 2021. As previously announced, Albakri will replace Aleks Popovich in the CFDS role upon his retirement.
“I look forward to getting started at IATA. Like all regions, AME will need a strong air transport industry to kick-start the economic recovery from Covid-19. The priority to revive aviation is clear and IATA is at the centre of this effort. There is no time to waste. We must help governments to re-open borders without quarantine and we need to ensure that the industry is ready to safely scale-up operations and implement the global standards that will keep passenger and crew safe during the pandemic and beyond,” said Al-Awadhi.
Most recently, Al-Awadhi was CEO of Kuwait Airways, a responsibility he held from November 2018 through August 2020. That capped a 31-year career at Kuwait Airways during which his positions included Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer. Al-Awadhi has also held several positions in the areas of safety, security, quality management and enterprise resource planning.
At IATA, Al-Awadhi will lead the activities across AME from its regional office in Amman, Jordan. He will report to the IATA director general and CEO and join IATA’s strategic leadership team.
“Muhammad has reinforced IATA’s strong presence in the AME region. As he moves to take on the challenges of leading our CFDS activities, Muhammad will leave in place a strong team for the capable leadership of Kamil. Kamil is an industry veteran who brings a tremendous depth of airline expertise and regional experience. These will be critical in leading IATA’s activities in the AME region at this very challenging time. As a former CEO, he knows what member airlines expect of IATA. And, I have no doubt that Kamil has the skills and determination to exceed those expectations as we aim to reconnect the world amid the coronavirus pandemic,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.
A national of Kuwait, Al-Awadhi holds an MBA in aerospace management from the Toulouse Business School and an Engineering degree in aircraft maintenance management from Air Service Training (AST) in the UK.