April 28, 2020: Kenya Airways' (KQ) former group managing director and chief executive officer Sebastian Mikosz, who quit the company before the end of his three-year contract in December 2019, will join the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as the senior vice president for member and external relations from June 1, 2020.

He replaces Paul Steele, who retired from IATA in October 2019. Brian Pearce, IATA's chief economist has been handling the duties of this post on an ad interim basis since then.

At IATA, Mikosz will lead the organisation's global advocacy activities and aero-political policy development, along with managing the association's strategic relationships. This includes IATA's 290 member airlines as well as governments, international organizations and stakeholders in both the private and public sectors. Mikosz will report to the director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.

"Sebastian brings with him a wealth of experience in the public and private sectors that will be critical in advancing the global aviation industry's advocacy agenda. At this time of unprecedented crisis, the airline industry needs a strong voice. We must restore the confidence of governments and travellers so that aviation can re-start, lead an economic recovery, and connect the world. Sebastian's experience in launching and turning-around companies will be invaluable in helping IATA meet the expectations of our members, governments and stakeholders," said Juniac.

"I can't wait to get started at IATA. Aviation is in crisis and all industry and government stakeholders have high expectations for IATA to play a critical role in driving the recovery. From my experience as an airline CEO and as a member of the IATA board of governors, I know how important IATA is to the global connectivity that we usually take for granted. Today's challenges could not be greater. And, in joining IATA, I am determined to contribute to the efficient restoration of the links between people, nations and economies that only aviation can provide," said Mikosz.

A Polish national, Mikosz is a graduate of the Institute of Political Studies in France with a Master's degree in Economics and Finance. In addition to his airline experience, Mikosz's career includes the positions of vice president at the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency, senior advisor at Socit Gnrale Corporate Investment Bank, MD of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Poland and founder of the online brokerage house Fast Trade.

In 2017, Mikosz had been in IATA's board of governors on an ad interim basis while he was serving KQ. He was with KQ from 2017-2019. Prior to that he served as the CEO of LOT Polish Airlines (2009-2011 and 2013-2015) and the CEO of Poland's largest online travel agency, the eSKY Group (2015-2017).

During Mikosz reign, KQ has managed to cut its losses from 25 billion shillings in 2014 to 7.5 billion shillings. KQ's full year earnings for 2018 stood at a loss of 7.56 billion shillings. Allan Kilavuka has taken up the charge as the CEO of KQ from january 1, 2020, since Mikosz exited.

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