Korean Air CEO Cho Won-tae, currently chairman of Hanjin Group, poses together with Land, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Kim Hyun-mee and Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) during the 75th IATA Annual General Meeting in Seoul. (Photos: Korean Air)
Korean Air CEO Cho Won-tae (a.k.a. Walter Cho) made his first appearance on the global stage since taking office as chairman of Hanjin Business Group as he chaired the IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM), which took place at COEX in Seoul from June 1-3.
Chairman Cho served as the chair of the 75th AGM and World Air Transport Summit, which brought more than 1,000 people together from around the world, including CEOs of airlines, aircraft makers and related industry organizations.
The 75th AGM, hosted by Korean Air, was the first such meeting in Korea. Chairman Cho has been elected a member of the board of governors, a governing body of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), also known as the “U.N. conference of the global aviation industry.” a global alliance of airlines, following his father and the late Korean Air and Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Yang-ho in his step.
In an opening session, Chair Cho of the 7th AGM said it is hoped the AGM, designed to discuss and share several opportunities, crises and challenges the global aviation industry will face, will contribute to bracing for a better future of humanity.
During the 7th AGM, the IATA gave a briefing on annual activities and the board of governors’ activities and approved the 2018 IATA resolution before holding a session of analyzing and predicting the global air transport industry. The IATA downgraded the 2019 revenue outlooks of the global air transport industry to $28 billion (some 33.36 trillion won), a 21 percent plunge from $35.5 billion (some 42 trillion won) forecast in last December.
IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said the global air transport industry is expected to log a net profit for the 10th consecutive year this year, but margins will decline due to a rise in overall costs such as wages and fuel prices.
The worsening of a trade war between the United States and China will primarily affect the global freight transport industry, and it could have an effect on the passenger transport industry, he added. Member airliners of the IATA approved a resolution to take steps to improve the growth and environment of the global air transportation industry.
The steps include each government’s sticking to guidelines on worldwide airport slots, the implementation of greenhouse gas emission reduction plans and the improving of flight environment for the disabled.
On the top of Hanjin Group Chairman Cho’s election of a member of the IATA board, Cho has been elected as chairman of alliance chairman of SkyTeam, an alliance of airlines, in a chairmen’s meeting held at COEX on the previous day.
His term is two years, and it is possible for him to get reelection. SkyTeam, established in 2000, had been led by the secretariat, but starting this year, the CEO of a member airliner serves as chairman of the alliance, giving the situation of the rapidly changing global air transport industry.
Korean Air CEO Cho Won-tae chairs the 75th AGM and World Air Transport Summit that took place at COEX in Seoul from June 1-3.