Willie Walsh has taken over as director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), replacing Alexandre de Juniac, who has run the global airline lobby since 2016.  Walsh has been CEO of International Airlines Group, which owns British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Vueling; he stepped down in September. He had led that company since its founding in 2011 and prior to that  was the CEO of British Airways. He was selected as de Juniac's replacement in November. In a statement, Walsh said his goal is to ensure that IATA is a forceful voice supporting the success of global air transport. He said it will be his job to make sure that governments, which rely on the economic and social benefits the industry generates, “also understand the policies we need to deliver those benefits.” He said IATA’s role has been critical during the pandemic, acting to restart global connectivity, including developing the IATA Travel Pass. In normal times, said Walsh, over four billion travelers depend on aviation each year.