Yvonne Manzi Makalo will be IATA's first chairwoman: Travel Weekly

DOHA, Qatar — RwandAir CEO Yvonne Manzi Makolo will become the first woman to serve as IATA’s chair. 

The trade group’s board of governors tapped Makolo for the revolving post for the one-year term that begins June 2023. Makolo will inherit the position at that time from Mehmet Tevfik Nane. 

Nane, the managing director of discount Turkish carrier Pegasus, took over the IATA chair from JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes on Monday during the IATA Annual General Meeting. 

Under IATA’s 25by2025 initiative, 111 airlines and aviation industry organizations have committed to achieve at least 25% female representation in senior positions by 2025, or to improve female representation in those roles by 25%.

When the program launched in 2019, 3% of airline CEOs were women. That number is now close to 9%, IATA said, including new appointments at El Al, KLM, Pegasus and Austrian Airlines. 

Makolo became the CEO of RwandAir in 2018.

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