Heads of global airlines meet face to face for the first time since the start of the pandemic

Top airline executives from around the world plan to meet next week, in their first face-to-face meeting in more than two years, even as a long-awaited revival in business travel is elusive.

The annual general meeting of the International Air Transport Association opens on Sunday in Boston. And airline leaders are intent on showing up to prove it’s safe to travel for work again, and it’s part of an effort to revive a highly profitable sector beset by uncertainty over plans to return to offices.

“We believe it is necessary to do everything in our power to meet face to face in the sector,” Alexandre de Juniac, former director general of the International Air Transport Association, said earlier this year in announcing the event was postponed from June to October. Airlines can safely connect to the world, demonstrate the resilience of our industry, and assure the invaluable value of in-person meetings,” Bloomberg reported.

US airlines will be well represented, with CEOs from American Airlines, Delta and United to join. Several European executives will also attend, including Louis Gallego, CEO of parent company International Consolidated Airlines Group SA, Carsten Spohr of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, and Peter Elbers of KLM.

Officials from Boeing and Airbus are scheduled to participate as speakers.

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