Yvonne Makolo, the CEO of RwandAir on June 6 assumed office as the Chair of the Board of Governors of the International Aviation International Air Transport Association (IATA).
She became the 81st chair of the IATA BoG and the first woman to take on this role, an impetus in the organ’s global initiative of driving gender balance within the aviation industry.
Makolo succeeds Mehmet Tevfik Nane, Pegasus Airlines Chairperson of the Board.
In her remarks, she said that leading a medium-sized airline in Africa has instilled in her a unique perspective on issues that airlines hold in common.
“I am particularly pleased to be taking on this role as IATA launches Focus Africa with the aim of unifying the continent’s stakeholders so that together we can strengthen the contribution of aviation to Africa’s social and economic development,” said Makolo.
She mentioned that her areas of priority in this new role revolve around IATA’s agenda of decarbonisation, improving safety, transformation to modern airline retailing, and building cost-efficient infrastructure.
Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, said: “I look forward to working with Yvonne as we tackle the important challenges of sustainability, rebuilding the aviation workforce while growing diversity and reinforcing the global standards that are so critical for efficient connectivity.”
Makolo has served as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the national carrier since April 2018, and prior to that, she worked as Deputy CEO in charge of Corporate Affairs in the same airline.
She has specialized training in information technology and has worked as a software developer in Canada and Rwanda.
In June 2024, Makolo will be replaced by Pieter Elbers, CEO of IndiGo –India’s flag carrier airline –as the Chair of IATA’s Board of Governors.