Covering the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Annual General Meeting 2020, while sitting in at my ‘home office’, had helped me to decide which of two – the real world or the virtual world – would be ideal for me.
Agreed, technology has been of immense help during the Covid pandemic, but for me the virtual world can never replace the world as we knew it before the virus struck.
This was the first time in IATA’s 76 year history that the apex trade association for the world’s airlines, was forced to hold a virtual AGM because of a variety of reasons. The most important reasons were border restrictions and Covid fears.
The irony of the first virtual meeting was not lost on anyone. This was IATA’s 75th AGM and after the first meeting in Cuba, the body which represents 290 airlines or 82 per cent of total air traffic was forced to hold its AGM virtually.
In the world before Covid, those who attended and covered the event would look forward to some much deserved celebrations for its 75th anniversary.