August 27, 2017 / 2:54 PM / a month ago

Qatar Airways chief to chair IATA board starting June 2018

Aug 27 (Reuters) - Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker has been elected chairman of the board of governors of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the airline said on Sunday.

Baker will start his one-year term in June 2018, taking over from current chairman, Singapore Airlines’ Goh Choon Phong.

Qatar Airways has been recently forced to fly longer, more expensive routes after being denied access to the airspace of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates as part of economic sanctions.

The four countries severed ties with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting terrorism, something Doha denies.

The move has prompted Doha to call for the U.N.’s International Civil Aviation Organization to intervene. (Reporting by Maha El Dahan; Editing by Mark Potter)

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