you for writing and sharing “Will IATA Take CNS Down?
2020 has certainly been a challenging and
difficult year for most folks around the globe, including many of our
industry partners, colleagues and friends. Clearly, and as can be expected,
IATA as the trade association representing the world’s airlines,
is also feeling the pain and I assume has been forced by circumstances
beyond their control to take steps to mitigate the negative impact of
COVID-19, similarly to many others. I am therefor not surprised by the
news of possible restructuring and staff being offered voluntary redundancies.
What does surprise and concern me is the loss of key cargo industry expertise
at a time when it is most needed.
As we all know, air cargo is the primary
source of revenue for many carriers right now and the industry is set
to face some daunting challenges in the days to come, including the coordination
and delivery of the much anticipated vaccines. This is the industry’s
opportunity to step up and shine, however, in order to do so effectively,
associations such as IATA play a critical role by helping to coordinate
a united response and having the expertise and leadership in place to
lead the development of much needed meaningful standards, procedures,
support etc. As an eternal optimist, I am hopeful that this has been given
due consideration and that IATA has a plan in place.
Also, knowing our industry, we have not
seen the last of those key individuals who are leaving IATA. If I were
a betting man, I would wager that they will be taking on leadership roles
elsewhere soon. Hopefully I am right and their expertise and knowledge
is not lost to the industry, but transferred to other areas where they
can add new value.
In terms of CNS, I highly doubt that IATA
would consider closing the company down, just wouldn’t make sense
from an industry support perspective in my humble opinion. Let’s
leave it there and hope that I am correct on this one. If not, it would
be very disappointing indeed. The support that Mike and the team provides
across the industry is invaluable as highlighted in your article and as
I am sure will also be validated by many of your readers.
All the best,
Lionel van der Walt
(Lionel van der Walt is CEO, Pay Cargo. He is immediate past President
IATA and CNS are critical to our industry
and the role we play in the world, but guess what, these organizations
are made up of incredibly talented people. If something happens that shakes
up these entities or how they are organized or led, we – the talented
people of this great industry - we WILL find a way. We always do.
We is this industry and all the people in
it and all the people in these governing bodies. We will figure it out.
We is all of us.
American Airlines Cargo
As Executive Director of the Airforwarders
Association and Chairman of the CNS Advisory Board representing most forwarders
with U.S. operations, I value our relationship with the CNS and the IATA
organization. The enduring partnership between international airlines
and forwarders enables both to work collaboratively to fulfill and create
customer needs in today's competitive market.
Under the leadership and expertise of CNS
President Mike White and IATA Cargo Director Glyn Hughes, international
airlines and forwarders continue to achieve significant service milestones
together. Our work demonstrates the importance of air cargo to shippers
and global policymakers who regulate our industry and listen to us as
a group. This team effort serves as the foundation of our ongoing mutual
While we wish Glyn and those leaving IATA
our best with their future endeavors, forwarders are concerned about the
apparent loss of valuable cargo managers from the IATA organization. Cargo
has proven to be more than ever during this dreadful pandemic, making
capable and robust leadership within IATA critical to the success of our
industry. While the impact of these departures on CNS in the United States
is unclear, IATA and CNS must continue to demonstrate a commitment to
air cargo with experienced and dedicated managers, not paper tigers filling
The ongoing work of the CNS Advisory Board
remains a key to continuous dialogue between international airlines and
their forwarder customers. The Airforwarders Association remains committed
to maintaining this mechanism as an essential path to communication. We
look forward to continuing this effort by offering our assistance in managing
an ongoing advisory dialogue with CNS and IATA during this transitional
I don’t think CNS can be disbanded
because of the U.S. legal regulatory framework requirements. Though CNS
is an IATA entity, it has evolved into an industry partnership platform
which is very critical to the functioning of the association in the U.S.
The U.S. is a huge cargo market that IATA cannot ignore or mess around
I have the highest regard for CNS President
Mike White and his team.
Managing Director Cargo and Charters