Ekali, 28 August 2020: This year’s awards ceremony for the Air Transport Awards took place next to the 2020 Summer Aviation Forum with the participation of industry leaders.

The 2020 Air Transport Awards are in partnership with Hermes – Air Transport Organisation and ATN – Air Transport News.

Welcoming the participants, Dr Kostas Iatrou, President of the 2020 Air Transport Awards:  “In these challenging times for the world it is more important than ever before to recognise those people, companies and organisations whose leadership enables them to be resilient to the crisis.”

Abderahmane Berthe, Secretary General, AFRAA: ”I am honored to receive ATN Individual Award in recognition of my efforts at the helm of AFRAA. I am very proud of the milestones achieved thus far culminating to be ranked as a pioneer in the African aviation industry two years after we marked AFRAA’s golden jubilee.

This further emphasizes AFRAA’s leadership to represent and serve African airlines as we work closely with our members, partners, industry organizations, governments and stakeholders.

I will not relent in continuous innovative efforts, with the support of the AFRAA Secretariat, members and partners, to achieve significant transformation that will develop and sustain the airlines industry while positively impacting the economic progress across the African continent.”

André Schneider, CEO of Genève Aéroport said “We are very pleased to see ATN recognize with the ATN Corporate Award actors of the aviation that are already more than 100 years in existence. I believe that our both organisation are a demonstration how sustainably one can last over the time, and I wish us both, despite the crisis, at least another 100 years of existence.” 

Eamonn Brennan, Director General of EUROCONTROL: “I’m delighted to accept the ATN International Organisation Award on behalf of EUROCONTROL. Throughout COVID-19, EUROCONTROL and our Member States have provided leadership. We’ve focused on supporting the European aviation industry by providing financial solutions, network coordination and by providing essential data to help make critical decisions.  This recognition is deeply appreciated and an acknowledgement of our hard work. We’ve a long, long way to go but our staff and Member States are committed to doing what we can to ‘help build European aviation back better’!!”


André Schneider, CEO of Genève Aéroport: “We are very honoured to receive Airport of the Year award especially during this very important crisis. We take this award as a recognition for us, a mid-sized European airport, and our effort to have a qualitative development, that balances between economic, social and environmental aspects.”

Pieter Elbers, President and CEO of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines: “It is with great gratitude that I accept the Airline of the Year Award on behalf of all my 33.000 dedicated KLM colleagues. This prestigious award is a great acknowledgement of the joint efforts leading up to our centennial last year.

Throughout our 100-year history, KLM has always striven to create a unique connection between loyal customers and passionate employees. It also encourages us towards the future while we navigate the industry challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and build a more sustainable future of aviation. I’d like to thank the jury members for the great honor they bestow on KLM with this prize”

“What a great surprise and recognition this is. I am truly humbled to receive the 2020 Hermes Award and very grateful to the Hermes – Air Transport Organisation Board of Directors for this honorable recognition. I’d like to take this opportunity to dedicate this award to my all colleagues without whom it would have been impossible to achieve this today.” added Pieter Elbers, President and CEO of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

Accepting the “Katerina & George Iatrou” Lifetime Achievement Award, Anastasios Kokkinos, Director General of Air Transport, Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority said: “It is a privilege to be recognized at the tail end of one’s career for lifelong accomplishments. The fact that this ceremony coincides with the last few months of my service in the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority makes it even sweeter. The 31.12.2020, day of my retirement, when the cycle of 35 years of a fruitful career in aviation, full of challenges and rewards will be closing, is approaching.”

“I am humbled and honoured to receive the Leader of the Year award. For me this is a huge recognition of what we have done for European and global aviation over the years and an acknowledgement of my great team. Today, more than ever, we need strong European leadership in order to make aviation more sustainable, resilient and future oriented, and to overcome the current crisis as this great sector is seriously affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. I am very much looking forward to working with all the partners in order to meet these challenges and make sure aviation continues to connect people, regions countries and businesses around the world” said Henrik Hololei, Director-General for Mobility and Transport, European Commission

The jury was chaired by Jeff Poole, President of Hermes – Air Transport Organisation & Senior Vice President Advocacy, World Travel & Tourism Council, who said “In these unprecedented times and with the devastation of aviation  and the Travel & Tourism sector as a whole, due to COVID-19, it is more important than ever that leaders in the industry step up to the huge challenges that we are facing. It is therefore a real pleasure and highly appropriate that we are able to recognise some of those leaders with the 2020 Air Transport Awards, in partnership with Hermes – Air Transport Organisation and ATN – Air Transport News”.

In particular, the winners by category are as follows:

-ATN Individual Award: Abderahmane Berthe, Secretary General, AFRAA

-ATN Corporate Award: Genève Aéroport

-ATN International Organisation Award: EUROCONTROL

-Airport of the Year: Genève Aéroport

-Airline of the Year: KLM

-Hermes Award: Pieter Elbers, CEO, KLM

-“Katerina & George Iatrou” Lifetime Achievement Award: Anastasios Kokkinos, Director General of Air Transport, Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority

-Leader of the Year: Henrik Hololei, Director-General for Mobility and Transport, European Commission