Ekali, 3 September 2021: This year’s awards ceremony for the Air Transport Awards took place next to the 2021 Summer Aviation Forum with the participation of industry leaders.

The 2021 Air Transport Awards are in partnership with Hermes – Air Transport Organisation, ATN – Air Transport News and ALA – America Latina Aeronoticias. 

In his welcome address Dr Kostas Iatrou, President of the 2021 Air Transport Awards:  “I would like to congratulate the winners. These personalities, organisations and companies have managed to deal successfully with the worst crisis aviation ever faced. Achieving success in these challenging times is more important and more difficult than ever before and thus these personalities, organisations and companies have proven beyond doubt their superior leadership skills.”

Alex de Gunten said: “As the industry slowly recovers from the worst crisis of its history,  only working together, airlines, airports, governments, associations, manufacturers and suppliers will we be successful in ensuring a stronger, safer, more efficient and environmentally responsible  industry.  As an aviation lover and fanatic, it is a great honor to receive the inaugural ALA Individual Award.”

ACI-LAC is truly thankful for the ALA International Organisation Award as it reflects the advancements made in this world region over the years, as well as the great opportunities lying ahead. Aviation is essential for our region’s social and economic development and we aim to provide the support and leadership to ensure this happens in a safe and sustainable way. Thanks to ALA for playing such an important role in helping disseminate industry information in our region – we truly value our partnership” said Dr Rafael Echevarne, Director General of ACI LAC.

Restarting traffic has taken a tremendous effort and the fact that our hard work at Aeroportul International Cluj is appreciated by ATN – Air Transport News, a prestigious partner of air transport professionals is a great honour said Dr David Ciceo, CEO of Aeroportul International Cluj accepting the ATN Corporate Award.

“I feel deeply honoured and excited to be the recipient of the 2021 ATN Individual Award in recognition of my services and professional commitment to the world of aviation. Dr Kostas Iatrou and his team have rendered ATN of outstanding international calibre and this Award means a lot to me. Moreover, it encourages me to further my efforts considering also my recent appointment as Member of the Executive Board of the newly established Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority.” said Professor Andreas Papatheodorou, President, Hellenic Aviation Society.

Jose Ricardo Botelho, Executive Director & CEO, ALTA: “We are honored to receive the ATN International Organisation Award and I would like to express our gratitude to Kostas and ATN for this recognition. In the recent years, ALTA has experienced a profound transformation that has made the association even leaner, more agile and effective. This transformation allowed us to be ready -with 40 years of experience and renewed dynamism- to maximize the efforts and collaborative work to support our members and the entire travel and tourism industry in the takeoff and recovery processes after the deepest unexpected crisis caused by COVID19. We still have plenty of work ahead, and we are proud to welcome new members, develop agreements with more entities and offer aviation professionals different programs to do it together. We are together and we will rise together!”

Kadri Samsunlu, the CEO of iGA Airport Operation said, “We are pleased to have brought another international award to Turkey. It is an honor to receive the “Airport of the Year” award at the 2021 Air Transport Awards, determined by aviation industry experts and readers. The fact that we have been granted this valuable award, which Geneva Airport was deemed worthy last year, outperforming many airports in the world, is an indicator of how well we do our job. Istanbul Airport, Turkey’s gateway to the world will be deemed worthy of many more awards in the future thanks to its unique travel experience and service manner.”

“All of us at Qatar Airways are honoured with this distinguished recognition as Airline of the Year by the 2021 Air Transport Awards. Over the past 17 months, the aviation industry has witnessed some of its darkest days, but Qatar Airways has continued to operate and stand by our passengers. This award pays tribute to our commitment to excellence and our determination to reach new heights and set industry standards that deliver an unrivalled passenger experience.” said H.E. Akbar Al Baker, GCEO, Qatar Airways.

“This is an especially gratifying recognition because it represents the love and respect for Katerina and George Iatrou, something deeply personal and unique. I am proud to have spent a career in this industry and I appreciate the mentoring and support I have been afforded throughout. I hope I have given back and urge all of us who care about the future of our industry to join in the effort to entice the best and brightest of our young people to consider aviation careers so that we get our fair share of the talent going forward. We need to ensure that females and minorities every where in the world know they are welcome to every sector of aviation so that we can continue to serve as the economic engine of the world’s economies.” Angela Gittens

ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said: “I am proud to receive the 2021 Leader of the Year award which is testament to the collaboration and work across ACI World and all ACI regions as we represented and advanced the interests of our members during the worst crisis our industry has ever faced. My focus for the future is continue the collaboration among all industry stakeholders with ACI World expanding  the influence we have throughout the aviation industry to ensure we can continue to provide the sustainable and economic development for the communities we serve.”

In particular, the winners by category are as follows:

-ALA Individual Award: Alex de Gunten

-ALA International Organisation Award: ACI-LAC

-ATN Individual Award: Andreas Papatheodorou, President, Hellenic Aviation Society

-ATN Corporate Award: Aeroportul International Cluj

-ATN International Organisation Award: ALTA

-Airport of the Year: iGA Istanbul Airport

-Airline of the Year: Qatar Airways

-“Katerina & George Iatrou” Lifetime Achievement Award: Angela Gittens

-Leader of the Year: Luis Felipe de Oliveira, Director General, ACI