Christine Ourmieres-Widener, CEO of regional carrier Flybe, has been appointed to the board of governors of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The move makes Ourmieres-Widener the only woman to sit on the 31-member board, which heads up the trade association that represents around 290 airlines.

Ourmieres-Widener is an influential name in the airline industry, with a career spanning more than 30 years. She started as an engineer for Air France in 1998 and has worked her way up the ranks, taking international roles at companies such as Cityjet and American Express Global Business Travel.

She is a former vice president and current board member at the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) and was appointed to IATA’s board in an interim role in April 2017 following the departure of Fernando Pinto, CEO of TAP.

She is one of only a handful of female airline CEOs and is an advocate for encouraging women to work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) roles, as well as senior corporate positions.

Ourmieres-Widener commented: “I am delighted and honoured to have been elected and look forward with great enthusiasm to contributing to the important work that IATA does for the industry. I am, of course, also passionate about diversity and so am privileged to bring this dimension to the board.”

Read our 2017 interview with Ourmieres-Widener here.

In addition to Ourmieres-Widener’s appointment, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker has assumed his role as chairman of the board and it was announced that Lufthansa boss Carsten Spohr will take up the position of chariman in 2019.;

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