During the IATA AGM held in Boston between 3 and 5 October Hermes hosted a reception wit the participation of numerous members of Hermes.
Dr Kostas Iatrou, Director General of Hermes started off by thanking and introducing Luis Felipe de Oliveira who became Hermes’s Vice President & Treasurer in 2020. He continued by saying that it is a pleasure to meet physically although some of the attendants met last July in Athens. He went on to give a short briefing over what happened in Hermes the last couple of years. He thanked IATA for giving Hermes a premium slot, just before the beginning of the opening IATA AGM reception. “2020 despite being a tough year for the industry Hermes managed to organize our AGM online with the participation of almost all the industry leaders and we were the very first to get back to the face to face communication and organize a physical event in July this year”. “We were very active signing MOUs with aviation organizations with the most important being for Airlines for America and I would like to thank all the A4A team and especially Nicholas Calio for making this cooperation happen as well as the University of the Aegean, Mr Theoharis, the Greek Minister of Tourism.” “We still continue and work on our recommendation initiative, we continued with a “business as usual” spirit without interrupting our effort. We had a record of 15 organizations either with interviews or with position papers”
He thanked once again A4A, IATA, ACI and all organizations that participated with papers on the topic “Resilience and efficiency through Leadership and Cooperation” recommendation.
Believing that crises are for the brave ones Hermes decided to take initiatives and organized regional events “that were never part of our agenda”. First an event Europe was organised with Hellenic Aviation Society back in February, with the help of Hermes member Juan Carlos Salazar -who is now the new Secretary General of ICAO- and with Aeronautica Civil another event in Latin America was organised and finally with our partner iPADIS was organised an event for focusing on Africa. He said that Hermes welcomed 2 new board members over the last months, Luis Felipe de Oliveira and Eamonn Brennan. Finally, Dr Iatrou apologized for Hermes’s decision to charge an annual fee to the members explaining the difficulty of getting sponsorship but at the same time it is an opportunity “for the members to show their commitment” and thanked all those that have already paid their fees. It will contribute to Hermes’s existence and forward movement and help the organization keep its independence. With these fees members maintain their independence and their power to make the decisions on what happens in and with Hermes. “This is the agenda of the last year and as the situation seems to improve we plan to organize a lot of activities”. He called the members to submit their ideas for next year’s topic, “we need the interaction with our members and the organizations as this will ensure a good cooperation. After all, the organization belongs to you, the leaders of Air Transport.”
He then called Luis Felipe de Oliveira to say a few words before the Hermes Award Ceremony. Luis Felipe expressed his joy for meeting his colleagues in person and being able to travel again in these difficult times. He then moved on to talk about Salvatore Sciacchitano, who did a great job in dealing with the greatest crisis in aviation history by introducing CART and bringing together stakeholders to discuss the issues of the industry and to find solutions. He achieved by being open and listening to all and realizing that only by working together the industry can ride the crisis wave. He thanked him for all his great effort over the last year.
Dr Kostas Iatrou said that the Hermes Award is given to people whose personalities contribute to air transport. The first recipient was Eamonn Brennan and Pieter Elbers received in 2020. It was an unanimous decision of the Hermes Board to bestow this year’s award to Salvatore Sciacchitano for being a true leader in a difficult period in an industry that needs leaders.
Upon receiving the award, Salvatore Sciacchitano said that it is a great honour because he trusts Hermes as an organization and he trusts Hermes’s mechanisms and the industry as a whole not individuals sectors. Hermes just as IATA under his leadership faces challenges in a different way by bringing the industry together.