Yvonne Manzi Makolo

RwandAir CEO Yvonne Manzi Makolo was named the Chair of The International Air Transport Association (IATA) Board of Governors (BoG) for a one-year term, effective from the conclusion of the 79th IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Istanbul, Türkiye on 5 June 2023. Makolo is the 81st chair of the IATA BoG and the first woman to take on this role. She has served on the BoG since November 2020. She succeeds Pegasus Airlines Chairperson of the Board Mehmet Tevfik Nane who will continue to serve on the BoG. “I am honored and pleased to take on this important role. IATA plays a critical role for all airlines—big and small, various business models, and in all corners of the world. Leading a medium-sized airline in Africa gives me a unique perspective on issues that airlines hold in common. At the top of the agenda is decarbonization, improving safety, the transformation to modern airline retailing, and ensuring we have the cost-efficient infrastructure,” said Makolo in a statement. Makolo began her aviation career in 2017 when she was appointed Deputy CEO of RwandAir, the national carrier of Rwanda. She later became the CEO on April 6, 2018. Previously, she had worked for over a decade in senior positions at the telecommunications company MTN Rwanda. Under her leadership, RwandAir has become one of the fastest-growing airlines in Africa with a fleet of 13 modern aircraft. She has spearheaded the cultural transformation of the airline, with a strong focus on inclusion and diversity and increasing the number of women in underrepresented roles. In June 2022, Makolo was recognized by the International Hospitality Institute in the Global 100 in Hospitality, a list featuring the 100 most influential people in global hospitality.