The Association of European Airlines, representing Europes major network carriers, has announced that Dr. Ivan Mišetić, President and Chief Executive Officer of Croatia Airlines, will chair the Association in 2009. Dr. Mišetić takes over from Peter Hartman, President and CEO of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.
Ivan Mišetić is the longest-serving CEO of any European national airline, having been appointed to the post of Croatia Airlines' Chief Executive Officer in April 1997. Dr Mišetić has transformed Croatia Airlines into an essential component of his country's infrastructure, a key factor in helping an independent Croatia to create an international identity, a quality airline which is a leader in promoting the integration of South-Eastern Europe into the greater European aviation market. Dr Mišetić has also made an important personal contribution to the work of AEA as a member of the Association's governing board. He brought Croatia Airlines into AEA in 1998, and from 2003 has been a member of the Presidents' Committee which directs and oversees the work of the association; he was elected Deputy Chairman of AEA in May 2008. Dr Mišetić will guide AEA through a year of financial and economic turmoil, and will focus on three items in particular. In the first half of 2009, the swift political endorsement of a package designed to promote a Single European Sky will be crucial, he said. This project is in the interest of the European citizen, its aviation sector and the environment. I would very much like to build on the breakthrough progress achieved during the AEA Chairmanship of my predecessor, Peter Hartman. Even more important for his chairmanship, said Ivan Mišetić, was promoting an understanding of the role aviation plays for European citizens and Europe as a region. Europe thrives on its diversity, said Dr. Mišetić. Small countries, European regions and cultures have specificities which make Europe so fascinating and internationally competitive. Aviation connects them with each other, and with the rest of the world. And finally, Dr. Mišetić announced his intention to present the public and the political decision-makers with an Agenda 2014. In the latter part of 2009, we will be discussing with national governments, and with EU institutions, how the newly elected European Parliament and the European Commission can help European aviation remain internationally competitive, environmentally responsible and consumer-oriented.