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Airlines recovery in the Arab world

06 Apr 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has been unlike any other crisis encountered by our industry. Thousands of jobs were lost, and the future of aviation post - pandemic is still uncertain. As the world reopens, we must look at how jobs can be retained, workers’ health and safety protected and how union infrastructure can be strengthened to ensure sustainable reform globally and in the Arab world region.

As we move from recovery to reform, tripartite aviation organisations must come together to rebuild a better, safer and more sustainable aviation. To achieve that it is key to keep workers at the heart of the process.

We invite you to join the ITF’s webinar on the AIRLINES RECOVERY IN THE ARAB WORLDwhere you will hear from regional aviation industry leaders. During this live session, panellists will discuss solutions and future plans for the recovery of aviation.


Kamil Al Awadhi, Regional Vice President for Africa and Middle East, International Air Transport Association (IATA)

Stephen Cotton, General Secretary, International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF)

Rossen Dimitrov, Advisor to Group Chief Executive, Qatar Airways

Ilham Kazzini, Senior Vice President of Development & Support, Royal Air Maroc

Malya Kellal, Head of General Management Office, Air Algerie

Mohamed Smaoui, Deputy Regional Director, Middle East Office, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

Seddik Berrama, ITF Vice President and Regional Chair of the Arab World, will open the session.

Presentations will be given by Bilal Malkawi, Arab World Regional Secretary (ITF) and Rhea Chatterjee, Civil Aviation and Tourism Services Assistant Secretary (ITF).

Live interpretation will be available in Arabic, English and French.

Time: April 13, 2021 11AM in London

Register here:

Panellists' biographies

Kamil Al Awadi is the IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and Middle East. He was CEO of Kuwait Airways, a responsibility he held from November 2018 through August 2020. That capped a 31-year career at Kuwait Airways during which his positions included Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer. Al-Awadhi has also held several positions in the areas of safety, security, quality management and enterprise resource planning.


Stephen Cotton is the General Secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) – a global union federation of almost 700 trade unions representing 20 million workers in 147 countries in the transport industry. He was re-elected to the position at the 44th ITF Congress held in Singapore in 2018. Mr. Cotton is also Chair of the Council of Global Unions (CGU) the partnership between the International Trade Union Confederation, global union federations and the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD.

Malya Kellal is currently the Head of the General Management Office of Air Algerie, a position she has held since 2018. Malya began her civil aviation career as an Industry Engineer assigned to the Air Operations Department at Hoare Boumediene Airport in 1995. This started her 26 year long career with Air Algerie, during which Malya has held numerous positions such as Deputy Quality Manager and Director of Flights Programmes and Crews Organisation.

Driven by world-class customer experience design, creative thinking and continually innovating in the airline industry, Rossen Dimitrov is an experienced senior executive with over 20 years of leadership experience working for the world’s best airline brands. Earning an internationally recognised reputation for creating bespoke guest experiences, he prides himself on delivering future-proof aircraft, lounge and airport interiors, technology-enabled experiences and new service concepts that are the foundation of the airlines customer experience. As Advisor to Group Chief Executive at Qatar Airways, Rossen is constantly challenging the status quo through building a customer-centric approach to planning and development for the airline that will continue to revolutionise the way people experience air travel for years to come.


Mohamed Smaoui is the Deputy Regional Director of the ICAO Middle East Office. He began his civil aviation career with the ANS Service Provider and Aerodrome Operator of Tunisia (OACA) in 1992, where he had been involved in CNS/ATM operations and aerodrome planning and infrastructure projects. Mr. Smaoui joined ICAO in 2001 as Regional Officer AIM. In addition to his AIM responsibilities for both the MID and EUR/NAT Regions, he has been in charge of the ATM and safety activities for different periods during his career with the ICAO MID Office. He has been also an ICAO approved ANS Auditor within the USOAP programme since 2006.

Ilham Kazzini joined Royal Air Maroc in 2000 to be in charge of revenue management and recipe optimisation, after a preparatory class at the Lycée Mohammed V and engineering studies at Supélec Paris. Between 2008 and 2009, she was appointed regional representative of the Grand Casablanca region. Between 2009 and 2011, Ilham Kazzini held the position of head of international agreements and commercial piloting. She was Marketing and Customer Service Director between 2011 and 2012, before finally occupying the position of Senior Vice President of the Development and Support division. She thus manages the HRD, the DOSI (Organization and Information Systems) and the Purchasing and General Affairs department.