KATA Officials Visit IATA Global Delivery Centre, Hold Meetings with Senior Officials  18th Oct 2018

The Chairman of KATA Mohammed Wanyoike and CEO Nicanor Sabula this week visited IATA's Global Delivery Centre based in Madrid, Spain and held a series of meetings with senior officials led by Dusan Kostic, Regional Director, FDS and GDC, Europe.

The highly impactful visit followed an invitation extended to the KATA officials by IATA Vice President for Africa and Middle East Muhammad Al Bakri during his visit to KATA in August this year to explain the ongoing reorganisation in IATA. 

The reorganisation has seen IATA converge its key services under 3 global hubs to ensure that they serve their clients in an effective manner. IATA seeks to create a customer centric organisation.

During the visit, the KATA officials held bilateral meetings with various IATA officials and got an opportunity to tour the Global Delivery Centre to understand its operations. "This has been an eye opening visit as we now have first-hand understanding of how IATA works and are in a better position to explain the same to our members," Mr.  Wanyoike told the KATA Weekly Travel News. "It was great to finally putting faces to the names we interact with through the IATA portal.  This will enhance the support services we provide to our members as now we know that indeed there are people and not just machines behind the portal, added CEO Mr. Sabula. 

At the bilateral meetings, the KATA officials briefed the IATA officials on the state of the trade and issues affecting travel agents not only in Kenya but also across the region. This included but not limited to the state of preparedness for implementation of NewGen ISS, challenges with the DIP as a financial security, abuse of ADM policies by certain airlines and the need to strengthen the governance structure within the region's APJC.  They acknowledged the improvement in service delivery since the migration to Madrid and expressed their hope that same would be sustained if not improved further.  

On their part, the IATA officials hailed KATA as a leading travel trade Association on the African continent and for being proactive in championing issues of her members. "We are happy to host KATA officials here at the GDC and explain to them our operations which we believe will help us serve our clients better, said Dusan Kostic. “This is a strategy we have adopted to all our partners so that we can explain ourselves to them.”  

Others who met and addressed the KATA officials at the meeting included Enrique Girondo, GDC Director; Sergei Martinyuk, Head of Agency Management; Sara Horlock Asst. Director Customer services; Jan D’Sa Regional Head FDS, Africa & Middle East; Javier Orejas, Head of Banking, EMEA & Americas; Pablo Fondacaro, Asst. Director Remittance & Settlement; Amber Wan, Manager Governance and Ignacio Mula, Head Standaridzation Participation. 

The new reorganisation of IATA has seen the creation of the key hubs- Madrid, Singapore, and Beijing- that handle all operational services including customer service and financial & distribution services while the Amman, Miami and Montreal hubs host the financial distribution services. 

In Kenya, IATA appointed Mr. Sidy Gueye as the regional relationship manager for Eastern Africa reporting to Mr.  Alexandra Stancu based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Felister Asuma, a renowned figure within IATA's Nairobi office will provide support on the financial distribution services with support from Jan Dstan based in Amman, Jordan.  

It is instructive that both Jan and Alex were present during KATA's visit and meetings.

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