Iata is to stage its annual general meeting as a virtual event after travel restrictions prevented the regular gathering of global airline bosses to be held.

The trade association’s 76th agm had originally been planned for June in the Netherlands but was pushed back to November due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The physical meeting has now been replaced by an online event from Amsterdam on November 24.

But the World Air Transport Summit that accompanies the annual meeting has been cancelled for 2020.

Iata director general and chief executive Alexandre de Juniac said: “The decision to cancel the in-person agm has not been taken lightly and in no way is a reflection on the hospitality of the Netherlands, nor our host carrier, KLM.

“When we postponed this year’s agm from June until November, it was with the expectation that government restrictions on travel would have been sufficiently eased to enable a physical meeting.

“That now seems unlikely and alternative plans for a virtual event are being activated.”

He added: “This will be one of our most important agms. The industry is in the deepest crisis in its history. And it is more important than ever for the industry to have this meeting serve as a rallying call of resilience as we find solutions to safely open borders and re-establish global connectivity, ensure vital cargo lanes and build a sustainable future from the destruction of the virus.”