IATA calls for speed, innovation to derive economic benefits
International Air Transport Association (IATA) yesterday urged aviation countries to embrace speed and innovation to enable the sector deliver its vast social and economic benefits.
IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, at the opening of the IATA World Financial Symposium, said aviation is the business of freedom, making global mobility ubiquitous.
“For 63 million people, aviation provides the freedom to earn their livelihood. For 3.8 billion travelers aviation includes the freedom to explore the world, build understanding, develop business, make friendships, visit relatives or make their lives better. Speed and innovation will secure our future so that we can continue to deliver these benefits,” he said,
De Juniac, in his speech at the symposium, said that the airline industry is forecast to deliver a collective net profit of US $39.4 billion this year, which would be a record.
“We are having a very good year. I am not predicting an end to the good times, but it would be unrealistic to expect them to last forever.”
He pointed out that profitability is not evenly spread, with significant variations among regions.
Among potential risks de Juniac identified are: a sudden rise in oil prices; an increase in terrorism aimed at aviation and air travel; a sharp economic downturn and a retreat from the principles of free trade by one or more major economies.
“Uncertainty is ahead of us. I am a big believer in speed and innovation. We cannot know the future. But we need to be prepared to react quickly when the environment changes. That’s not easy for any business—and it is a real struggle for process-driven industries like air transport.”
Building on the conference theme of the importance of high performing financial departments to support the airline CEO, de Juniac said that the “dream team” for any CEO has high performance across all of its functions, so that effective decisions can be made swiftly.”