IATA outlines Mena growth areas
Algiers, November 7, 2012
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has outlined key areas in which opportunities exist to further develop aviation in the Mena region to benefit from the region’s economies, said a top official.
Speaking at the Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO) annual general meeting in Algiers, Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO said, "Mena is a growing force in aviation. For example, over the last decade, the Middle East share of global international traffic has risen from about 5 per cent to about 11.5 per cent."
Tyler called upon the gathering to identify opportunities to build a stronger industry in Mena.
“The rise of the Gulf carriers is an amazing story. They are leading Middle East traffic growth that is still in the double digits. And even if we look at the less-headline-grabbing carriers in North Africa, we are seeing a healthy demand performance,” remarked Tyler.
“Safety is a top priority are and global standards such as the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) are critical to achieving industry-levels of safety across Mena. In the first ten months there has not been a single Western-built jet hull loss in the Mena region," said the IATA chief.
"This is a great achievement. However, if we look at all accidents the picture is different. The accident rate for non-IOSA carriers is trending at about three-and-a-half times worse than those on the registry. This is clear evidence that IOSA improves safety."
"The African Union is moving towards mandating IOSA. Governments of the Arab Civil Aviation Commission should be reminded of their commitment dating back to 2006 to make IOSA compulsory for the carriers in their region. Flying is safe. But it is our collective responsibility to always make it safer,” Tyler added.
According to Tyler, aviation is a catalyst for growth. “The Gulf area has prospered from big thinking on aviation. In the UAE, for example, a study by Oxford Economics recently concluded that aviation supports some 15 per cent of GDP and 14 per cent of total employment."
"Building on world class infrastructure and business-friendly policies, the Gulf carriers are now extending their reach through alliances, equity stakes and innovative partnerships," he stated
"I would encourage similar big thinking across North Africa to help spur economic development and GDP growth. For example, why not move forward with developing a major North African hub?,” remarked Tyler.
On air traffic management, the IATA chief said, "Growing traffic in the Mena region must be matched with sufficient airspace capacity.
"Mena must avoid the inefficiencies that we see in Europe. There is no room for complacency. In the Gulf, ATM delays are already nearing crisis levels. Evolving East-West traffic patterns are creating new challenges across the region, including North Africa," explained Tyler.
"Successfully handling this will require co-operation among states. Some of this is already starting and we hope for a successful and speedy conclusion. It would be a shame if the potential of the investment in ground infrastructure was held back by a lack of progress in the air," he added.
Another key are for growth is environment, said Tyler. "Sustainability is a key priority for the global aviation industry. Aviation contributes about 2 per cent to global carbon emissions," he observed.
Tyler reiterated the industry’s commitments to manage and reduce its carbon emissions. “No other industry has made tougher commitments to emissions reductions than aviation. We are making good progress toward our targets to improve fuel efficiency by 1.5 per cent annually to 2020, cap net emissions from 2020 with carbon-neutral growth, and cut net emissions in half by 2050 compared to 2005," explained the aviation body chief.
The airline industry, said Tyler, is working towards developing consensus on a fair and equitable global solution for MBMs that would feed into the ICAO process in advance of the 2013 Assembly. “AACO has been instrumental in providing some very sensible proposals,” he added.-TradeArabia News Service