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IATA sees $16.4bn profit in 2014

London, November 6, 2013

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has revised its global airline profit forecast to $16.4 billion on the back of a strong performance by the Middle East carriers who will contribute $2.1 billion to the total.

“Aviation has changed the world for the better. This year airlines will carry over three billion passengers and 50 million tonnes of cargo. And it is a fact that a large part of this phenomenal success story can be attributed to global standards,” remarked Tony Tyler, IATA director general and CEO.

He was speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO) on Wednesday. Tyler identified commercial regulation, infrastructure capacity and environment as areas where global standards and a global approach are crucial.

“Our success at aligning with governments and improving safety on a platform of global standards provides clear guidance on the way forward,” said Tyler.

Calling upon others to emulate the Middle East style of development, Tyler said the region continues to be a great success story in the aviation industry.

“Talking about the need for industry-government cooperation in building effective regulatory regimes aligned to global standards may seem out-of-place in this part of the world. The Gulf success story is well-grounded in precisely that spirit of co-operation," he stated.

"In fact the Gulf example is a best practice success story that we are asking all governments to take note of. Even in this region it should not be taken for granted. By keeping its importance top-of-mind, I hope that it will longbe a driving force of success and an example for others," he added.

The IATA chief urged governments to adopt and adhere to global standards that are necessary for the safe, efficient and sustainable operation of the global air transport system.

“Regulation works best when it is aligned to global standards and developed by governments working in cooperation with industry. This approach has underpinned our success in safety. But when it comes to commercial activities I have deep concerns that some governmentsare introducing fragmentation into our global industry. We see it in passenger rights. With the best of intentions, at least 60 governments have consumer protection legislation specific to aviation. The unintended consequences are extra costs and confusion,” said Tyler.

“The IATA Annual General Meeting in June unanimously adopted a resolution on principles on passenger rights for governments to use when regulating in this area. These principles will be taken into account by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as it develops criticallyneeded policy guidance in this area,”said the aviation body chief.

Tyler also urged governments to adopt the global standards for passenger liability established in the Montreal Convention 1999.“Where there are global standards, it is important that governments use them. The Montreal Convention provides a basis for a harmonized liability regime and sets a critical part of the framework for important industry programs such as e-freight."

So far, only 103 of 191 ICAO member states have ratified it. And it should be noted that even among the states which have ratified, few have actually adopted local laws to facilitate implementation. This is holding back critical efforts—including e-freight and e-Air Waybill. Global standards only deliver their maximum benefit if they are globally implemented,” said Tyler.

Global standards are critical to managing scarce airport resources when demand for air travel exceeds runway capacity.

"With some $40 billion being invested in airport infrastructure in the Gulf alone by far-sighted governments, it may come as a surprise that we face a capacity shortfall. But even when the new airport in Doha opens in 2014 runway capacity is not expected to meet demand during all parts of the day," stated Tyler.

According to him, the IATA Worldwide Slot Guidelines (WSG) are the industry standards used to manage capacity at 165 slot constrained airports. Efficient global connectivity is critical for all economies. The system is efficient in direct proportion to the degree of global implementation," he added.

Another area where capacity is being squeezed is airspace, said the global aviation body chief.

“The Gulf region is a hub for global connectivity. And it offers a high level of service to global standards. But, there is a huge amount of capacity in a relatively small area. That area is further limited by military airspace. In fact only about half of the airspace across the region is open to civil aviation. Already we are seeing delays becoming commonplace,” explained Tyler.

Tyler urged governments to work together with users to find solutions. “Governments across the region have recognized the importance of civil aviation in their national development plans. It now needs to manifest itself in cooperation across the Gulf to manage air traffic efficiently for everybody’s collective benefit.”

Just as global standards are crucial for the safe and efficient operation of international aviation, the industry needs a global solution to address its environmental responsibilities, he added.-TradeArabuia News Service




Tags: Middle East | Iata | profit | Airlines |

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