Principles for Reaping Aviation Benefits Outlined

By Abdi Ali
Published February 24, 2018

International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecasts Africa will be a market of 350 million airline passengers by 2035 and identified four priorities which must be addressed if aviation is to deliver maximum economic and social benefits for the countries on the continent.Players in the air transport industry have to agree on common principles for aviation to continue to thrive around the globe.

Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and Chief Executive Officer of International Air Transport Association (IATA), says stakeholders must be guided by five common principles:

  • we must be safe, and we must always strive to be even safer
  • aviation thrives on partnership and cooperation, supported by global standards
  • governments must avoid creating barriers to market innovation
  • aviation must be supported by infrastructure that is efficient and affordable
  • aviation must be sustainable, both environmentally and economically.

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De Juniac, who was speaking at Aviation Day USA, said, “Aviation is the business of freedom. It liberates us from the constraints of geography, distance and time, enabling us to lead better lives, and it makes the world a better place.”

Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and Chief Executive Officer of IATA, says it is in everybody's interest to ensure that airlines are paid on-time, at fair exchange rates and in full.De Juniac focused on infrastructure and market innovation as the areas in which the five common principles should be applied.

Though IATA forecasts that 7.8 billion passengers will travel globally in 2036 as opposed to the 4.1 billion who flew in 2017, infrastructure-development is not keeping pace with growth in demand for flights.

“To meet that demand we need sufficient capacity in terms of runways, terminals and airspace,” De Juniac observed. “Quality must be aligned with our technical and commercial needs. And it all must be affordable.”

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The IATA CEO also reiterated concerns on governments looking to fund airport infrastructure development through privatization.

“We have yet to see an airport privatization that has, in the long-term, delivered on the promised benefits of greater efficiency for airlines and a better experience for our customers. To date there has been no regulatory formula that effectively balances the interest of private owners to earn a profit with the public interest to have the airport serve as an engine of economic growth. By all means, invite private sector expertise to bring commercial discipline and a customer service focus to airport management, but leave ownership in public hands,” said de Juniac.

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IATA, that is said to be representing some 280 airlines comprising 83% of global air traffic, encouraged further rationalization of the regulatory environment to remove barriers to innovation.

“Aviation is being challenged by the digital revolution and constant innovation is critical to survival. Often, however, governments create regulatory barriers to innovation. For example, the success of the so-called ultra-low cost carriers makes it clear there is a huge appetite for an absolutely basic travel experience. Yet in parts of the globe, regulators try to limit airlines’ ability to meet this demand by imposing some service levels—like requiring inclusive or flexible fares,” said de Juniac.