First 2013 Budget focus group to meet June 13
BEIJING: Some 650 leaders of the global aviation industry will attend the 68th International Air Transport Association (IATA) General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit, which will open in Beijing on June 11, to discuss the industry’s most important issues.
IATA Director General and CEO Tony Tyler said in a statement that Beijing is a fitting location for the events as it is IATA’s largest regional office, billing and settlement office in North Asia, with 132 million tickets processed in 2011.
“But even more importantly, China is a great aviation success story. The government’s strategy of using aviation to drive economic growth has seen China emerge as an aviation powerhouse.
“One-half of the industry’s aggregate profits in 2011 were earned by Chinese airlines and three of the world’s 10 largest IATA member airlines by passengers are based there.
“China is the second largest airline market in the world with 300 million travellers and industry revenues of $57.6 billion last year, and to support further growth, it is in the process of adding 70 new airports between 2011 and 2015 with 97 airports to be built by 2020,” he said.
This is the second time that the AGM will be held in China, and Air China is hosting the event. The first was in 2002 in Shanghai, hosted by China Eastern Airlines.
Tyler said IATA has a long and fruitful history of partnership in the development of aviation in China since it first established a presence in the mainland of China in 1994.
Currently, 19 Chinese airlines are counted among IATA’s 242 members, of which 11 are based in the mainland of China. China was also the first country to achieve IATA’s mandate of 100 per cent e-ticketing for its airlines, the statement said.
Tyler said one of the country’s most popular air routes for international flights is unofficially known as IATA-1, owing to the association’s close cooperation with the Chinese authorities in establishing it.
He said the aviation industry continues to face challenges.
“Oil prices are high, although moderating somewhat from recent peaks. The European sovereign debt crisis is unresolved and we are seeing signs that it is starting to affect Asia’s export-driven economies.
“The largely jobless recovery from the 2008 global financial crisis is proceeding at a glacial pace. Passenger demand is strong, cargo is weak and the industry’s profitability remains razor thin,” he added.
In March, IATA announced its industry outlook for a $3.0 billion profit on $633 billion in revenues for a net margin of 0.5 per cent. On Monday, the association will revise the outlook taking into consideration the volatility over recent months.
The two-day event will feature the CEO Forum and discussions about doing business in China as well as about social media and air transport, the value of aviation, commercialisation of Biofuels, and the future of airline distribution.
|By : Bernama|
|New Sabah Times|