The International Air Transport Association (IATA), an industry-wide association of 240 airlines operating around 84 percent of global air traffic, has called on governments worldwide to partner with the aviation industry in helping the industry to sustain its economic advantages.
The association is currently hosting its 68th IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Beijing, China. In its current session, IATA has reported that in 2011, the aviation industry has flown around 2.8 billion passengers, and 48 million tons of cargo. The aviation industry has also transported goods worth $5.3 trillion by air, representing around 35 percent of all goods traded worldwide.
Addressing the AGM participants at the opening session, Tony Tyler, the IATA director general and chief executive officer, said, ‘Our industry’s license to grow is earned through working with governments to constantly make flying even safer, more secure, and more sustainable. Now we need an agenda to achieve tax regimes that do not kill growth, regulation that facilitates growth and infrastructure that can efficiently accommodate growth. Doing so will enable the substantial economic benefits-jobs and growth-that global connectivity provides.
Aviation’s benefits are not guaranteed. Aviation is expected to grow about 5 percent annually to 2030. If that growth is held back by even 1 percentage point, the global economy will forfeit over a trillion dollars and 14 million jobs. Modern economies cannot prosper and create jobs if they are not connected to global opportunities through aviation. Governments need to unleash the power of aviation to drive jobs and growth. And airlines need to be successful businesses-keeping revenues ahead of costs and generating returns for their shareholders-to deliver economic benefits.’