Industry calls for calm after failed bomb plots

THE governments of the world, desperately wanting the public to see them acting in response to the al-Qaeda bomb threats, are preventing airfreight to be flown from Yemen to other countries. Those affected include the UK, France and now Germany.

Internationally, newspapers and TV stations are using the event to stir up fear and reactionary feelings, while the aviation industry tries to appeal for calm.

“The events in Yemen have put cargo security at the top of our agenda. We are much more secure than in 2001, but there is room for improvement,” admitted Giovanni Bisignani, the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) chief executive officer.

However, he added that a balance must be kept between safe movement of airfreight and stifling industry. “Airfreight drives the world economy. The products that we carry represent 35 per cent of the total value of goods traded internationally. In 2009, airlines carried 26 million tonnes of international cargo. By 2014, that will increase to 38 million tonnes. Transporting these goods safely, securely and efficiently is critical,” said Bisignani.

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