Industry needs sweeping changes says IATA

IATA has called for a major resizing and reshaping of the entire air transport value chain to cope with the ongoing global economic crisis. Airlines are expected to post losses of US$9 billion this year with an unprecedented 15 per cent revenue drop that will see industry revenues shrink by $80 billion to $448 billion.

“I am a realist and I don’t see facts to support optimism,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s director general and chief executive officer at the organisation’s annual summit in Kuala Lumpar. “The industry is in survival mode. Whether this crisis is long or short, the world is changing. Travel budgets have been slashed and consumers will need to reduce their debt. It will not be business as usual in the post-crisis world. Governments, partners and airlines must use this crisis as an opportunity to build a stronger industry. That means resizing and reshaping.”

Bisignani noted that the burden of change must be shared across the industry value chain. “Resizing and reshaping is not just a problem for airlines. Everyone in the value chain lives off our revenues. All must contribute to industry change,” said Bisignani.

“Air transport is a responsible industry—in good times and in crisis. Today’s situation is unprecedented—the most difficult ever. Governments and partners must understand that we are struggling to survive in a new and harsh reality. We are, however, resilient and capable of great change. Together we must turn challenges into opportunities to be safer, greener and profitable,” said Bisignani.

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