IATA DG Frowns At How Aviation As ‘Business of Freedom’ Is Being Threatened By Political Agendas

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    Alexandre de Juniac Director General and CEO, IATA

    From the tone of his speech at the just concluded CAPA Aeropolitical and Regulatory Affairs Summit in Doha Qatar, Alexandre de Juniac , the Director General and chief executive officer of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) was not in a good mood as he bares his mind on what impediment states’ and regional political agendas are posing on aviation despite achievement recorded.

    De Juniac said, “Aviation is a global industry.” Giving a forecast on the performance of 2019 he said, “ This year it will safely meet the transport needs of 4.6 billion travelers. It will power the global economy by transporting 66 million tonnes of cargo, the value of which accounts for a third of global trade.”

    “The industry’s footprint extends to every corner of the earth. Never before have we been so connected to each other. And as the density of global connectivity grows each year, the world becomes more prosperous.”

    On the air transport achievement, he said ‘Aviation has changed the world for the better by pushing back the horizons of distance and fueling globalization. As an industry we can be proud.’

    Reflecting on his comments about aviation as the Business of Freedom. De Juiniac lamented that it is ‘coming under pressure today by a number of political agendas.’

    He specified with related regions: “Iran’s ability to maintain internationally accepted safety standards or support links to its diaspora and the rest of the world are enormously challenged by US sanctions.

    And, the lack of peaceful relations among states in the region has resulted in operational restrictions and inefficiencies.”

    “The blockade of Qatar is one example. Aviation is keeping the country connected to the world—but under extremely difficult conditions.”

    “Looking outside the region, in Europe, the outcome of the Brexit talks could compromise the ability of aviation to meet growing demands for connectivity. Irrespective of the political relationship between the UK and Europe we see growing demand by individuals and business for connectivity between the two. Brexit cannot be allowed to undermine that demand.”

    Emphasizing, de Juniac said “More generally, some political circles are rejecting globalizations benefits. They favor a protectionist future that can only lead to a far less connected and less prosperous world—both economically and culturally.

    “We need to work towards a more inclusive globalization. But it is a fact that globalization has already lifted a billion people from poverty.  That could not have happened without aviation. And we are well-aware that our industry has a critical contribution to most of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

    Explaining IATA’s stand in all of these. IATA DG emphatically said, “ IATA is a trade association. Our primary aim is to help our member airlines to deliver connectivity safely, efficiently, and sustainably. This is enormously important and positive for the future of our world.”

    “IATA has no political agenda and takes no sides in political disputes. But we know that aviation can only deliver its benefits with borders that are open to people and to trade. And so, in these challenging times, we must all rigorously defend the Business of Freedom.”

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