Announcing a modest improvement in its outlook for the 2013 financial performance of the global airline industry, primarily based on stronger revenues, Tony Tyler, Director General and Chief Executive of the International Air Transport Association, took a swipe at the “knocks” that governments are imposing on the airline industry.
“Airlines deliver tremendous value—connecting some three billion people and nearly 50 million tonnes of cargo,” he said. “They support employment for some 57 million people and $2.2 trillion in economic activity. About a third of world trade (by value) is with goods shipped by air. Aviation is a catalyst for economic growth and prosperity…and an industry that can generate sustainable returns can do that more effectively.
“But many governments don’t seem to understand that. Just look at the knocks that the industry is taking….another increase in the UK Air Passenger Duty from April 1, another weak framework for moving forward the Single European Sky, proposals for punitive passenger rights regulations that score political points while ignoring what would deliver true value to passengers, and the threat of reduced air traffic management and facilitation services in the USA as part of the budget sequestration process.
“There is a long list of government-generated impediments to providing the connectivity that could have a very powerful positive impact on generating the economic growth that is so desperately needed. That is why we will continue to remind governments to engage the industry in a partnership to create a joined-up policy framework that enables a sustainable aviation industry and encourages the benefits it brings.”
IATA now expects airlines to produce a combined net post-tax profit margin of 1.6% (up from the previously forecast 1.3%) with a net post-tax profit of $10.6 billion (up from the previously projected $8.4 billion).