What are the most buoyant regions in the airline industry?
China is leading the growth. In 2034 we expect that the journeys of 1.3 billion travelers will touch China. That is 850 million more than today.
The US is expected to see an additional 550 million travelers, followed by India (+260 million), Indonesia (+180 million) and Brazil (+170 million). The next big focus could be Africa. The base of travelers is small in relative terms (about 120 million travelers), but eight of the ten fastest growing markets are in Africa. Europe is a mature market. Our expectation is for 2.7% annual growth over the next two decades. Even so, by 2034 1.4 billion passenger journeys will touch Europe—nearly 600 million more travelers than today.
We shouldn’t forget air cargo. Over 50 million tonnes of goods are shipped by air. And that is worth $6.8 trillion—over a third of the value of all goods traded internationally. Over the next five years we see global cargo volumes growing
by 4.1% annually.
What is the secret to stand out
and survive in a highly competitive industry?
Aviation is intensely competitive. Every airline struggles to keep revenues ahead of costs.
They have unique strategies for delivering
value to their customers and their shareholders. One of the messages that we try to convey to European governments is that they are not making it easy for their airlines. Aviation and related tourism supports over 9 million jobs and contributes over $650 billion to the EU economy. Yet the EU puts many obstacles in the way of the industry’s success.
The Single European Sky which aims to improve the efficiency of European airspace dramatically has not garnered the political will to move it forward. Although Paris and Amsterdam are important and growing hubs, Eurocontrol foresees a potential 12% shortfall in European airport capacity by 2035. And poorly thought out regulation—such as that on passenger rights—often ignores both global standards and commercial realities.
Aviation delivers connectivity which plays
a major role in Europe’s competitiveness. Governments should keep that top of mind.
Safety should be each airline’s main priority. How do you support the industry in this field?
Safety is the top priority. Although there have been some high profile accidents recently, including one in Europe, the industry’s overall safety record continues to improve. In 2014 there was one major accident for every 4.4 million flights with jet aircraft—the best performance in history.
To support constant improvement, all IATA’s
250 member airline must complete the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA). In total some
400 airlines are on the IOSA registry including many non-members. And it makes a difference. IOSA is not a guarantee that an airline will never experience an accident, but the average safety performance of airlines on the registry was about three times better than the global average in 2014. Future safety improvements will be achieved through data analysis. With partners across industry and government we are building the world’s largest database of operational information, known as the Global Aviation Data Management initiative. This will enhance aviation’s ability to identify areas of concern before they rise to the level of potential threats.