Airline Industry Urges Governments to Take Responsibility

The leaders of the world’s airlines unanimously agreed to a resolution calling for governments, airports and labor to take immediate action to help the industry survive the growing financial crisis. The resolution was made at the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) 64th Annual General Meeting now being held in Istanbul.

“Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures," said IATA Chairman and TAP Portugal CEO Fernando Pinto. "Airlines are an engine for global prosperity and failure amongst them would send shock waves throughout the world economy.”

The resolution comes after a recent spike in fuel prices that has led to two-dozen airlines ceasing operations or filing for bankruptcy.  “Many more will not survive,” Pinto said.

The IATA declaration made six specific calls to action: Governments must eliminate archaic rules that prevent airlines from restructuring across borders. In view of existing fees and charges, governments must refrain from imposing multiple and additional punitive taxes and other measures that will only deepen the crisis. State service providers must invest to modernize air transport infrastructure urgently, eliminating wasteful fuel consumption and emissions.

Other points: Business partners, in particular monopoly service providers, must become as efficient as airlines are now. If not, regulators must restrain their appetite with tougher regulation. Labor unions must refrain from making irresponsible claims and join the effort to secure jobs in aviation and indeed in other industries.  In the interest of the global economy and the flying public, IATA urged authorities to enforce the integrity of markets so that the cost of energy reflects its true value.

“The airline industry is sending a clear message to governments, partners and labor. We are in crisis," said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA director general and CEO. "Governments, labor and our business partners must understand this. And they must act.” Visit www.iata.org

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