19-Nov-2010 8:04 AM

Latin American aviation priorities: IATA

IATA called (18-Nov-2010) on Latin American governments to address regional challenges of safety, rising taxes and inadequate infrastructure in Brazil. It also called for the region to take advantage of the strength gained through a decade of change to take leadership on global issues including liberalisation and climate change. Director General and CEO Giovanni Bisignani outlined strategic regional priorities: 

  • Safety: Mr Bisignani stated "priorities for the region are to increase implementation of Performance-Based Navigation procedures, find solutions to runway excursions and improve congested airspace", after its hull loss rate for western-built jet aircraft rose to 3.2 times higher than the 0.73 global average for the first 10 months of 2010;
  • Taxes: Mr Bisignani stated "governments must understand that airlines are not a cash cow. As an industry, we must speak with a much stronger voice to refocus governments from taxing us to death to driving economic growth with a healthy air transport sector”;
  • Brazil: Brazil is Latin America’s fastest growing aviation market but its infrastructure capability is not keeping pace with the growth in demand. Of the top 20 airports in Brazil thirteen don’t have terminals that can meet today’s demand. This includes Sao Paolo Guarulhos, the region’s largest hub which will play a gateway role in 2014 for the FIFA World Cup and in 2016 for the Summer Olympics. IATA is adding resources in Brazil and today named Carlos Ebner as Country Director to be based in Sao Paolo with effect from 01-Dec-2010. [more - press release] [more - speech]

Mr Bisignani also called for continued liberalisation of the region, calling on governments to "bust the bureaucracy of outdated ownership rules and work towards a 21st century regulatory structure that gives aviation access to global capital". He added there is also a need to further integrate Latin America’s economies with an open aviation market.

IATA: “Latin America has emerged as a shining star in the industry after a decade of crisis and change. Ten years ago the region was a mess. Today it is the only region that has delivered a profit in 2009 (USD500 million) and in 2010 (USD1 billion). We expect profitability to extend to a third consecutive year with a USD600 million return in 2011. The turnaround is the result of hard work and a willingness to change. But aviation remains a tough and dynamic business. Even more change is needed. But the position of the Latin American industry going forward is much different. The successes over the last decade give the region a platform to be a force for global change,” Giovanni Bisignani, Director General and CEO. Source: IATA, 18-Nov-2010.

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