Qatar now at epicentre of airline industry

Safety, security and the environment are some of the critical issues that will be discussed by top executives of the airline industry at the 70th International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit in Doha, said Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker. Nearly 1,000 people are expected to attend the event hosted by Qatar Airways until tomorrow.

It will be held under the patronage of HH the Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. Doha is the first GCC city to host the IATA meeting, the highest-level event for the industry.

“Qatar will be at the epicentre of the airline industry this week as aviation leaders from around the world gather in Doha to discuss the critical issues of the moment, including safety, security and the environment, among others,” al-Baker said. “We are delighted to be hosting the AGM here in Doha as it will allow us to showcase our new state-of-the-art Hamad International Airport, the great strides that have been taken in developing our infrastructure and our renowned Qatari hospitality.”

IATA, which is the global association of airlines, draws together the CEOs and senior management of its 240 member airlines which carry 84% of global traffic.

They will be joined by leaders from across the spectrum of industry stakeholders including governments, partners in the value chain and other international organisations.

The AGM will include a number of key discussions, including CEOs that will feature al-Baker, David Barger, chief executive officer, JetBlue Airways; Ivan Chu, chief executive officer, Cathay Pacific Airways; Andres Conesa Labastida, chief executive officer, Aeromexico, and Willie Walsh, chief executive officer, International Airlines Group, with CNN international business correspondent Richard Quest as moderator.

Globally, aviation supports 58mn jobs and $2.4tn in economic activity. Over a third of the value of all the goods that are traded internationally is delivered by air, worth some $6.4bn.

According to IATA, Middle East airlines also continue to benefit from the strength of regional economies and solid growth in business-related premium travel.

This year IATA would be celebrating the 100th anniversary of commercial aviation.

“Over that century, aviation has done much to change our world for the better with the global connectivity that it provides. Certainly, Qatar is a great example of the economic and social contribution that aviation can make,” said Tony Tyler, IATA director general and chief executive officer. Source: Gulf Times