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IATA ready for intense AGM

IATA is gearing up for its 68th IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit that gets underway in Beijing, China on June 11, 2012. The annual event will bring together some 650 leaders of the global aviation industry for two days of intense discussions on the industry’s most important issues. Tony Tyler, director general and CEO of IATA, observed: “Oil prices are high, although moderating somewhat from recent peaks. The European sovereign debt crisis is unresolved and we are seeing signs that it is starting to affect Asia’s export-driven economies. And the largely jobless recovery from the 2008 global financial crisis is proceeding at a glacial pace. Passenger demand is strong, cargo is weak and the industry’s profitability remains razor thin.” In March, IATA announced its industry outlook for a $3.0 billion profit on $633 billion in revenues for a net margin of 0.5%. At the beginning of its AGM, IATA will revise that outlook taking into consideration the volatility over recent months. Tyler also pointed out that “Beijing is a fitting location for this year’s AGM. It is IATA’s home in North Asia — the location of our largest regional office and largest billing and settlement office, with 132 million tickets processed in 2011. But even more importantly, China is a great aviation success story. The government’s strategy of using aviation to drive economic growth has seen China emerge as an aviation powerhouse.” In 2011, IATA points out, one-half of the industry’s aggregate profits were earned by Chinese airlines and three of the world’s 10 largest IATA member airlines by passengers are based there. China is the second largest airline market in the world with 300 million travellers and industry revenues of $57.6 billion last year. To support further growth, it is in the process of adding 70 new airports between 2011 and 2015 with 97 airports to be built by 2020. Go to http://www.iata.org for more.

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