IATA dis­cusses state of in­dus­try and fu­ture at Global Me­dia Day

Among the top­ics cov­ered dur­ing open­ing brief­ing in­cluded the im­pact of Brexit, safety, air traf­fic man­age­ment, air­port op­er­a­tions, and tal­ent chal­lenges

Aviation Business - - CONTENTS -

Host­ing the global me­dia at its head­quar­ters in Geneva for the 15th year in a row, the In­ter­na­tional Air Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion (IATA) kicked off last month’s Global Me­dia Day by high­light­ing the in­creas­ing im­pact of avi­a­tion on the global econ­omy.

As part of the open­ing brief, Alexan­dre de Ju­niac, di­rec­tor gen­eral and CEO of IATA, shared that on the day of the event alone, roughly 12 mil­lion trav­ellers were trans­ported by air, along with 180,000 tonnes of cargo.

Ju­niac also noted that there are nearly three mil­lion peo­ple work­ing in the global in­dus­try, and roughly a third of global trade by value re­lies on air, the lat­ter equat­ing to al­most $20m a day.

“Avi­a­tion is a very rel­e­vant part of the global econ­omy. Ap­prox­i­mately 1% of global GDP — some $900b — will be spent on air travel in 2019,” shared Ju­niac.

The di­rec­tor gen­eral and CEO went on dis­cuss the progress of dif­fer­ent el­e­ments of the in­dus­try, such as safety, sus­tain­abil­ity, air traf­fic man­age­ment, and in­fra­struc­ture. He high­lighted in par­tic­u­lar, the chal­lenges as­so­ci­ated with air­ports, point­ing a re­cent sur­vey that found 70% of par­tic­i­pants sensed the over­crowd­ing of air­ports. Half of the sur­vey re­spon­dents also sup­ported plans for ex­pan­sion of their com­mu­nity’s air­port.

To tackle the air­port ca­pac­ity chal­lenge, IATA is en­cour­ag­ing air­port op­er­a­tors to ex­plore the ben­e­fits of dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion and its po­ten­tial im­pact on their in­fra­struc­ture. The or­gan­i­sa­tion also sug­gested that im­prove­ments to­wards al­lo­cat­ing scarce slots in dire

need of op­ti­mi­sa­tion, is quickly be­com­ing a must.

On the other hand, slot auc­tion­ing should be avoided. It is sug­gested that such a prac­tice could en­rich air­ports and trig­ger an in­crease in the cost of travel, of­fer lit­tle in­cen­tive to grow ca­pac­ity, while also lim­it­ing com­pe­ti­tion through bol­ster­ing lo­cal car­ri­ers within the air­ports they serve.

An­other area that was fo­cused on dur­ing the open­ing brief­ing was the scarcity of avi­a­tion tal­ent. While ad­mit­ting that the in­dus­try still has a dire need for skilled work­ers to meet the de­mand of present-day air travel, the good news is that air­lines are hir­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to the global avi­a­tion trade as­so­ci­a­tion, there will be a 2.2% growth of the work­force in 2019 that will reach 2.9 mil­lion em­ploy­ees. This

fore­casts builds upon the 3.1% and 3.3% growth that was re­ported in 2018 and 2017, re­spec­tively.

Within the re­cruit­ment space, how­ever, the par­tic­i­pa­tion of women in avi­a­tion re­mains a key is­sue.

“The level of par­tic­i­pa­tion of women in avi­a­tion is in sharp fo­cus. The over­all avi­a­tion work­force is prob­a­bly roughly bal­anced. But that is not true at the se­nior level. The IATA Board of Gover­nors is proof. Of the 32 mem­bers, two are women. And that ra­tio will not dra­mat­i­cally change be­cause the pop­u­la­tion of women CEOs is so lim­ited,” shared Ju­niac.

In an ef­fort to tackle the chal­lenge, IATA has part­nered with Korn Ferry and other in­dus­try or­gan­i­sa­tions in a study that aims to iden­tify the best prac­tices to adopt to­wards re­cruit­ing and pro­mot­ing women in avi­a­tion.

Alexan­dre de Ju­niac, di­rec­tor gen­eral and CEO of IATA.

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