Airlines in crisis

[2nd June 2008]

Airport scene

Heads of airlines around the world have called for help from governments and airports to survive the financial crisis at the World Air Transport Summit.

Industry heads have made the pledge at the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) 64th Annual General Meeting in Istanbul today. The call comes after the rise in oil prices which has led to many airlines ceasing operations, the most recent being business airline Silverjet.

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

The IATA resolution calls for six specific calls to action, including asking governments to eliminate the archaic rules that stop airlines restructuring across borders.

"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," the IATA resolution states.

IATA also wants governments to refrain from imposing additional taxes and other measures that will deepen the current airline crisis. There is also a call for authorities to act so that the cost of energy reflects its true value.

“The airline industry is sending a clear message to governments, partners and labour. We are in crisis. Governments, labour and our business partners must understand this. And they must act,” says IATA Director General and CEO, Giovanni Bisignani.

Written by: Nick Purdom


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