June 8: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) revised airlines’ predicted losses to US$9 billion for 2009, nearly doubling its March estimate of a US$4.7 billion loss.
“There is no modern precedent for today’s economic meltdown,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO in his ‘State of the Industry’ address to 500 of the sector’s top leaders at the 65th IATA Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit in Kuala Lumpur. “Our industry has been shaken. This is the most difficult situation it has faced. Our future depends on a drastic reshaping by partners, governments and industry. We cannot bear the cost of government micro-regulation, crazy taxation and partners abusing their monopoly power,” he added.
Big falls in demand for cargo and passenger transport are offsetting any benefit gained through reduced fuel costs. “The risk is that even the slightest glimmer of economic hope sends oil prices higher. Greedy speculation must not hold the global economy hostage. Failure to act by governments would be irresponsible,” said Bisignani.