This year marks the 20th anniversary of World Routes and a special commemorative book has been produced to celebrate the momentous occasion. Here Tony Tyler, director general and CEO, International Air Transport Association (IATA) shares the view on how aviation propels the global economy.
"In 2014, airlines will safely transport approximately 3.3 billion passengers and 50 million tonnes of cargo across a network of 50,000 routes. This connectivity supports 58 million jobs and US$2.4 trillion in business. With over a third of the goods traded across borders being delivered by air, it is no understatement to say that aviation propels the global economy.
"There is also a very human impact to aviation’s achievements. Flying has helped to turn our big planet into a global community. Families and friends are re-united across great distances. Cultures are experienced and exchanged through journeys of exploration. Ideas are developed and shared through meetings and conferences. People’s lives are made more prosperous by working together in global supply chains. In 24 hours, people have the freedom to be anywhere.
"Commercial aviation’s success has many parents. The first flight was a partnership between a plane builder, an entrepreneur and a pilot. And the 100,000 flights that take off each day result from choreographed collaboration across a complex value chain. Underpinning this is one of our most important stakeholder groups – governments and regulators.
This relationship is also marking a significant milestone this year as the Chicago Convention, which laid down the foundations of modern air transport, celebrates its 70th anniversary. Aviation has always been forward looking. Constant improvement in safety is a hallmark of the industry. Technical innovation has driven improvements in the passenger experience. And the quest for efficiency has made flying ever more accessible.
"The Gulf region is a showcase of what aviation can deliver when countries place a strategic priority on creating a business-friendly
environment for air transport. Jobs and prosperity are being created by businesses that rely on global connectivity. It should serve as inspiration for other regions of the world. When governments provide adequate infrastructure, don’t over-regulate and tax fairly, aviation provides real benefits.
"This message should be spread far and wide. Because not all governments take the same approach. Recent tax proposals in Africa would make the continent more expensive to get to and to stay in. That is not the way to promote tourism, development and trade. Making connectivity more expensive is bad news for any business and certainly a disincentive to re-locate.
"I congratulate World Routes on its 20th anniversary. Its desire to promote connectivity is shared by the industry and by all those who wish for a peaceful, prosperous global community."
MAKE SURE YOU COLLECT YOUR COMPLIMENTARY COPY OF OUR '20 YEARS OF WORLD ROUTES' BOOK DURING THIS YEAR'S EVENT