19 June 2022

International Air Transport Association Conference Kicks off in Doha

  • QatarAirways

Doha, June 19 (QNA) - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) Conference, which is currently hosted in Doha, kicked off today at the Sheraton Hotel and will continue for three days.
The IATA conference aims to find solutions that contribute to the prosperity of the civil aviation sector in the coming years, especially since the phase the sector is going through necessitates the importance of activating global cooperation activities in civil aviation and enabling collaborative work to support the realization of ambitions and innovation and the development of policies necessary to ensure a promising future for the sector.
Todays activities included several briefing sessions for the regions of America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, where many topics were addressed, especially those related to sustainability, with a focus on the steps that the entire aviation sector will take to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and support global efforts to reduce the use of single-use plastics, and to address the challenges faced by the sector to offset carbon and use sustainable aviation fuels.
In a related context, the work of the 78th General Assembly of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the World Air Transport Summit will begin tomorrow, Monday, and the events organized by Qatar Airways will witness the attendance of more than 750 guests from the leaders of the aviation sector, and the attendance of more than 150 international media, to discuss the most important topics, issues and global trends related to the aviation sector.
The World Air Transport Summit will discuss tomorrow a number of important axes, including the effects of the Russian war in Ukraine on the aviation sector, the role of this sector in supporting global efforts to reduce emissions harmful to the environment, as well as helping airlines to address the challenges posed by carbon offsets, and the regulatory and financial challenges facing global airlines.
This will be the second time that the global meeting of senior aviation leaders will be held in Qatar, where the first time was in 2014, and the decision to change the venue reflects the ongoing restrictions related to travel procedures to China due to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
IATA launched the IATA CO2 Connect program, an online tool that provides accurate calculations of CO2 emissions from commercial flights.
IATA stressed that the new tool will provide accurate information on carbon dioxide emissions to its applicants, including rates of aircraft fuel burn and passenger load, which distinguishes it from theoretical data models already on the market today.
IATA indicated that it will be available to airlines, its manufacturers and travel agencies who will be able to access data on carbon dioxide emissions and see their rates for all flight routes.
The International Air Transport Association indicated that the new tool was conceptualized by 20 airlines and aircraft manufacturers last March in consultation with relevant international bodies and logistics service providers.
The IATA's Senior Vice President for Commercial Products and Services Frederic Leger, and Sebastian Mikosz, Senior Vice President Environment and Sustainability, gave a detailed explanation of the new program, whereby IATA CO2 Connect is available to companies within and outside the travel value chain, such as travel management companies TMCs or travel agencies, airlines or multinational companies.
IATA CO2 Connect uses the newly developed CO2 calculation methodology, which was approved by the IATA Passenger Service Conference in March of this year, where the new tool was conceptualized by major partners from 20 airlines and major aircraft manufacturers, in consultation with international standard setting bodies, logistics service provider American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT), the world's leading B2B travel platform, and Travel Management Corporation (TMC), which manages more than USD 40 billion in travel sales annually.
Leger emphasized that flying sustainably and reducing carbon dioxide emissions is a top priority, as the aviation sector works to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and travelers want to be more aware of their carbon footprint by using IATA CO2 Connect, where individuals and companies can obtain unified accurate calculations to make the most sustainable choices for their air travel taking into account aircraft types, routes, class of service, and most importantly, the data can be combined for corporate reporting purposes. 

For his part, Director General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Willie Walsh considered during attending the IATA conference that airlines will maintain their recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, despite the worrying signs of a global economic crisis round the corner. 
In a statement to the media, Walsh predicted that the recovery of market demand on travel that started with the uplifting of the Covid-19 travel restrictions were uplifted, will continue regardless of the economic pressures on the consumer. Walsh added that "I do not deny that we are facing some challenges. However, the futuristic perspective remains very positive. In fact, all of our research results assert that the consumer wants to go back to traveling by air again."
Walsh noted that while most airlines are enjoying an increase in sales as travelers return to leisure trips, there are doubts about the extent to which this momentum will continue with high fuel prices causing airlines to increase ticket prices, as well as inflationary pressures casting a shadow on household spending.
During the second media briefing session, President of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Regional Vice President of IATA in the Americas Peter Cerda, spoke on a number of important topics related to the competitive environment between travel agencies, costs, as well as the adequate infrastructure, and ways to develop the sustainability policy of aviation fuels.
Cerda stressed that the 78th annual general meeting is bringing a huge number of global aviation industry leaders together in Doha in order to discuss the political, economic and technological changes facing the air travel sector, whilst at the same time the industry recovers from the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic, in addition to discussing what the industry can do to support global reduction efforts Global of "single-use plastics".
IATA Americas Vice-President said in an exclusive statement to QNA: "It is without doubt that Doha has become the air transport capital, having hosted the world leaders of the aviation sector in their 78th IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit (WATS). Moreover, Qatar Airways is one of IATA’s supporting companies, and this conference will put in place the necessary policies to ensure a promising future for the sector."
Cerda pointed out that Africa is still behind when it comes to air ticket bookings, where it only stands at about 57 percent of the pre-pandemic levels. He continued by saying that the reopening of international air-traffic lines and long flights in the Middle East this year will be a positive factor that enhances the hopes of a complete post-Covid-19 recovery of the travel movement.
He then added that "Air freight increased during Covid-19 by 18 percent in the Middle East whereas in Africa by 9 percent compared to their pre-pandemic levels, noting that the increase was contributed to the aviation sector that is a lifeline for many due to its delivery of vaccines, medical and self-protection equipment, in addition to e-commerce."
Cerda also stressed that the high demand for air freight generated significant revenues for many airlines, noting that a number of regional airlines, most notably Qatar Airways, played an important role to this end by continuing to fly throughout the pandemic period.
As for the third media briefing session, it touched on the challenges faced by airlines during the Coronavirus pandemic. Regional Vice President of the International Air Transport Association for the Europe region Rafael Schvartzman said that aviation is a complex interconnected chain; airlines are linked to the performance of other parties, especially airports. He added that "Airlines need more incentives to use sustainable aviation fuel, as well as its producers need more incentives to produce it."
Schvartzman stressed that it is significant that this conference is taking place right now, as it is an valuable opportunity to visit the enhancements and development that State of Qatar’s infrastructure underwent, in preparations for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
He concluded his statement by saying that sustainable development is important to Europe as well, where 2 percent of "Green" (SAF) fuel will be delivered to all European Union airports by 2025. 

At the Asia Pacific Briefing, Philip Goh, IATA Regional Vice President for Asia-Pacific, stressed the need to take measures to accelerate the recovery of the air transport sector due to travel restrictions imposed by governments in the region due to the COVID-19 pandemic, where there are still areas that require PCR test for vaccinated travelers (before departure or after arrival),
He pointed out that most Asian countries allow travel for vaccinated people, without obligating them to quarantine. However, COVID-19 testing is still required in many parts of Asia, with 10 regions requiring pre-departure testing for vaccinated people, and 12 provinces required post-arrival testing of vaccinated people, and Japan began taking positive steps forward in this area.
He stressed the need to cancel quarantine and COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated travelers, and travelers should not be obligated to wear masks during air travel.
He noted that the aircraft design includes many features in order to reduce the possibility of viruses being transmitted on board, as the cabin air is frequently renewed every two or three minutes.
He added that quarantine is still required in many countries, including Bhutan, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Macau, Samoa, and the Solomon Islands.
He indicated that the countries that require pre-departure testing for vaccinated people are: China, Chinese Taipei, Japan, New Zealand, Korea, Macau, Samoa, and Solomon Islands.. As for the countries that require post-arrival tests for vaccinated people, they are China, Chinese Taipei, Fiji, Korea, Macau, Myanmar, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, and Solomon Islands.
He explained that the current focus is on OneID passenger operations to digitalize the airline document checking process and facilitate the contactless process through biometric identification at the airport. The services provided to travelers are also being developed, with the involvement of a number of airlines, airports and governments in the region.
He stated that during this year, India plans, starting from domestic flights, to launch Digi Yatra operations that adopt most of the components of One ID, for example digital identity, digital travel wallet, and verifiable credentials.
With regard to the retail trade of airlines, he emphasized that globally there are more than 70 airlines that have retail capabilities, but there are only 7 companies in the Asia-Pacific region.
He pointed out that this trade could provide airlines with an added value of up to USD 7 per passenger, or a 4 percent return by 2030.
In an exclusive statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA), Philip Goh, IATA Regional Vice President for Asia-Pacific said that airlines in Asia have begun to recover, with many countries easing and lifting COVID-19 restrictions this year.
He pointed out that the demand for passengers on airlines in Asia and the Pacific is currently increasing by 20 percent compared to 2019, noting that this improvement is due to the gradual lifting of restrictions that were imposed by governments.
He praised Doha's hosting of major international airlines during the activities of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). He added that Doha today is a stop for the most important companies and leaders of the aviation sector in the world.
Goh explained that the General Assembly of the International Air Transport Association will discuss many important issues related to the aviation sector, as Doha will host the work of this conference for the second time after 2014. He indicated that one of the most prominent topics that will top the agenda of the General Assembly on Monday, is the regulatory and financial challenges facing international airlines. (QNA)



Economy, Qatar
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