Enhancing air safety and sustainability are our top priorities: IATA President at General Assembly in Dubai

Ashraf El-Hadidi , Wednesday 12 Jun 2024

The president of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Willie Walsh called, during the 80th General Assembly of the IATA in Dubai, for developing a “road map” to face the challenges of the global civil aviation industry.

Willie Walsh
Willie Walsh, President of the International Air Transport Association speaks during in The 80th General Assembly of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) which was held in Dubai


The IATA General Assembly and the World Aviation Summit that was held in conjunction with it discussed the issue with the participation of 1,500 leaders and representatives of 300 airline companies. 

Global aircraft manufacturing companies and international and regional organizations concerned with aviation affairs discussed the economic, security, technological and operational challenges facing airlines in light of the successive geopolitical events the world is witnessing.

“Sustainability” was one of the most pivotal issues discussed by the IATA General Assembly and the World Aviation Summit. They also discussed expanding the use of biofuels in a way that supports IATA’s strategy to reach “zero” carbon emissions by 2050.

In addition, the IATA General Assembly and the World Aviation Summit discussed not only the cardinal issue of air safety but also digitization and ways to advance the IATA initiative to give women a greater opportunity to assume leadership positions in civil aviation.

The latest statistics on the global aviation industry for the year 2024, which were announced during the assembly, showed an expected improvement in the financial performance of airlines.

As for profits, it is expected that the net profit of global airline companies will reach $30.5 billion by the end of 2024.

The companies' operation profits will reach $59.9 billion, while industry revenues will reach $996 billion. Total expenses will reach $936 billion, and approximately 4.96 billion passengers are expected to board 38.7 million flights.

The air freight volume will reach 62 million tons of cargo, while passenger revenues will reach $744 billion, a 152 percent increase compared to last year.  Cargo revenues will, however, decrease to $120 billion in 2024 compared to $138 billion last year.

 Industry expenses are expected to reach $936 billion.

The aviation fuel bill will reach about $291 billion, representing 31 percent of the total operating costs. Carbon dioxide emissions from the industry will reach 935 million tons in 2024 owing to the consumption of 99 billion gallons of fuel.

Airlines in the Middle East are predicted to make $3.8 billion in profits.

In Africa, companies will gain profits of approximately $100 million.

North American airline companies are expected to make $14.8 billion, while European companies will generate $9 billion in profits. In Asia and the Pacific, airlines will reap profits of $2.2 billion.

On the other hand, the total volume of blocked funds of airlines in some countries reached about $1.8 billion at the end of last April. These are financial balances for companies from sales revenues

Willie Walsh, President of the IATA, expressed optimism about the industry's future. Walsh, however, expressed uncertainty about the economic and geopolitical conditions worldwide.

“In a world witnessing growing uncertainty, airlines continue to boost their profits, which is a major achievement,” he added.

The IATA President explained that although the aviation sector is on the path to achieving sustainable profits, there is still a large gap, stressing that several factors affect the aviation sector positively or negatively. These factors include global economic fluctuations, the impact of conflicts and wars, the problems of supply chains, and the delayed delivery of new aircraft and spare parts.

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