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Opportunities and challenges for Asia’s aviation industry

Strong pre-holiday demand from Europe and South East Asia saw cargo throughput at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) reach 295,000 tonnes, an 8.9% increase from last January. Air traffic movements rose 5.3% from January 2007, to 24,800. For the 12 months ended 31 January 2008, HKIA handled 48.3 million passengers and 3.8 million tonnes of cargo and recorded 296,770 air traffic movements. This represented YoY increases of 8.5%, 5.2% and 5.7%, respectively.

At the inaugural Singapore Airshow Aviation Leadership Summit on 18 February, held in conjuntion with the Singapore Airshow 2008 (19-24 February 2008), the IATA Director General and CEO called on Asia to join in the race for industry leadership, as Asia, which has over 50% of the world’s population, will be our largest single market by 2010. “Asia has over 50% of the world’s population, and will be our largest single market by 2010. Asia needs to be part of the race to lead the industry with sound policies and innovation, along with the commercial race for market share,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO, in his keynote address.

Bisignani identified the case for industry change in Asia based on three challenges : (i) Middle East competition, (ii) shortage of skilled personnel, (iii) declining profitability. At the same time, Bisignani pointed too three opportunities for Asian leadership to push forward an industry agenda for change - (i) liberalisation, (ii) security and (iii) environment. For more on the speech, please visit the IATA website, www.iata.org/pressroom/pr/2008-02-18-01.htm