Bisignani of IATA Urges Lowering of Airport User Charge to Enhance Competitiveness – Asian Market to Continue to Grow
International Air Transport Association (IATA) on February 23 held a press briefing by Giovanni Bisignani, IATAâ€™s Director General and CEO. â€œBy 2014, the airline industry will see Asia becoming the largest market,â€ said Bisignani. He made specific recommendations necessary for China to grow further and for Japan to increase its competitiveness.
According to Bisignani, the Pacific region saw the highest profitability ever in 2010 and by 2014 there will be 800 million new airline passengers. Of which 360 million will be in Asia and 214 million of those in China alone. Bisignani remarked, â€œAsia is definitely changing rapidly,â€ adding, â€œWhile the aviation market in 2014 will see North America lose its share down to 23 percent, it will see Asia grow its share up to 30 percent.â€ In terms of the number of international passengers, Japan transported 53.5 million in 2009 and by 2014 it is expected to carry 720 million passengers with an average traffic growth rate of 6.0 percent annually. China, on the other hand, is estimated to see a rapid increase to 821 million passengers by 2014 from 490 million in 2009, thus beating the number of Japanese international passengers.
Commenting on the Chinaâ€™s rapid growth, Bisignani said, â€œThe big issue for Japan is how to compete with China.â€ What is important for Japan, he said, is its airport policy, suggesting three actions to take: set-up of common landing charges for domestic and international flights at Haneda Airport, abolishment of the security charges levied at Haneda and further reduction of the airport user charge at Narita Airport.
With regards to the role of travel agencies amid the direct sales by airlines on the sharp increase, he said, â€œIt is an extremely important presence,â€ reminding that there are 80,000 IATA-approved travel agencies across the globe. â€œExistence of travel agencies is considered to be absolutely necessary to make travel a â€œwonderful experience,â€ said Bisignani, commenting, however, that the travel agencies must â€œaim at a higher degree of professionalism.â€ â€œThey are required to adapt themselves to respond to the new needs of the era.
Source: Travel Vision
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