19 NOVEMBER 2018

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Article from BTNews 19 NOVEMBER 2018

Chase new markets, EU airlines told

Capitalising on emerging markets is crucial for EU airlines. This was the message from Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker speaking at the IATA Wings of Change conference in Madrid last week.

Discussing the challenges the aviation industry is facing in Europe, he noted aviation growth had shifted to geographical areas outside the EU such as the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East in recent years.

The European Commission had been very proactive in pursuing comprehensive air transport agreements with ASEAN countries, Qatar, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Tunisia, he said.

“In my view, it is very important for EU air carriers to capitalise on the growth opportunities offered in emerging aviation markets. EU carriers should also reinforce their global position.

“In the long run, participation of EU carriers through the conclusion of comprehensive air transport agreements is key to ensure the competitiveness of the EU aviation sector. Protectionism should not be the answer as it will hinder the competitiveness of the EU aviation sector and the agenda pursued by the Juncker Commission.”

The Wings of Change concept originated in Latin America and has now been brought to Europe by IATA as a two-day gathering of airline CEOs, ministers and industry experts to discuss the current state and future of air transport.

(See also De Juniac on the attack in this issue)

www.iata.org/events/Pages/wings-europe.aspx

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