IATA CEO: ‘TIME TO BEGIN RECOVERY’
Pierre J. Jeanniot, director general and chief executive officer of the International Air Transport Association, said it is time to recover from the losses that resulted from Sept. 11 tragedy that crippled airlines worldwide.
“I am very confident that our industry will weather the storm,” Jeanniot told delegates at the Hong Kong International Aerospace Forum that. “But all the actors — governments, infrastructure providers and airlines, need to share the same vision.”
Jeanniot said the industry faces losses of $7 billion on international scheduled services in 2001, up from the estimate of $2.5 billion before the terrorist attacks, and loss of up to 120,000 airline jobs after the attacks. But he looked forward to a recovery in 2002, and pointed out that flying was still the safest form of mass transport.
Jeanniot said officials need to emphasize better government intelligence and a worldwide application of biometrics — or body-scanning technology — to stem future attacks.
“IATA has been advocating biometrics for the past two years,” Jeanniot said. “People involved in using the air transport product, particularly frequent flyers, or (those) delivering the air transport product, would have been subjected to an iris scan, and their details stored on a database. Once they have been positively vetted as a non-security threat, they should then be allowed to go about their lawful business, with no further checking.”
While in China, Jeanniot also signed an agreement with the Civil Aviation University of China and Northern Jiaotong University, under which the IATA Aviation MBA qualification will become available in China.
“China’s aviation industry faces the enviable challenge of needing to grow and lead the way into a future which now has China as a member of the World Trade Organization,” he said.