Published on February 20, 2008
"Asia's aviation industry can fare better," said IATA chief Giovanni Bisignani, speaking to delegates yesterday at an aviation conference during the Singapore Air Show 2008.
"While the whole region is full of promise, there are some very big challenges ahead."
Asia is now home to some of the industry's strongest carriers and best and newest airport infrastructure, said Bisignani.
The Middle East is mounting a serious challenge to Asia as not only a financial centre, but also an aviation hub.
"Dubai now handles 35 million passengers. Jebel
Ali Airport will serve 120 million passengers a year, as much traffic as Changi Airport in Singapore," Bisignani said.
The Middle East is spending US$38 billion (Bt1.24 trillion) in all on airport and aviation infrastructure.
The global aviation industry returned to profitability last year on revenue of $490 billion, IATA figures show.
The revenue cycle peaked in 2006, leaving airlines $190 billion in debt, said Bisignani.