The future of aviation depends on the ability of governments to realise airlines are not “political playthings”, according to an industry expert.
Speaking at an aviation conference in Sydney last week, former International Air Transport Association vice president Asia Pacific Andrew Drysdale expressed confidence the industry will thrive. But he stressed there was urgent need for improved infrastructure and government support.
“Airlines are completely capable of continuing to grow at a rate of 6% or 7% per annum to meet the market demand which will be at least that amount,” he said. “Provided we have the infrastructure from airports and air traffic control to do so and may I suggest provided governments understand that airlines are commercial businesses and not political playthings.”
Drysdale insisted the industry is “essential” for business, trade and the world’s “economic well-being”.
“It’s a catalyst for a halo of industries surrounding airlines that do make money,” he said.
But financial responsibility for the survival of many airlines would fall to shareholders and governments in many cases.
“But they will survive, and they will change,” he said.