This year's IATA Annual General Meeting in Singapore will be significant and newsworthy for many reasons.
It would be long time director-general Giovanni Bisignani's (above) last AGM, with former Cathay Pacific CEO Tony Tyler designated to take over at end-June. Bisignani will, as expected, give his usual robust views on the state of the airline industry and leave the delegates with a sobering assessment of the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
There will, however, be a fair bit of attention on Tyler. He is likely to try and keep a low profile, given that this will be Bisignani's show, but there will be interest in the areas he will focus on when he assumes the post.
Fuel costs are always an issue for airlines, given that they comprise up to 30% of their overall expenses. They are likely to have an even bigger focus this time around as oil prices creep up and as airlines try to find ways to cope.
Governments will also come under scrutiny at this year's AGM, with both high taxes and fees for airlines and regulations that impede trans-national investments likely to be in focus.
China's growing clout, both as a market and as its airlines gain prominence, will be under discussion as well. There will be questions about whether European carriers and the airline industry in the continent will have the ability to move beyond their low growth rates in the coming years. Issues pertaining to the US carriers will continue to coalesce around competition and consolidation.
And then, there are of course the Gulf carriers, with airlines like Emirates and Qatar Airways continuing to grow in stature and use their clout to influence issues. The growth of Dubai and Doha has global hubs also continues to transform the airline industry and that will be discussed as well.
Airline Business will be examining all of these issues and more at the IATA AGM. We will be publishing three issues of our daily, and talking to all of the key players in the sector. Read all of our stories and watch our video interviews with the key players at Flightglobal's IATA AGM landing page.