Nicholas Ionides / Paris
IATA has publicly shamed four African countries for not taking action to improve aviation safety.
Director-general and CEO Giovanni Bisignani said at the association's annual general meeting in Paris today: "A responsible industry cannot tolerate even a few governments that don't take safety seriously. The safety record of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea and Swaziland is an embarrassment for our industry."
He adds: "The last three have taken some action. But we need results fast. Flags of convenience have no place in a safe industry."
Bisignani says airlines transported 2 billion people safely last year and "despite the financial crisis, the 2005 accident rate was our lowest ever".
He adds: "Industry wide we had one accident for every 1.3 million flights. And for IATA member airlines the accident rate was one for every 2.9 million flights. What an amazing result."
Meanwhile, securing IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) status is set to become a requirement for membership in the association.
A resolution was passed at the annual general meeting today stating that as of the end of 2007 the loss of IOSA registry status will result in the loss of IATA membership.
IATA says 189 of its members "are now in the IOSA process".