IATA AGM: IATA chief dreams of a new industry by 2050

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An industry that has a 10% profit margin, airports that pay airlines to come, the scrapping of bilaterals and foreign ownership laws, a very near zero accident rate and the halving of carbon emissions. These are the ambitious targets in Giovanni Bisignani's "Vision 2050", outlined yesterday in his final state of the nation address to an IATA AGM.

"The time has come to think big and look beyond the cycles and shocks," said Bisignani, who looked ahead four decades to the prospect of a profoundly changed industry. "In just over a decade, I can see $100 billion in industry profits on revenues of $1 trillion. As we move towards 2050, this 10% margin will become even more robust.

"This is not just a crazy dream. Before the recession, at least a dozen IATA members already had 10% margins. We must make this a much broader reality. Change in all areas is possible. This vision - including sustainable profitability - can be our future," said Bisignani.

"Today's industry structure will not deliver the profits we need. In a decade when airlines lost $5 billion a year, 574 airlines started operations and less than 200 disappeared. Barriers to exit are too high and barriers to entry are low."

By 2050 this fragmented picture should have changed. "We will be a consolidated industry of a dozen global brands supported by regional and niche players. And we will deliver value to investors," said Bisignani.