Two words that have cropped up time and time again from Tony Tyler here at the annual general meeting are "growth" and "partnership".
"Our industry's license to grow is earned through partnerships that make flying even safer, more secure, and more sustainable," he said during his state of the industry speech. "That must be supported with tax regimes that do not kill growth, regulations that enable growth and infrastructure that accommodates growth."
This does not mean that IATA will go soft on states, organisations or parts of the value chain that do not come up to scratch. The UK government, for instance, was slammed for its Air Passenger Duty that collects £2.6 billion ($4 billion) a year, the biggest aviation tax in the world.
Some governments are praised. "Look at Hong Kong, Singapore or the United Arab Emirates," says Tyler. "These governments don't see aviation as a sin to be taxed. Instead, they are building their economies around connectivity."
Players in the complex value chain, in which airlines are at the heart, need to work as partners, says Tyler. "If airlines are able to keep revenues ahead of costs, every player in the chain benefits. That is not always well-understood."