Outgoing IATA director general Tony Tyler will at FIDAE this week single out Brazil and Venezuela for “misguided” policies that are holding back development of aviation in a region that is among those with “the greatest potential for traffic growth” in the world.

Delivering the state of the industry report at the association’s Wings of Change conference, which begins on Wednesday, Tyler will also praise Latin America’s safety record, which “has improved considerably over the past decades”, much of it due to “effective collaboration” between airlines, governments and other stakeholders. The region’s once-lamentable safety record is now “comparable to most of the rest of the world”, he will say.

In his speech, Tyler will say that, with vast distances and unassailable mountains, aviation is essential for Latin America. But he will condemn Venezuela for “the worst example of misguided policy in the region”, noting that the government is “creating a very difficult operating environment for airlines. Many of them have reduced service and currently the country is underserved by air.”

Brazil, too, will come under attack as “one of the region’s most difficult countries for airlines”. Tyler will say: “The country has never been an easy place to operate with a fuel and regulatory policy which is not aligned with global practices and ICAO recommendations. This, coupled with the severe economic downturn in the country has been very damaging for airlines in the country.”

Other countries receive credit. Tyler will compliment the operators of new airports at Mexico City and Bogotá for “successful partnership” between industry and government. The Panama government, he will claim, “is aware of aviation’s true value as an economic enabler”, while Chile “has ensured the operating environment for the air industry is fair”. He will add: “It isn’t surprising that two of the region’s most successful carriers [Copa and LAN] call these countries home.”

Tyler expects improving relations between the USA and Cuba to lead to an increase in services between the communist-run island and the rest of the world. However, he will warn that Cuba “will need to make significant upgrades to its infrastructure”.

Other speakers in the two-day conference include Enrique Cueto and Pedro Heilbron, the respective chief executives at LAN and Copa, as well as senior representatives of Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier.

Source: Flight Daily News