IATA chief Giovanni Bisignani has urged governments to stop protecting their airlines or risk causing continuing damage to the industry.

Bisignani, in an interview with UK daily newspaper The Guardian, warns that nationalistic protection is threatening to deepen the industry downturn.

“Governments around the world say they cannot lose their flag carrier. I am always telling them that the flag on the tail is killing our industry,” he says.

Bisignani adds that the downturn, which is being driven by high oil prices and overcapacity, is causing one of IATA’s 240 member carriers to leave each month due to financial difficulties.

But he says that much-needed consolidation is being prevented by foreign ownership restrictions and nationality clauses within bilateral agreements. “We cannot consolidate because we will lose our right to fly,” he says.

Source: flightglobal.com's sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news

Source: FlightGlobal.com