China’s aviation market will continue to improve—Interview with Willie Walsh, President of the International Air Transport Association


Recently, Willie Walsh, Chairman of the International Air Transport Association, started his first visit to China after taking office. For this trip to China, Walsh said that he had gained a lot as he imagined. During his trip, he not only exchanged in-depth views with the Civil Aviation Administration of China on issues such as the recovery of international air transport, civil aviation safety and operational cooperation, and sustainable development of civil aviation, but also communicated with a number of member airlines and strategic partners. During his visit to China, Walsh accepted interviews from Economic Daily and other media, and expressed his views on topics such as the recovery process of the global aviation industry and the performance of China’s aviation market.

In the interview, Walsh first mentioned the performance of the Chinese aviation market. Walsh said that since the beginning of this year, the recovery of domestic flights in China has been very strong, reaching 115% of the level before the new crown epidemic, and international flights are also showing a trend of continuous recovery. In addition, Chinese airlines not only have a good reputation in the world, but also have a global aviation network. It is believed that the prospects of the Chinese aviation market will continue to improve.

“For IATA, China is an extremely important market with good growth prospects. Thanks to the reopening of China’s borders, IATA adjusted its outlook for the aviation industry in 2023 in June, bringing the global aviation industry Net income was revised up to $9.8 billion,” Walsh said.

Walsh emphasized that IATA attaches great importance to the Chinese market and will continue to fulfill its commitment to support the high-quality development of China’s civil aviation industry in the future. For a long time, IATA has been in close contact with relevant government departments such as the Civil Aviation Administration of China, and actively cooperates with member airlines and other important partners in the civil aviation industry. By sharing globally accepted industry standards, efficient service process suggestions and cutting-edge Solutions to help Chinese airlines achieve the goals of cost reduction, quality improvement, and efficiency increase.

After China optimized and adjusted the epidemic prevention and control measures, IATA fully supports the recovery of China’s civil aviation and tourism industries. Since January, IATA has actively helped China’s civil aviation return to normal operations in a safe, stable and orderly manner. These include: quickly forming a civil aviation industry restart working group with the participation of airlines mainly from China to assist China’s civil aviation in resuming international passenger flights; holding the first risk-based operational safety audit seminar and flight turbulence prevention seminar, and co-publishing the “Dangerous Goods Rules” and “Fresh Perishable Goods Rules” Chinese version, carry out information sharing and capacity building around the development of green civil aviation and sustainable aviation fuel transformation, and promote industry standards and implementation guidelines such as passenger contactless travel, digital freight, full bill of lading, etc. China’s landing, promoting digital transformation and smart civil aviation construction, and helping China’s civil aviation to develop safely, efficiently and sustainably. In addition, the business training courses of various training centers in IATA North Asia have been restarted, scientific research and business exchanges have been strengthened with relevant colleges and universities in the civil aviation field, and personnel training projects have been cooperated in cooperation. The construction and development of mid-to-high-end talents in China’s civil aviation.

“In the process of full recovery of the global aviation industry, IATA will continue to support China’s air travel to return to the high-speed growth path.” Walsh said, looking forward to the promotion and implementation of Chinese airlines in IATA’s global projects play an increasingly important role and influence.

Walsh pointed out that in this era when climate change is increasingly becoming a core issue, sustainable development is an issue that the global aviation industry needs to focus on. At the previous 79th IATA Annual General Meeting, IATA announced a series of roadmaps for the aviation industry to achieve net zero carbon emissions in 2050, involving aircraft technology, energy infrastructure, operations, finance and net-oriented The policy considerations for zero-carbon emissions, among other details, highlight the technical, policy, financial, operational and infrastructural steps needed to achieve this goal. Walsh said that one of the key factors for the whole industry to achieve a low-carbon transformation is to vigorously develop sustainable aviation fuel. One of the priorities for 2023 therefore includes incentives for the production of sustainable aviation fuel to accelerate progress towards net zero carbon emissions. In response, IATA calls on all aviation stakeholders to act to provide the necessary tools, policies and products for a net-zero world to ensure the success of this fundamental change in aviation.

Source: Economic Daily