Qatar Airways Hosts IATA Financial Conference In Qatar

23/09/2022 07:00
This year's IATA financial conference will focus on economic recovery from the pandemic setbacks.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) will hold its Global Aviation Industry World Financial Symposium in Doha, Qatar, this week. The conference will be hosted by Qatar Airways and directed by the country's Minister of Transport, Jassim Bin Saif Al-Sulaiti. The gathering will be the largest financial conference of aviation financial leaders since the COVID-19 pandemic began two years ago.

In June 2021, Doha, Qatar, hosted IATA's Annual General Meeting (AGM) and its World Air Transport Summit (WATS). The AGM had a higher turnout than any previously held in the Middle East, and the association hopes that this conference's turnout will be even larger.

Financial focus

During the conference, which will be held from September 19th to the 22nd, IATA will focus on 'Reshaping Airline Resilience' following the economic effects of the pandemic. The industry has received two significant financial shocks this decade. The first was the sudden drop in revenue that came with the enforcement of COVID-19 travel restrictions. The second was the sudden surge in demand for air travel that came when world governments dropped the travel restrictions.

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The financial conference will focus on pandemic recovery. Photo: Qatar Airways 

The sudden resurgence of demand saved many airlines while others are still struggling from the financial setbacks of the pandemic. Despite many airlines' slow recovery efforts, as a whole, the airline industry is expected to cut its losses to only $9.7 billion this year, a big improvement from the $180 billion loss suffered over the past two years. The industry anticipates seeing travel numbers reach 2019 levels by 2024, although many markets will see profitability by the end of next year.

Monumental recovery

The industry has made an impressive comeback from the pandemic as it has grappled with shortages of all kinds this past year that have significantly increased operating costs. Amid the rise in demand, the world continues to suffer from supply chain shortages sparked by disruptions that began during the pandemic lockdowns. Global staff shortages ranging from pilots to ground handlers have caused countless disruptions this year. Aircraft parts and other essential materials have slowed the production and repair of many airliners.

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The industry has made an impressive recovery following the pandemic. Photo: Vincenzo Pace I Simple Flying 

A global energy crisis has also increased operating costs this year. Post-pandemic demand and supply chain disruptions began to squeeze the energy industry. Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, energy demand skyrocketed as sanctions were placed on Russia, limiting the world's energy supply. Specifically, fossil fuels that power the airlines became far more valuable. The rise in operating costs severely debilitated many airlines as profit margins shrunk even further.

Astoundingly the airline industry has managed to overcome these obstacles, and it now looks toward a brighter future where it can return to profitability. As it climbs toward a brighter future, its focus is switching toward sustainable aviation with hopes of creating a net-zero carbon footprint by 2050.

Shared enthusiasm

Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker shared the company's excitement about hosting this event. He said,"We are honoured to be hosting the first in-person World Financial Symposium since 2019, especially during our milestone year, celebrating 25 years of operations. This vital symposium will bring together financial leaders from airlines and from our many supply chain partners to discuss and debate the path forward and the challenges to be overcome."

IATA's Director General Willie Walsh said that the association is thrilled to bring this year's conference to Doha. Walsh said,"We are excited to bring the World Financial Symposium to Doha for the first time. As the industry continues to recover, the role of finance in rebuilding balance sheets and supporting our sustainability agenda will take center stage in the important discussions taking place over the next few days."

Cre: Simple Flying

Nguyen Mai Huong-COMM

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