12 December 2022, etc.venues Monument, London
Business Travel Show Europe, presented by The BTN
21 November, London Hilton Metropole
The boss of airline association IATA has warned that the UK departure from the EU should not cause any “steps backward” for aviation connectivity.
IATA’s CEO Tony Tyler said that the increase in global air traffic was already “slipping back” in May - before the UK vote to leave the EU last month - after a “very strong start” to 2016.
Figures released by the association show that air traffic grew by 4.6 per cent in May, compared to the same month last year. But this was a lower level of growth than seen during early 2016.
“A combination of factors are likely behind this more moderated pace of demand growth,” said Tyler. “These include continuing terrorist activity and the fragile state of the global economy - neither bode well for travel demand.”
Tyler added that the Istanbul airport bombings and the impact of the Brexit vote meant it was “difficult to see an early uptick” for the airline industry in the next few months.
“The shockwaves of the Brexit vote have extended worldwide and the fallout will affect the air transport industry, from both economic and regulatory perspectives,” he said.
“Aviation plays a vital role in supporting economic growth and development. As the post-Brexit regulatory framework is negotiated between the EU and the UK it is critical that there are no steps backward for aviation connectivity.”
IATA figures show that air traffic for European carriers rose by 2.1 per cent in May compared to 2015, with load factors falling by 1.1 percentage points to 80.6 per cent over the same period.
The association is already predicting that UK air passenger numbers may fall by 3-5 per cent by 2020 due to a weaker economy and a fall in the pound’s value.