Video of the week – Consolidation and change in the aviation sector: will economic forces and pressures drive changes in aviation policy?

The airline industry has undergone significant changes in the past years, with the exit of several “household names” from the market, and other carriers struggling for survival. These changes have dramatically affected consumers, and have altered the alliance ecosystem. With this background of consolidation and change, a big question is will economic forces and pressures drive changes in aviation policy?

This was questioned during the recent CAPA – Centre for Aviation Qatar Aviation, Aeropolitical & Regulatory Summit in Doha where Croon-Callaghan, partner, Jim Callaghan hosted a panel discussion including ALTA legal director – general counsel, Gonzalo Yelpo; IAG chief executive officer, Willie Walsh; Turkish Directorate General of Civil Aviation deputy director general, Haydar Yalçin; and US Department of Transportation director, international aviation, Brian Hedberg.

Among the discussions they questioned the role of the regulator in responding to carrier failures; whether ownership and control rules are limiting or distorting the restructuring of the industry; the impact of national insolvency and competition rules on the restructuring process; the potential emergence of truly multinational carriers; and changes in carrier cooperation in a shifting competitive landscape.

Most conferences see a lot of useful discussions, but not necessarily actions. CAPA, a trusted source of market intelligence for the aviation and travel industry, attempts to make a difference and with its second edition of its CAPA Qatar Aviation, Aeropolitical & Regulatory Summit has renewed a commitment to the ‘Doha Declaration’, together with event host, Qatar Airways.

The maiden ‘Doha Declaration’ was announced following the sell-out inaugural CAPA Qatar Aviation, Aeropolitical and Regulatory Summit held in 2019, and called into question the modern-day relevance of the global aviation principals outlined in the Chicago Convention, released more than 75 years ago.

The original manifesto addressed liberation of the skies, market access, sustainability and active engagement in aeropolitical discussion at the highest level, and urged aviation stakeholders around the world to join in support of the “business of freedom”.

Based on the critical discussions held at this years’ summit, which took place this week in Doha, CAPA and Qatar Airways have zeroed in on the growing impact of sustainability on the industry. This year’s declaration highlights the essential role of travel and tourism for global connectivity and socio- economic development, and notes the essential need for the industry to engage collectively to reduce the level of emissions.

It acknowledges that the aviation and travel industries recognise there are no single one-size-fits-all solution to the environmental challenges the world is confronted by today and to secure environmental sustainability for future generations, it recommends a range of urgent actions, based around dialogue, education, collaboration and coordination.

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