IATA's Bisignani calls for liberalization, consolidation
IATA DG and CEO Giovanni Bisignani said overly restrictive foreign ownership rules prevent "meaningful consolidation and perpetuate inefficiency."
In a speech yesterday to the ICAO Symposium on Liberalization in Dubai, Bisignani said, "the flags on the tails of our aircraft are so heavy they are sinking our industry," and argued that airlines will have difficulty achieving long-term profitability without the ability to consolidate across borders.
He added that the need to liberalize ownership regulations and loosen air treaty restrictions "is immediate and urgent," noting that a US-EU open skies agreement alone "would add $5 billion to the bottom line of the industry." He said airlines must have "basic commercial freedoms" and the ability to "merge and consolidate where it makes sense."