Innovation, creativity needed to address challenges facing aviation industry, says Sulaiti

September 22, 2022

The IATA World Financial Symposium (WFS) kicked off in Doha in the presence of Minister of Transport HE Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti to discuss strategic topics relating to the aviation industry’s financial outlook and its future sustainability.

Held under the theme “Reshaping Airline Resilience”, the WFS 2022 is organised by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and hosted by Qatar Airways, bringing together the largest in person gathering of the aviation industry’s financial leaders since the start of COVID-19 pandemic.

The event will feature more than 50 expert speakers across the airline and financial sectors, discussing strategic topics relating to the industry’s financial outlook and its future sustainability.

On this occasion, Sulaiti said he was pleased with Doha’s hosting of the 4th edition of the IATA World Financial Symposium.

The minister praised the huge efforts exerted by the IATA in uniting the world’s efforts and working for a safe and sustainable air transport sector.

IATA WFS, he said, will represent an exceptional opportunity to discuss the status quo of the aviation market, aiming to find beneficial ways based on innovation and creativity to address current and future challenges through enhancing close and fruitful cooperation among all parties.

On the first day of the conference, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker delivered an inspiring keynote address in front of the largest in person gathering of the aviation industry’s financial leaders since the start of COVID-19 pandemic.

As the industry emerges from the greatest financial shock in its history, numbers indicate a rapid emergence from the pandemic following the removal of government-mandated travel restrictions over the past two years. Industry losses are expected to fall to $9.7 billion this year, improved from nearly $180 billion in losses over the previous year.

As travel barriers fall in most regions, a recent surge in demand suggests a recovery to pre-COVID-19 traffic levels in 2024, with a possibility of achieving a profit in 2023.

At the same time, airline debts have soared as carriers borrowed to stay afloat during the crisis. Finance departments across the industry are expected to face major challenges as the goal to fly net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 approaches.

In its 25th year of operations, Qatar Airways Group has announced a record profit of $ 1.54 billion for the FY 2021-2022. Overall revenue increased to QR52.3 billion ($ 14.4 billion), up 78 percent compared to last year and a remarkable two per cent higher than the full financial year pre-COVID.

Earlier in June 2022, Qatar Airways hosted over 1,000 delegates and aviation leaders from across the globe at the industry’s biggest annual event, the 78th IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit (WATS).

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was announced as the ‘Airline of the Year’ at the 2021 World Airline Awards, managed by the international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax. It was also named ‘World’s Best Business Class’, ‘World’s Best Business Class Airline Lounge’, ‘World’s Best Business Class Airline Seat’, ‘World’s Best Business Class Onboard Catering’ and ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’.

The airline continues to stand alone at the top of the industry having won the main prize for an unprecedented sixth time (2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021). The airline’s hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA), was also recently recognised as the ‘Best Airport in the World 2021’, ranking at number one in the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2021.




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