Airline chiefs meet amid worsening global aviation crisis

June 8th, 2009 - 8:54 am ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, June 8 (DPA) Airline chiefs gathered in Malaysia Monday for an international aviation meeting to focus on strategies to fight off a deepening crisis in global air travel.
More than 500 aviation industry leaders will be attending the two-day International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual meeting in the capital, Kuala Lumpur. At the top of the agenda is various efforts by airlines to keep afloat in the current crisis.

In April, international air travel dropped 3.1 percent for passengers and 21.7 percent for cargo, compared to last year, IATA said. Its report warned that figures for May are likely to be much worse.

In addition to the drop in demand for passenger and freight travel, the aviation industry is also faced with rising prices of jet fuel, which reached a six-month high of $75 a barrel last week.

“With each day of the recession, the challenges for the air transport industry are mounting,” said IATA director-general Giovanni Bisignani.

Despite a more positive outlook from policymakers and economists about a global economic recovery, aviation industry analysts have warned that while the worse may be over for airlines, a recovery is unlikely within the next six months.

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