Oil Updates – prices steady as investors assess OPEC+ output cut extension

RIYADH: Geopolitical and economic changes, safety and emissions are in focus at the 80th IATA Annual General Assembly and World Air Transport Summit, which opened in Dubai on June 2.

According to the International Air Transport Association, the World Airline Summit is attended by the leaders of the global aviation industry, which will continue until June 4. Discussions will cover topics such as artificial intelligence, innovation and an overview of the annual aviation industry report.

Hosted by Emirates and the first of its kind in Dubai, the meeting is expected to be witnessed by more than 1,500 participants, including IATA member airlines, strategic partners at the IATA AGM level, and international and regional associations. In addition, it includes leading manufacturers, industry suppliers and media representatives.

IATA Director General Willie Walsh said: “Dubai’s world-leading connectivity places it at the crossroads of the planet. And it will soon be the center of the leading aviation industry, hosting the 80th IATA Annual General Assembly and the World Aviation Summit.”

He added: “We look forward to hosting our industry colleagues in Dubai, the home and hub of Emirates. It is a city that has cemented its place in global aviation and progressed thanks to its visionary leaders and progressive policies that recognize the role of air transport as a key economic driver.”

Accordingly, the IATA first man noted that last year aviation contributed 27 percent to Dubai’s gross domestic product and supported $37 billion in gross value added.

Tim Clark, Chairman of Emirates, commented that there are always exciting new developments in Dubai.

“I hope the visiting delegates will have the opportunity to experience this vibrant city and the UAE’s renowned hospitality for themselves.” Clark said.

The annual meeting will be followed by the World Aviation Summit, which will offer a comprehensive program addressing critical issues facing aviation.

“The commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 will be at the top of the agenda at the 80th IATA General Assembly and the World Air Transport Summit. We will explore solutions to accelerate progress, particularly in the production of sustainable jet fuel and decarbonisation options,” said Walsh.

He added that they will also assess their progress on safety, financial sustainability and other key industry topics.

“It is important that we present these challenges so that all stakeholders, including governments, have a clear understanding of what airlines need to connect people and economies safely, efficiently and increasingly sustainably,” said the IATA Director General.

Meanwhile, the global aviation watchdog announced a significant cut of almost $1.8 billion in assets from airlines that governments had previously prevented from repatriating.

This reduction, which represents a notable 28 percent drop, has been seen since the end of April, according to an IATA statement.

As of December 2023, blocked funds have been reduced by $708 million, a significant step toward resolving the issue of obstructed repatriation.

IATA has reiterated its call on governments to remove all obstacles to airlines repatriating their revenue from ticket sales and other activities in accordance with international agreements and contractual obligations.

“The reduction in blocked funds is a positive development. The remaining $1.8 billion is significant and needs to be addressed urgently. Effective repatriation of airline revenues is guaranteed in bilateral agreements,” Walsh said.

More importantly, he added, this is a prerequisite for airlines – which operate on thin margins – to be able to provide economically critical connectivity. “No business can operate in the long term without access to rightfully earned revenue.”

IATA added that the main cause of the decrease was the substantial clearance of funds blocked in Nigeria. Egypt also approved the release of a significant accumulation of frozen funds. However, in both cases the airlines were adversely affected by the devaluation of the Egyptian pound and the Nigerian naira.

Leave a Comment