|Miami (November 22, 2013) – The Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) Airline Leaders Forum and the association´s 33rd General Assembly came to a conclusion last week in Cancun, Mexico, after celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the conference, which consistently garners the participation of CEO´s and top executives from Latin American and Caribbean aviation, as well as civil aviation authorities and officials from governments throughout the region.
The conference was attended by over 600 delegates representing 350 companies. More than 100 airline representatives and 40 CEOs were also present at the event that drew participants from around the globe. Mr. Roberto Kriete, who handed over the Presidency of ALTA following the Annual General Assembly held on the first day of the conference, highlighted the position of the association on the following areas:
- The economic outlook is undeniably favorable and the industry in the region continues to thrive. The airlines of the region transported more than 190 million passengers in 2012 and the growth in Latin America and the Caribbean continues to outpace global growth. Last year, our region grew more than 60% compared to global traffic growth.
- The projections for the next two decades indicate that traffic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean will continue to lead globally, at a rate of nearly 7%, on par with China, compared with a growth rate of 5% of global traffic.
- There have been no fatal accidents in Latin America among IOSA registered airlines. To enable airlines whose fleet does not comply with IOSA registration, the Basic Safety Audit Program (BSAP) was proposed, thereby narrowing the gap towards improved safety for those airlines.
- ALTA has implemented initiatives to continue on the path towards improved safety in the region: a multi-angle strategy to reduce unstabilized approaches, the ALTA-IATA Trend Sharing Program (AITSP), the exchange of Best Practices between airlines and the association´s active participation in the Regional Aviation Safety Group (RASG-PA).
- ALTA and its member airlines have made significant accomplishments: Aircraft Interchanges, Common Commercial Codes, Common Branding, Trans-Border Mergers, IPOs and World-class Operational Standards
- The industry faces many challenges ahead, related to Infrastructure gaps, the misunderstanding and inconsistent application of antitrust regulations, an unbalanced approach on consumer rights legislations, immigration and customs delays, lack of government understanding of economic benefits generated by aviation, short-term aviation infrastructure planning, shortage of skilled workers and the general perception that the aviation industry is a cash cow.
ALTA Member Airlines at the General Assembly adopted several resolutions, in alignment with the Association´s priorities.
ALTA supports BSAP (Basic Safety Audit Program), the initiative that proposes a new set of audit rules to ensure operational safety among Airlines which, because of fleet limitations, are not eligible for IOSA certification.
ALTA vigorously welcomes ICAO´s leadership at its 38th Assembly to adopt a single global approach for aviation for the reduction of greenhouse gases and reject the EU´s ETS which unilaterally counters ICAO´s resolution. It also rejects the special Tax on Goods and Services approved by Mexican legislators, urging for the adoption of measures that don´t impact aviation and for the participation in general consensus under ICAO´s direction.
The Mexican Congress passed a tax reform which would levy a new tax on jet fuel, among others. ALTA resolved to ask the Mexican Government to not impose more taxes to airlines; to reconsider the approved plan of DNI and DSM collection; and to modify the current requirement of paper invoices, allowing instead for the acceptance of electronic tickets as tax receipts.
Airline members of ALTA appointed Andres Conesa as new President of ALTA, and Mariano Recalde, CEO of Aerolíneas Argentinas and Paulo Kakinoff, CEO of GOL as new members of the Executive Committee. The new appointees of the Committee assume their new roles effective immediately.
The Executive Committee now consists of the following members for the term 2013-2014:
President – Andrés Conesa, CEO, Aeroméxico
Vice President – Enrique Cueto, CEO, LATAM Airlines Group, S.A.
Fabio Villegas – CEO, Avianca
Pedro Heilbron, CEO, Copa Airlines
Albert Kluyver – CEO, InselAir
Mariano Recalde – CEO, Aerolíneas Argentinas
Paulo Kakinoff – CEO, GOL
Andres Conesa, the new President of ALTA´s Executive Committee, stated, “This appointment makes us very proud. It represents a recognition to Aeromexico and Mexico, which demonstrates that we are doing things right. It has been over 20 years since a Mexican has been acknowledged with this distinction and it comes to pass now, at a very positive juncture, never before seen in the region. Latin America and the Caribbean is today one of the most dynamic and fast-paced regions in the world, with significant growth projections and an industry that is at the vanguard in terms of fleet investment and the creation of new routes. Together, we will continue to work for the benefit of ALTA, approaching topics that impact aviation in a jointly coordinated and solution-driven manner.”
The seven-member executive committee will be responsible for guiding the association’s efforts and facilitating the development of air transport throughout the Latin American and Caribbean region.
As is now customary, the ALTA Airline Leaders Forum was also the setting for the Helping Hands fundraising campaign. This year the “Friends of the Maya Foundation” and the “Niños en Alegría” programs were the beneficiaries of the fundraiser which collected a total of US$122,000. Both Charities have destined the funds to the improvement of the education environment of underprivileged children in the communities of Cancun and Acapulco. The Helping Hands program has raised a total of US$437,000 since its inception in November 2010.
You may view the stories that developed during the 10th ALTA Airline Leaders Forum in the three Flight Global Daily editions via the following links:
Flight Global 10th ALTA Forum Daily 1
Flight Global 10th ALTA Forum Daily 2
Flight Global 10th ALTA Forum Daily 3
The 2014 ALTA Airline Leaders Forum and 34th ALTA AGM will be held at the Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas. For more information about the ALTA Airline Leaders Forum please visit www.alta.aero.