Air travel important for healthy economy

Friday 12, November 2010


Air travel important for healthy economy


The ash cloud crisis in May highlighted the importance of air travel and its benefits, said senior airline executives London’s World Travel Market, the world’s largest meeting of travel industry professionals.


With goods waiting to be exported on the other side of the world and restaurants empty of tourists here, Colin Matthews BAA CEO said: ‘The ash cloud crisis brought a degree of balance to the debate about the costs of aviation and showed the extent to which we are dependent on aviation for our global economy.’ Stephen Kavernagh, Aer Lingus’ Commercial Director, added: ‘Air travel can be more effective environmentally than rail, car, bus etc. when you consider use of concrete, steel and other factors.’


Over-reaction to the volcanic ash was another issue, with a third of the world’s airline capacity grounded, agreed senior representations of Aer Lingus, Pegasus Airlines, Emirates, Birmingham Airport and BAA, whose airports include Heathrow and Edinburgh. Kavernagh said, ‘You can’t take chances with safety but there was enough experience globally to have re-opened air space earlier. Prolonged further, many airlines could have gone under.’


Birmingham Airport Chief Executive Paul Kehoe blamed a lack of leadership and credited airline bosses from BA and KLM for getting onto planes to check the severity of the ash. He said the airline industry lacked its own Al Gore, ‘someone saying what a brilliant job you do. Otherwise we’re always on the back foot and we lose out to environmentalists.’


A current controversy is increase in Air Passenger Duty (APD). President of Emirates airline Tim Clark said, We need to work harder to persuade people that we add value,’ adding that Emirates will ‘adjust if demands falls off.’ Newcastle is one area that has benefitted from routes via the Middle East increasing trade to £300m.


Matthews also warned of the long-term impacts. ‘If it’s more expensive to fly from an UK airport, people will make other choices. The new affluent Chinese middle-class for example will holiday in France – in fact, France get six times more Chinese visitors. ’ Pegasus Airlines’ Sertac Haybat reported that after domestic taxes were lifted in Turkey, revenue increased and passenger figures went from 10m to 20m. ‘European goverments should learn from this.’



Bookmark and Share


^ back to top


Find the best deals available today

The grey menu on the right is your best friend. Always check before you travel.

Plan your trips with the help of great resources

More and more travellers think that researching and planning a European city break is half the fun and they're not interested in pre-arranged trips or escorted tours. Self-guided tours offer a lot of advantages but require some guidance and good resources.


Clean, green and very pristine

Top 10 most environmentally pure countries

With the recent wild fires, disrupting flights and increasing air pollution, environmental quality is a growing factor in attracting tourists.



Top 15 most spectacular hotel rooftop views

The hotel price comparison site has put together a list of the fifteen most spectacular hotel rooftop terraces in the world.

Latest offers, discounts and more...

Accor “3=2 offer”
Why not extend your stay? 3 nights for the price of 2.
Columbus Direct travel insurance
Quality cover at low prices to customers all around the world.
Priority pass
Access VIP lounges no matter where which airline and class you fly.
European City Cards
See more and pay less! Get your "passport" to European cities.
Rail Europe
Comfortable and affordable on European trains.
Lonely Planet Magazine
Packed with insider knowledge, hints and tips.
Sandemans New Europe City Tours
Free walking tours in 13 cities within 9 countries.
Sol Melia Wednesdays
Search your exclusive special offers now for the coming weekend!
Low-cost shuttle and private transfers in over 70 countries.
IMEX Frankfurt 25-27 May
The essential worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events.
Subscribe to Travelio News Summary via RSS Follow our news titles on Twitter Become a fan of on Facebook Bookmark and Share